BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion has agreed to pay patent holder NTP the sum of $612.5 million. The move will settle the patent dispute between the two companies. For a while there, it was looking like BlackBerry might be finished - which would cause problems for a huge number of users who have become dependant on the service. Now, as a result of the settlement, the future of BlackBerry service in the United States has been secured.

In a statement released minutes ago by NTP, the company states the settlement gives RIM perpetual license to all NTP patents, past and future, eliminating the possibility that NTP could sue RIM for something else later down the road. Most importantly, perhaps, RIM's customers and partners will also be protected by the deal, allaying at least one analyst's fears put forth in our story last Friday that NTP could sue RIM's partners if the terms of a settlement merely served as evidence that NTP's rights were breached.