updated 12:10 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011
RIM maes licensing pact with Intellectual Ventures
RIM on Wednesday made a preventative deal with Intellectual Ventures to safeguard itself against patent lawsuits. The BlackBerry creator gets access to about 30,000 patents and can use them either as a defense or as a negotiating strategy for making licensing deals of its own. RIM hasn't given any specific plans.
IV already has deals with HTC and Samsung, among others. The company isn't a patent troll but instead sees itself as a bargaining chip where paying relatively small royalties in the near term help avoid steeper royalties or a settlement in the future.
RIM hasn't been as prone to lawsuits or trade disputes as others but is still facing legal action from Kodak as well as patent troll suits from InNova and Mosaid.
Apple is one of the few holdouts to decline Intellectual Ventures but has usually had a large collection of its own patents. Over 200 patents existed even as the original iPhone was unveiled in January 2007. The company has had some success in deflecting patent cases and just last week escaped a Nokia complaint with the ITC, although several patent fights are still ongoing.