RIM in patent dispute again

MONTREAL — BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) is involved in two more patent infringement disputes, but investors appeared to ignore the news as such legal battles become increasingly common on the technology front.

MONTREAL — BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) is involved in two more patent infringement disputes, but investors appeared to ignore the news as such legal battles become increasingly common on the technology front.

There are probably four or five different lawsuits against RIM at any time, but you don’t always hear about them unless they grab headlines, Research Capital Corp. analyst Nick Agostino said Thursday.

“The market is saying, ‘OK, we know that this is par for the course,”’ said Agostino, who follows the Waterloo, Ont.,-based tech giant.

“It’s just part of doing business in the technology world,” Agostino said from Toronto. “You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some.”

The U.S. International Trade Commission has announced it will investigate Kodak Co.’s patent infringement complaint over digital camera technology used both in BlackBerrys such as the touchscreen Storm and Apple’s iPhone.

RIM has declined to comment on either that, or another patent-infringement case involving authentication systems filed by a Nebraska company.

Shares in Research In Motion closed up 78 cents at $74.34 or just more than one per cent Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Agostino said cases involving possible court injunctions or claims for “billions” or dollars would make stock markets take notice.

But in RIM’s case, “even cutting a cheque for a couple of hundred million isn’t a huge issue because they churn out enough cash in one quarter that it’s not going to make a huge dent,” he said.

The trade commission is also investigating a complaint by Nebraska’s Prism Technologies against RIM involving authentication systems on BlackBerrys such as the Curve 8330.

The Washington-based commission can block imports into the United States of BlackBerry devices using the technologies in question.

Patent cases can take years and millions of dollars to resolve.