Gartner Group on NTP RIM: Guessing At The Outcome

Whatever the outcome of the NTP-RIM lawsuit, there can be no doubt that RIM has suffered in the marketplace as a result of the NTP “Sword of Damocles” hanging over their head. Customers have been cautious of adopting Blackberry technology that currently has a “stayed injunction” hanging above it, and RIM competitors have been keen to take advantage of this opportunity (maybe they should be the ones to send NTP a check!) But despite that, reasoned analysts have predicted that an injunction would be unlikely. That’s why it was salt in the wounds when Gartner Group released a Brief on December 5, two months ago, saying, “…unless RIM reaches a settlement with NTP [60%], the court will issue an injunction effectively ending RIM’s operations in the U.S.” Suggesting a 40% probability of injunction, Gartner went on to recommend, “Stop or delay all mission-critical Blackberry deployments…” But now, Gartner has come out saying that an injunction is the fourth and least most-likely outcome of the case. They rank the possible outcomes as: Settlement, Delay, Workaround, and Injunction. Gartner seems to be changing their opinion, and affecting a company’s sales as they guess at the outcome of the trial. We still think a delay is the most likely outcome. Although Judge Spencer doesn’t want to delay the case, he has been painted into a corner by the Patent Office. As we said in December, …”the USPTO has turned the pressure up on Judge Spencer – if he forces RIM to shutdown or pay-up based on what he now knows to be bad patents, HE will look bad, not the USPTO.” My bet is that Spencer will reluctantly create a delay of some kind – not fixing anything, but taking the pressure of of himself.

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