RIM, T-Mobile Sued Over Patent Issues Again

RIM has certainly been one of the more vigorous enforcers of patents they own – but, whether you agree with that policy or not, at the very least you have to admit that RIM actually did something with their patents. Too many companies these days are simply being held up under extortion-like circumstances. Small companies, usually employing a few lawyers and that’s all, will buy up or apply for random patents on just about anything. Many of these patents make it through, and then these “licensing shops” just sit and wait for someone else to come up with the same invention and (how dare they!) actually do something with it. Then, they wait until there’s enough money out there and sue the company that actually did something. That appears to be happening to RIM now, as they and T-Mobile have been violating a patent in Europe for selling wireless RIM pagers. RIM, of course, is still mixed up with a similar patent mess in the US with NTP. I have no problem with the basic concept behind patents – which are designed to encourage innovation. However, when, instead, they’re being used this way – which actively discourages companies to do anything innovative – we have a problem.

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