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| | BlackBerry triumphs in UK patent spat
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BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) won a second victory in a key UK patent lawsuit on Wednesday that had threatened the future of BlackBerry's e-mail service in Britain.
London's Court of Appeal backed a High Court ruling from a year ago that RIM, based in Ontario, Canada, had not infringed a patent held by Luxembourg company InPro Licensing Sarl which related to how portable computers surf the Internet.
Lord Justice Jacob ruled that intellectual property licensor InPro's patent was not valid and should be revoked, bringing an end to the potential threat to the BlackBerry e-mail service used by hundreds of thousands in Britain.
The court ruled that BlackBerry devices were more than just the ideas that were the subject of InPro's claim, noting that they 'owed nothing to the patent' and must have involved 'a vast amount of actual detailed implementation and design'.
The court was told that the BlackBerry handheld e-mailing device was first on the market in 1999, three years after the date of the patent.
'Three years is a long time in the world of computers, where speed of computing, of connection and size of memory and price change so rapidly,' the ruling said.
RIM welcomed the decision, which is the latest in a string of patent disputes it has fought.
'RIM and the Lovells law firm are pleased with the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the nullification of Inpro's UK patent claims,' it said in a statement.
'This decision further validates RIM's longstanding position on the matter,' it added.
InPro, which makes money from licensing intellectual property, lost the first round of the case last February and saw a similar decision go against it in Germany last January after it tried to bring action against RIM and BlackBerry reseller T-Mobile.
RIM also won a case against InPro in the United States last year after InPro claimed it had copied its thumb wheel design.