Finally, RIM and NTP settle their differences

Research in Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry handheld device, announced today that it reached a financial settlement with patent holder NTP Inc., bringing to a close a long-running saga that threatened to cut off wireless service to BlackBerry users.

RIM officials said in a press release that it agreed to pay NTP $612.5 million "in full and final settlement of all claims against RIM, as well as for a perpetual, fully-paid up license going forward."

Last week a federal judge overseeing the long-running patent infringement lawsuit refused to impose an immediate shutdown of the popular devices.

Prior to last week's hearing, the Patent and Trademark Office rejected the last of three remaining patent infringement claims that NTP raised against RIM's BlackBerry products.

According to today's announcement, "the resolution permits RIM and its partners to sell RIM products and services completely free and clear of any claim by NTP, including any claims that NTP may have against wireless carriers, channel partners, suppliers or customers in relation to RIM products or services."

NTP did not immediately return e-mail for comment.

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