Blackberry Patent Trial Success

March 1, 2006

The patent infringement claim brought against T-Mobile UK and Research In Motion UK (RIM) by the Luxembourg based patent holding company Inpro Licensing relating to the supply of Blackberry devices has ended with relief for Blackberry and T-Mobile. The High Court decided in favour of T-Mobile and RIM in their attempt to have the Inpro UK patent invalidated. News of the decision was revealed on 2 February.

Inpro’s patent (EP 0892947) covered a computer system which reduced the processing power used by portable computers and other devices in accessing servers on the Internet. It described using a “proxy-server” to download data from the web on behalf of the device. The proxy-server then “transposed” the data to match the specific size and resolution of the device.

RIM applied to the High Court to revoke the patent on the grounds that it was invalid for lack of novelty and obviousness. Inpro counter-claimed for infringement of the patent and joined T-Mobile into the proceedings.

Mr Justice Pumfrey held that all the claims in issue were either obvious or lacking in novelty.

Patent disputes concerning Blackberrys have been fought in a number of jurisdictions. A parallel infringement action brought by Inpro in Germany against T-Mobile was defeated in late January when the German Court in Munich gave a decision invalidating Inpro’s German patent. Although concerning a different patent, litigation brought by NTP is also on-going in the US against RIM and that is now reaching its final stages.