Friday, March 03, 2006

NTP Wins: RIM Strikes Deal for $612.5 million

RIM and NTP have announced that RIM will license NTP’s patents for a one-time payment of $612.5 million, regardless of what happens to the patents. Among the terms was the ability for RIM to ensure its third party partners could use the patents. This was something that NTP claimed previously suggested terms would but RIM stated they did not. The press release states:

The license covers all the current NTP patents involved in the litigation as well as any future NTP patents. All of RIM's past and future products, services and technologies will be covered as well as all RIM customers and providers of RIM products and services, including wireless carriers, distributors, suppliers and ISV partners. RIM 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 agreement permits RIM and its partners to sell its products, services and infrastructure completely free and clear of any claim by NTP, including any claims that NTP may have against wireless carriers, ISV partners or against third party products that use RIM's BlackBerry Connect / BlackBerry Built-In technology.

RIM’s executives continue to belief that the patents will be struck down by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office but the agreement with NTP does not call for a refund if this happens. However there maybe other companies not yet sued by NTP that can benefit if the patents are struck down.

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