BlackBerry makers Research in Motion has turned to a company that it has been battling in the courts to help it develop the next generation of predictive text technology in ambiguous keyboards for its handheld devices.

Until recently RIM has been fighting a case against Eatoni Ergonomics, a company that specialises in the design of optimised hardware and software for ambiguous keyboards, over patent infringements.

As part of their new relationship, Eatoni has granted RIM a license in its United States Patent No. 6,885,317 (the "'317 Patent"), titled "Touch-typable Devices Based on Ambiguous Codes and Methods to Design Such Devices", and RIM has made an equity investment in Eatoni.

Eatoni's designs include reduced keyboards optimised to look and feel like a full QWERTY keyboard.

The news is likely to pave the way for better keyboard entry devices similar to the BlackBerry Pearl from RIM in the future.

In accordance with the new relationship, the claims brought by RIM and Eatoni have now been mutually dismissed with prejudice.