A judge's damages ruling in a patent case involving Research In Motion's ( RIMM) BlackBerry product has ominous implications for the company's profitability and licensing strategy, an analyst argued Tuesday. J.P. Morgan downgraded the shares to underweight from neutral, four days after a federal judge in Virginia increased the amount of damages Research In Motion owes to privately held NTP in a 2001 patent-infringement suit. "We believe the NTP judgment reduces gross margins by about 125 basis points and pushes out RIM's target for achieving operating profitability," J.P. Morgan said. The shares, which didn't trade in U.S. markets Monday due to the holiday, were recently off $2.56, or 13%, to $17.46 on the Instinet premarket session. They fell a similar percentage in Toronto trading on Monday. The case began when a group of Illinois-based inventors said RIM's BlackBerry infringed on eight wireless patents controlled by NTP. In November, the company was ordered to pay $23.1 million to NTP. On Friday, the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., ordered the company to pay $8.87 million in enhanced damages and 80% of the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees. "We are now concerned that the NTP judgment undermines RIM's ability to license its technology to Nokia and others," J.P. Morgan said.