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3/16/2005
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RIM Pays $450M To Settle Patent Suit

Research In Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry mobile device, has agreed to pay $450 million to settle a patent-infringement suit filed by NTP.

Research In Motion Ltd., makers of the popular BlackBerry mobile device, said Wednesday it has agreed to pay $450 million to settle a patent-infringement suit filed by NTP Inc.

Under terms of the agreement, RIM has licensed NTP technology covered by all current and future patents, RIM officials said. The deal covers all customers and providers of RIM products and services, including wireless carriers, distributors, suppliers and independent software vendors.

RIM also will have the right to grant sublicenses under the NTP patents to anyone for products or services that interface, interact or combine with RIM's products, services or infrastructure.

"The resolution permits RIM and its partners to sell its products, services and infrastructure completely free and clear of any claim by NTP," Canada-based RIM said in a statement.

The settlement amount relates primarily to past damages, and includes the judgment and money escrowed to date. RIM expects to expense $313 million of the settlement in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 26, 2005.

NTP, based in Arlington, Va., claimed that RIM infringed on 16 of its patents, which included NTP's radio-communications technology. A federal court in Virginia had ruled against RIM in 2003, but that decision was reversed on appeal and sent back to Virginia court for reconsideration.

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