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RIM gains access to 30,000 patent catalogue

Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, has gained access to over 30,000 patents after it reached a deal with Intellectual Ventures.

Neither party revealed the terms of the deal, but it's likely that RIM paid a hefty sum for the extensive patent catalogue, which covers a wide range of technologies both inside and outside the mobile phone sector.

Intellectual Ventures claimed the deal would help RIM remain competitive. It already has partnerships with other major phone manufacturers, including HTC and Samsung. It also receives funding from Microsoft's chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold.

The deal will ensure that RIM is not the victim of patent lawsuits by Intellectual Ventures, which has sued several companies as recently as last December, according to Reuters. RIM has attempted to avoid patent infringement in the past by joining RPX, an organisation which acquires patents to prevent lawsuits.

The partnership will also give RIM access to additional technology that it may be able to use to recover ground lost to rivals Apple and Google, both of which have stolen market share from RIM with more consumer-oriented smartphones.