"WASHINGTON (Reuters)—A U.S. appeals court scaled back a December ruling on Tuesday that had upheld patent infringement charges against Research In Motion Ltd., the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device. ADVERTISEMENT
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit withdrew an initial, Dec. 14, 2004, 59-page opinion and issued a new 74-page opinion.
In the latest decision, the court reversed some additional infringement findings made by a lower court against RIM and again sent it back to a lower court for further review.
The appeals court overturned the lower court's finding that RIM had infringed NTP Inc.'s "method" patents, but reaffirmed the infringement of patents of the e-mail "system."
NTP, a closely held U.S. patent holding company, had successfully sued RIM in 2002 for patent infringement .
One analyst said the ruling appeared to be modestly positive for RIM because it could further stretch out legal proceedings and delay a potential court injunction that would halt U.S. BlackBerry sales.
"All those things that could be very damaging potentially to RIM have been slowed," said Rob Sanderson, an analyst with American Technology Research.
"On first glance it looks like this. We're still going through the document."
Shares of RIM rose following the news, climbing $2.65, or about 4 percent, to $72.95 on Nasdaq on a volume of more than 13 million.
In Toronto, the shares were up C$1.82, or 2.1 percent, at C$88.40, after sliding as low as C$82.68 earlier in the day.
(With additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson in Vancouver)"