RIM Gives In, Settles With Motorola in Patent Dispute

BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion will pay rival Motorola Inc., manufacturer of the Droid smartphone, an undisclosed amount to settle a patent dispute over mobile technologies. 

Motorola said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday that RIM will shell out an upfront lump sum and pay royalties for future use of intellectual property relating to 2G, 3G, 4G, 802.11 and wireless e-mail. The two companies also will transfer some patents to each other.

RIM and Motorola sued each other in multiple courts after they couldnt renew a license deal that ran from 2003 to 2007. Such cases have become all the more common as smartphones dominate the mobile-devices market. Nokia and Apple have been at each others legal throats, for example, and Apple also is going after Asia-based competitor HTC for patent infringement. Those fights come as Coda Research Consultancy forecast last month that worldwide sales of smartphones will total 2.5 billion units from 2010 to 2015. Sales also should grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent by the end of that period, the firm noted.

On Friday, RIM said in a regulatory filing it doesnt expect the settlement to impact fiscal first-quarter earnings or operations. RIM reported $15 billion in sales last year as Motorolas market share dropped from 3.6 percent to 3 percent.

Shares of Motorola had risen 20 cents to $7.04 by about 11:45 a.m. Eastern; shares of RIM also were up, by 17 cents, to $59.28.

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