Settlement reached for character recognition device

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has reached a settlement in a patent infringement lawsuit against Research in Motion Limited and Research in Motion Corp. (RIM), maker of the Blackberry wireless device.

RIM paid the board $1.8 million. In return, RIM obtained license rights to the patent titled "Character Pattern Recognition and Communications Apparatus."  This software automatically completes a frequently used word by typing in only the first letters of the word using a limited key pad, such as on a cellphone.

The lawsuit claims patent infringement by more than 40 companies for using technology patented in 1987 by George Kondraske, a University of Texas at Arlington professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering.  The inventors share the net proceeds from settlements equally with UT Arlington.

— Bob Wright