Breaking news is that Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry, has settled its dispute with NTP for $612.5m. This is higher than the $450m settlement reached a year ago, which was later invalidated by a judge.

Given what I have previously written about the dispute, plus the more recent news last month that more NTP patents had been invalidated, it looks as though RIM has finally blinked.

According to the AP, the judge appears to have contributed;

At the hearing, Judge James R. Spencer expressed impatience with RIM and urged a settlement.

“He basically questioned the sanity of RIM, and said it wasn’t acting very rationally,” said Rod Thompson, patent attorney at Farella, Braun and Martel in San Francisco. “His prodding of the parties worked.”

It will be very interesting to see what we later learn about this deal, provided anything escapes from the usual confidentiality restrictions in settlement deeds…