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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 21:47 GMT
Blackberry maker settles dispute
Mobile featuring Blackberry software
Newer mobile phones incorporate Blackberry software
Shares in Research In Motion have risen by 18% after the maker of the handheld Blackberry e-mail device said it would settle a patent infringement dispute.

The $450m (233m) settlement came after a US appeals court upheld the case brought against Canada-based RIM by NTP, owned by engineer John Campana.

The move gives RIM a "perpetual, fully-paid up licence" of the patents.

Blackberry sales are rising as the firm's software find its way into mobile phones and rival devices.

"NTP will grant RIM and its customers an unfettered right to continue its Blackberry-related wireless business without further interference from NTP," RIM said in a statement.

Royalty order

The dispute with NTP started in 2002 when the US firm claimed RIM had infringed on a number of its patents, including its radio technology.

Pending the appeal in December, Blackberry had been ordered to set aside a percentage of its US sales as a potential royalty to NTP. But the settlement prevents such a payment being made in the future.

Blackberry's latest results covering the three months to 27 November showed net profits were $90.4m, from $16.3m in the the same quarter in 2003, on turnover of $365.9m.

The company now has more than 2 million customers worldwide.

Shares in RIM closed up 18% at $78.96 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

"The stock was clearly being weighed by the NTP settlement," analyst Kona Shio, at Conscius Capital Partners in Montreal told Reuters.

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