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Research In Motion Limited
Type Public
Founded Waterloo, Ontario (1984)
Headquarters Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Area served Worldwide
Key people Mike Lazaridis
President, Founder & co-CEO
Jim Balsillie
Don Morrison, Larry Conlee
COO, Dennis Kavelman
Industry Telecommunications
Wireless handheld devices Communication products
Products BlackBerry
BlackBerry Enterprise
Inter@ctive pager
Revenue US$ 11.065 billion (Fiscal 2009)
Operating income US$ 2.722 billion (2008)
Net income US$ 1.892 billion (2008)
Total assets US$ 8.101 billion (2008)
Total equity US$ 5.874 billion (2008)
Employees 12,000+ (Fiscal 2009)

Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (TSXRIM, NASDAQRIMM) is a Canadian wireless device company best known as the developer of the BlackBerry smartphone.

RIM is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and is a sponsor of RIM Park in the northeast of the city. It was founded by Mike Lazaridis, who currently serves as its co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie.



Prior to the manufacture of the BlackBerry, RIM worked with RAM Mobile Data and Ericsson to turn the Ericsson-developed Mobitex wireless data network into a two-way paging and wireless e-mail network. Pivotal in this development was the release of the Inter@ctive pager 950, which started shipping in August 2000. About the size of a bar of soap, this device competed against the SkyTel two-way paging network developed by Motorola.

RIM's early development was financed by Canadian institutional and venture capital investors in 1995 through a private placement in the privately-held company. Working Ventures Canadian Fund Inc. led the first venture round with a $5,000,000 (CAD) investment with the proceeds being used to complete the development of RIM's two-way paging system hardware and software. A total of $30,000,000 (CAD) in pre-IPO financing was raised by the company prior to its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in January, 1998 under the symbol RIM.[1]

Since then, RIM has released a variety of devices running on GSM, CDMA, and Motorola iDEN networks. The ubiquity of these BlackBerry devices in the corporate environment and the compulsive use of its ability to quickly send and receive e-mail has earned it the nickname "Crackberry" in a reference to crack cocaine as users feel they cannot live without it.

In October 2008, RIM was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.[2]

RIM announced in February 2009 that they were expanding their global operations by opening an office and training facility in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Just across the Harbour Bridge, ten minutes from the Sydney CBD, the new RIM offices were formally unveiled by Mr Thomas A.MacDonald, Consul General of Canada, at a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the New South Wales Government and North Sydney Council, as well as RIM’s partners and customers. The new office features training facilities, a research and development centre, a strategic partner marketing centre and technical support services.[3] Total workforce provides 12,000 jobs world wide.

In June of 2009 RIM has announced they were acquiring Dash Navigation, makers of the Dash Express[4]

On 18 August 2009, Fortune Magazine named RIM as the fastest growing company in the world with a growth of 84% in profits over three years despite the recession.[5]

The BlackBerry product line has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, while RIM has just passed 25 years as a company. In 10 years they have sold 50 million wireless handset units world wide (as of Q4 2008).

Patent litigation

Since the turn of the century, RIM has been embroiled in a series of suits relating to alleged patent infringement.[6]

In 2001, Research in Motion sued competitor Glenayre Electronics[7] Inc for patent infringement, partly in response to an earlier infringement suit filed by Glenayre against RIM. RIM sought an injunction to prevent Glenayre from infringing on RIM's "Single Mailbox Integration" patent.[8] The suit was ultimately settled.

In June 2002, Research in Motion filed suit against 2000 start-up and competitor Good Technology.[9] RIM filed additional complaints through-out the year.[10] In March 2004, Good agreed to a licensing deal, thereby settling the outstanding litigation.[11]

On September 16, 2002, Research in Motion was awarded a patent pertaining to keyboard design on hand-held e-mail devices. Upon receiving the patent, it proceeded to sue Handspring over its Treo device.[10][12] Handspring eventually agreed to license RIM's patent and avoid further litigation in November of the same year.[13]

During the appeals, RIM discovered new prior art that raised a "substantial new question of patentability" and filed for a reexamination of the NTP patents in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That reexamination was conducted separately to the court cases for infringement. In February 2006, the USPTO rejected all of NTP's claims in three disputed patents. NTP has appealed the decision, and the reexamination process is still outgoing as of July 2006 (See NTP, Inc. for details).

On March 3, 2006, RIM announced that it had settled its BlackBerry patent dispute with NTP. Under the terms of the settlement, RIM has agreed to pay NTP US$612.5 million in a “full and final settlement of all claims.” In a statement, RIM said that “all terms of the agreement have been finalized and the litigation against RIM has been dismissed by a court order this afternoon. The agreement eliminates the need for any further court proceedings or decisions relating to damages or injunctive relief.”

On July 17, 2003, while still embroiled in litigation with NTP and Good Technology, RIM filed suit against Xerox in the U.S. District of Hartford, Connecticut. The suit was filed in response to discussions about patents held by Xerox that might affect RIM's business, and also asks that patents held by Xerox be invalidated.[14]

On May 1, 2006, RIM was sued by Visto for infringement of four patents.[15]

RIM Stock Option Scandal Settlement

In 2007 Co-CEO Jim Balsillie was forced to resign as chairman as the company announced a $250-million earnings restatement relating to mistakes in how it granted stock options. Furthermore, an internal review found that hundreds of stock-option grants had been backdated, timed to a low share price to make them more lucrative[16].

In January of 2009, Canadian regulators stated that they are seeking a record penalty of $80 million USD from the top two executives, Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. Furthermore, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has pushed for Balsillie to pay the bulk of any penalty and relinquish his seat on RIM's board of directors for a period of time.[17]

On February 5, 2009, several executives and directors of Research in Motion have agreed to pay the penalties to settle an investigation into the backdating of stock options. The Ontario Securities Commission approved the arrangement in a closed-door meeting on Thursday.
Under the terms of a settlement agreement with the OSC, RIM co-chief executive officers James Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, as well as chief operating officer Dennis Kavelman, will jointly pay a total of $68-million (CDN) to RIM to reimburse the company for losses from the backdating and for the costs of a long internal investigation. The three are also required to pay $9-million (CDN) to the OSC.

Mr. Balsillie will step down from RIM's board of directors for a year, but will remain in his executive role.[18][19]

See also



  1. ^ Financing the BlackBerry
  2. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition".  
  3. ^ "Screw You Economic Downturn, We’re BlackBerry!". 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  4. ^,2817,2348281,00.asp
  5. ^
  6. ^ Palm'sTungsten and MIMS target RIM's LIMs,
  7. ^ Glenayre Electronics home page,
  8. ^ RIM press release, May 17, 2001, "Research In Motion Files Wireless Patent Complaint Against Glenayre Electronics, Inc.",
  9. ^ RIM unleashes more lawyers on Good,
  10. ^ a b RIM sues Handspring, Good,
  11. ^ Good Technology settles with Lawsuits in Motion,
  12. ^ RIM granted handheld email patent – clobbers Handspring,
  13. ^ Handspring settles Lawsuits in Motion suit,
  14. ^ Lawsuits In Motion files suit against Xerox,
  15. ^ Intellectual Property Professional Information Center: Visto Corp. Sues BlackBerry Maker RIM
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links



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