Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) announced late Friday that it has agreed to pay $612.5 million to NTP Inc. to settle the long-running legal fight between the two companies.
The patent dispute had threatened to end RIM’s popular BlackBerry e-mail service to millions of users in the U.S. and has been the subject of a contentious, four-year patent battle between the two companies.
Despite the bitter legal fight, many analysts had expected a last-minute settlement, believing RIM wouldn’t want to risk either a service shutdown or force their customers to download a software workaround.
In a separate earnings statement, RIM said it attracted 70,000 fewer new subscribers than expected during the quarter ending March 4, primarily due to “uncertainty surrounding the NTP litigation” causing corporate customers as well as consumers to defer BlackBerry purchases.
“While some uncertainty was anticipated in December, the overall impact was greater than previously anticipated,” the Ontario-based company noted, likely giving impetus for a settlement.
Revenues were flat for the fourth quarter compared to the third, and less than expected: about $550 million to $560 million, compared to the $590 million to $620 million forecast earlier. Sales were sill higher than the $405 million from a year ago.
Final quarterly results are scheduled to be announced on April 6.