After a modest rally following a quarterly earnings report that hinted at partnerships and the potential for an acquisition, RIM's stock has once again sunk deep into the abyss. Following a freshly announced lawsuit from Dutch semiconductor company NXP, the Waterloo BlackBerry maker's share price plunged nearly 10%.
NXP says that RIM's BlackBerry smartphones and its PlayBook tablet infringe on multiple patents that NXP has owned as early as 1997. Relating primarily to design and data transmission patents, NXP demands a halt to the infringements and seeks to recover lost profit, royalties, and triple damages for willful infringements. No dollar value has yet been revealed.
This could be the most serious patent litigation the beleaguered company has faced since 2001, when patent holding company NTP nearly crushed RIM with the weight of a major lawsuit. RIM ended up handing over a whopping $600 million to NTP to settle the case.
RIM has declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing litigation.