Earlier this summer, a California jury found Research In Motion (RIM) guilty of patent infringement and order RIM to pay $147.2 million!  Naturally, RIM appealed the decision.

They caught a lucky break: today RIM issued a press release saying the presiding US District Court has decided that they didn’t commit patent infringement after all.

Here’s their press release:

Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today learned that the Judge in a patent action brought by Mformation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted RIM’s motion for judgment as a matter of law, concluding that the evidence did not support the Jury’s finding of patent infringement.

After considering motions presented by both parties, as well as the jury verdict (which was announced by RIM on July 14, 2012), the Judge determined that RIM had not infringed on Mformation’s patent. In granting RIM’s motion, the Judge also vacated the $147.2 million jury award, which means that RIM is not required to make any payment to Mformation. Mformation has the right to appeal the Judge’s ruling; however if Mformation successfully appeals the ruling, the jury verdict would not be reinstated and instead a new trial would occur.

“We appreciate the Judge’s careful consideration of this case. RIM did not infringe on Mformation’s patent and we are pleased with this victory,” said Steve Zipperstein, RIM’s Chief Legal Officer. “The purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation, but the system is still too often exploited in pursuit of other goals. Many policy makers have already recognized the need to address this problem and we call on others to join them as this case clearly highlights the significant need for continuing policy reform to help reduce the amount of resources wasted on unwarranted patent litigation.”

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