Visto sues RIM for patent infringement

BlackBerry users have another patent lawsuit to worry about. Just weeks after their service was nearly shut down by a lawsuit brought by NTP Inc., the wireless e-mail devices are now being threatened by legal action brought by software provider Visto Corp.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Visto claims that Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIM's) BlackBerry service violates four Visto patents. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to shut down BlackBerry's service in the U.S.

The patents in question relate to the accessing and synchronizing of information over a network and are fundamental to the BlackBerry service, said Brian Bogosian, Visto's chairman, president and chief executive officer, speaking during a Monday conference call. "RIM should not be able to sell the BlackBerry system," he said.

Visto's lawsuit was filed on the same day a Texas jury awarded the company US$3.6 million in a similar patent lawsuit against competitor Seven Networks Inc. Three of the four patents in the RIM lawsuit were also invoked in the Seven Networks lawsuit, Visto said.

RIM downplayed the significance of the Seven Networks decision. "Visto

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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