The $450 million patent dispute settlement between the Canadian-based makers of the popular BlackBerry wireless e-mail device and NTP, a Virginia patent firm, is invalid according to a court ruling issued Wednesday morning.
The ruling is another legal setback for Research in Motion and opens the door for NTP to press for perhaps as much as $1 billion in infringement damages.
The decision also possibly opens the door for NTP to seek an injunction barring sales of the BlackBerry in the United States.
Three years ago, a Virginia court ruled that the BlackBerry infringed on patents held by NTP. In March of this year, the two companies preliminarily reached a $450 million settlement, but further talks fell through in June.
RIM then returned to court, seeking enforcement of the $450 million figure.
U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer rejected RIM’s motion.