Patent suit puts $23 million in motion

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A US Federal jury has ordered a Canada's Research in Motion (RIM) - best known for its BlackBerry handheld e-mail devices - to pay US$23 million to US-based NTP for patent infringement.

Holding Company NTP sued in 2001, saying RIM's BlackBerry devices infringed on eight of NTP's patents for wireless communications in e-mail systems.

RIM officials said they will appeal the jury's verdict.

"We firmly believe that the jury verdict was unduly prejudiced by errors in the court's pretrial and trial rulings and we will ask the court to review these issues in a hearing scheduled for February," RIM chief legal officer Charles Meyer said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in a report out before the verdict, quoted NTP's lawyer as saying the company could seek an injunction to bar RIM from selling BlackBerrys at all.

Such an injunction could hit RIM hard - of RIM's US$73.4 million revenue this quarter, 37 percent was from BlackBerry handheld devices and 43 percent was from wireless service.

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