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RIM settles patent dispute for $267.5m

RIM lays dispute with Visto to rest
RIM lays dispute with Visto to rest

Research in Motion (which you may recognise as the makers of a little-known device called the 'BlackBerry') has agreed a $267.5 million (£163 million) settlement with mobile email provider Visto.

The plaintiff first lodged a suit against RIM in May 2006 in the US and did the same in other territories, including the UK.

The patent claim isn't actually that clear, as back in 2006 all that was said was "Visto's intellectual property serves as the basis for this industry's birth," according to Engadget.

Seeing sense

However, with RIM the centre of a number of patent disputes at the moment, and the threat of a $1 billion payout should Visto prevail at trial, it seems RIM has taken the safe option.

The good news about the dispute is it gives RIM access and legal rights to certain Visto patents, which means it can write off some of the payout as an acquisition of intangible assets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has paid out over $1 billion to this category in the last few years, as it seeks to strengthen its patent portfolio.