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Wiley Rein & Fielding Secures $612.5 Million Settlement in BlackBerry Patent Dispute

March 3, 2006

Washington, DC – Wiley Rein & Fielding attorneys have secured, on behalf of client NTP Inc., a $612.5 million patent infringement settlement with Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry wireless email devices.  The settlement, one of the largest ever of its kind, resolves a fiercely contested patent case that, as noted by one media outlet, “captured the attention of Wall Street, the Supreme Court and the governments of both Canada and the United States.”  Under the terms of the March 3, 2006 agreement, RIM made a one-time payment in return for a license that enables it to continue its BlackBerry-related wireless business. 

WRF’s team of patent attorneys, led by leading intellectual property lawyer James H. Wallace, Jr., had successfully argued in a 2002 jury trial that RIM's core BlackBerry line of wireless email products, software and services willfully infringed NTP patents.  In 2003, the Federal District Court in Richmond, VA ordered a damages award and an injunction to prevent RIM from making or selling its devices in the United States.  The injunction was stayed while RIM unsuccessfully appealed. Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge James R. Spencer ruled that the two parties did not reach an earlier tentative financial settlement and denied an attempt by RIM to stay the case pending the outcome of a review by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  The two parties were before Judge Spencer again in February 2006 to resolve the matter and were awaiting a ruling on the pending injunction when the final settlement was reached.

This historic BlackBerry settlement is the latest of numerous successful verdicts and settlements that WRF’s extensive Patent Litigation Practice has obtained for its clients—particularly those in the fields of the Internet, satellite communications, semiconductors, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, computer software and hardware and medical devices—in jury trials, arbitration proceedings and International Trade Commission proceedings.