Back in 2005, Eatoni Ergonomics, a developer of predictive text input software for mobile devices, took BlackBerry maker RIM to court claiming several of its devices with “ambiguous keyboards” (two letters per key), such as the BlackBerry Pearl, incorporated patented technology it had no right to use.
RIM initially filed action against Eatoni seeking a judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of the patent in question, but Eatoni countersued alleging patent infringement and asking the court to ban the sale of RIM's infringing products. On Wednesday, however, the two companies finally ended their dispute and signed an agreement in which Eatoni would grant RIM a license to use its technology. RIM, in return, made an unspecified equity investment in Eatoni.
Over the years, RIM has been involved in a series of suits relating to alleged patent infringement over the technology found in its popular BlackBerry devices. In March, 2006 the company settled a long-running patent infringement case by paying NTP Inc. $612.5 million US.