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RIM Halted, Reports Say Settlement Motion Denied

The company had sought enforcement of its $450 million patent pact with NTP.
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Shares of

Research In Motion


were halted for pending news Wednesday amid reports it has suffered another legal defeat in litigation over the BlackBerry messenger.

RIM last traded on Nasdaq for $65.25, up 50 cents. The stock has fallen 27% this year as a Virginia technology concern called NTP Inc. has pressed a case claiming that the BlackBerry infringes on its wireless patents. Earlier this year, RIM agreed to pay $450 million to settle the patent claims, but the deal fell apart in June.

A report on


Wednesday morning said a judge had denied RIM's motion to have the settlement enforced, ruling that the companies never had a valid agreement.

The ruling would leave the fate of the BlackBerry with the federal court system and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The case is currently at the District Court level after an appeals court largely upheld a ruling that RIM had infringed on several of NTP's patent claims.

RIM has suffered a string of setbacks in the case over the last month. First, an appeals court declined the company's request to rehear the appeal in the patent suit before an expanded panel of judges. Following that, both the appeals court and the Supreme Court denied the company's request to delay further proceedings in the case until the Supreme Court decided whether to review RIM's appeal.