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Another patent victory for BlackBerry

RIM wins case in the UK

RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry handheld device, has won two patent-related lawsuits in Europe against InPro, a Luxembourg patent holding company.

The English High Court ruled that InPro's UK patent is invalid, RIM reported yesterday. InPro had argued that certain BlackBerry products infringed on its patent.

RIM said on Monday that it had won a similar case involving InPro in Germany. The Federal Patent Court in Munich ruled that InPro's patent claims are invalid, RIM said.

InPro can appeal both decisions.

InPro had previously charged RIM with patent infringement in the US, but lost that case too.

Despite the reprieve in Europe, RIM is still in the midst of a long-running battle in the US with NTP, a company that has won a court case charging RIM with patent infringement.

In an unusual twist in that case, the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) subsequently ruled that the relevant NTP patents are invalid. It's unclear how that ruling, which can still be appealed by NTP, will affect the ruling against RIM in court. It is also not yet clear how the USPTO's decision will affect a request by NTP that RIM be ordered to shut down its service in the US. A judge will issue his decision on that request in late February.

RIM isn't the only mobile email provider doing battle over intellectual property claims, highlighting the competitiveness of the market. Visto, which makes software that lets mobile operators offer push email, has filed a lawsuit charging Microsoft with infringing on three Visto patents in its Windows Mobile 5.0 product. Visto is also suing Good Technology, a developer of mobile email products for the enterprise, for patent infringement.

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