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Motorola and Research In Motion Settle Dispute

Mon, 06/14/2010 - 7:06am
NEW YORK (AP) -- Handset makers Motorola Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. said Friday they have settled a patent complaint over mobile technology that Motorola brought to the U.S. International Trade Commission earlier this year.

The companies said RIM, the BlackBerry maker, will give Motorola an upfront payment plus continuing royalties for the use of its mobile technology. They did not disclose specific financial terms.

Motorola shares climbed 27 cents, or 4 percent, to $7.11, while RIM added 39 cents to $59.50.

The companies said the deal includes an agreement to cross license various patents related to industry wireless standards and wireless e-mail.

The two cell phone makers are major rivals in the growing market for high-end phones with Web browsing and other features.

RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, overtook Motorola to become the world's fourth-largest cell phone maker in the first quarter, according to the research firm IDC.

In the past few years, Motorola has been struggling to hold on to its share of the market, failing to produce a successful follow-up to its popular Razr phone. Now the company, based in Schaumburg, Ill., is pinning turnaround hopes on phones powered by Google Inc.'s Android software, including the Droid.

Motorola filed its complaint against RIM in January, asking the FTC to ban RIM from importing and marketing phones that it said violated its patent rights.

The disputed patents cover a wide range of cell phone functions, including Wi-Fi access, the management of applications, the user interface and power management. Patent lawsuits have been proliferating as competition in the cell phone business heats up.

Nokia Corp., for instance, is suing Apple Inc. over technology used in the iPhone and other Apple products. Apple, in turn, is suing Taiwan's HTC Corp., one of the leading producers of cell phones that run on Android software.

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