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Shemian v. Research in Motion Ltd.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

March 28, 2013, Decided; March 29, 2013, Filed

No. 11 Civ. 4068 (RJS)

Opinion

Memorandum and Order

Richard J. Sullivan, District Judge:

Lead Plaintiff Robert Shemian ("Plaintiff") brings this putative class action lawsuit against Defendants Research In Motion Limited ("RIM"), a Canadian mobile technology manufacturer and producer of the Blackberry smartphone, and three of its officers, Brian Bidulka ("Bidulka"), James Balsillie ("Balsillie"), and Mihalis Michael Lazaridis ("Lazaridis") ("Individual Defendants," collectively with RIM, "Defendants"). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants engaged in a scheme to obscure the company's faltering market position as growing competition rapidly outpaced RIM's aging product line. Plaintiff asserts that this scheme caused injury to him and to all other purchasers of RIM stock during the period from December 16, 2010 through June 16, 2011 (the "Class Period"), in violation of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b);  [*2] Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5; and sections 20(a) and 20(b) of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78t(a)-(b).

Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion is granted.

I. Background

A. Parties

Plaintiff purchased shares of RIM stock during the Class Period and brings this putative class action lawsuit on behalf of "all other purchasers of [RIM] securities listed on an American stock exchange . . . and all other purchasers of RIM securities in the United States" during the Class Period. (Consolidated and Amended Complaint ("CAC") ¶¶ 1, 21.)1

Defendant RIM is a Canadian developer, manufacturer, and marketer of mobile communications technology, most notably the BlackBerry, whose stock is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and other exchanges, including, inter alia, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Id. ¶ 3.) In operation since 1984, RIM is a "world leader in the mobile communications market." (Id. ¶ 55.) Not surprisingly, RIM derives the bulk of its earnings from mobile devices, bringing in 80.2% of its fiscal year 2011 revenue from BlackBerry wireless handsets, service, and software. (Id. ¶ 42.) To remain competitive in this "rapidly evolving" mobile device marketplace (id. ¶ 45), RIM faces significant pressure to introduce innovative products in line with Apple's iPhone and devices supporting Google's Android platform (id. ¶¶ 43-47). However, it is widely acknowledged that RIM has failed to do so, prompting a raft of analyst downgrades and markedly depressed stock value during the Class Period. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13, 15, 48, 84-88, 106-10, 121-25.)

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2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49699 *; Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) P97,367; 2013 WL 1285779

ROBERT SHEMIAN, Lead Plaintiff, VERSUS RESEARCH IN MOTION LIMITED, et al., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Affirmed by Shemian v. Research in Motion, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11511 (2d Cir., June 19, 2014)

Prior History: Prefontaine v. Research in Motion Ltd., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4238 (S.D.N.Y., Jan. 5, 2012)

CORE TERMS

scienter, launch, tablet, omissions, misleading, investor, stock, misrepresentations, fiscal, smartphone, carrier, announced, reckless, forward-looking, cautionary, technology, software, handset, mobile, confidential, disclosures, shipments, exciting, forecasting, customers, platform, outlook, margin, mix, misstatements