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July 18, 2012  | by: Abby Oladipo

The Blackberry Curve 8520

The Blackberry was once on top of the world. You couldn’t turn left or right without seeing at least one person holding the precious device with the tactile keyboard that helped to make qwerty keyboard a necessity for most cellphone users. The changing times however have been hard on Research In Motion, the blackberry maker, and by extension, the Blackberry has been losing steam in the past few years. Now, RIM can add another loss to its books as the company just lost a patent case against Mformation Technologies Inc. requiring them to pay $147.2 million in damages.

RIM was found liable for infringing on Mformation’s patents by a federal jury in San Fransisco. The software in the debate is RIM’s Blackberry Enterprise Server, which allows companies to remotely access their workers’ Blackberries for phones that have been stolen. Mformation sued RIM in 2008 for two patent infringements. The company claimed they revealed information on the software to RIM during licensing talks and after RIM refused to take the license, it changed its software to include the patented technology.

RIM however said they did nothing wrong and that the patents were not valid but Mformation was able to prove their case. Mformation lawyer, Amar Thakur, said the jury ruled RIM should pay $8 for each of the 18.4 million devices connected to the server, totaling $147.2 million dollars.

“We believe it’s been fundamental to the success of Research In Motion,” Thakur said and also said the software is the heart of business for Mformation.

The ruling is another blow for RIM which has been experiencing loses and is struggling to compete with Android devices and Apple’s iPhones. RIM may also have lost its chance to catch up in the smartphone business because of delays on its Blackberry 10 devices, which will now have some serious competition especially if the new iPhone is released this fall.

Is this the end of the Blackberry era?

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