A federal appeals court decision in Richmond, Va., has given new life to a public records suit that seeks to shed light on the Justice Department’s once-secret support for Research in Motion Ltd. in a high-profile patent case that settled in 2006.

Hunton & Williams filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to dig up documents in the underlying patent dispute, where the Justice Department in 2005 secretly aligned itself with Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry communication device. DOJ was concerned about the impact an injunction against RIM would have on the federal government, the single largest BlackBerry user.