RIM Dealt A Blow In Patent Case

from the it's-the-final-countdown dept

RIM had better get that software workaround they've talked about warmed up, as the judge in their patent case with NTP has rejected their attempt to have an earlier settlement enforced. RIM had a few weeks ago asked that the $450 settlement be applied, leading to speculation that it was either trying to cut its losses, or simply just make another legal ploy to drag the case out in hopes it would give the patent office time to invalidate the NTP patents, a path down which it's headed. The two issues remaining before the court are the injunction NTP's seeking to shut down Blackberry service until RIM pays up, and damages. Meanwhile, the company's begun a hearing on a similar patent in the UK, which a Luxembourg-based company claims RIM is violating.

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  1. identicon
    PalmBerry, 10 Dec 2005 @ 11:28am

    America's Inventions


    In the midst of charges and counter-charges in the RIM/BlackBerry case, the central issue may become lost. RIM is a foreign multinational corporation found by the courts to have expropriated American inventions for their own gain. Foreign company theft of American innovation is widespread. This is a serious, on-going threat to America's economic and national security and the RIM/BlackBerry case is a clear example.
    Americans should be screaming for justice, starting with an injunction against RIM and a phased replacement of BlackBerry with Palm or alternative U.S.-invented devices.
    As a matter of equitable public policy, it is time for all branches of American government and law enforcement to get rid of their BlackBerrys and replace them with an American product and service such as the Palm and the NTP licensed "Good Technologies" service which does the same tasks as the BlackBerry.
    It is increasingly difficult for smaller inventors and patent holders to counter the marketing and legal strategies of bigger businesses, especially those financed by outside interests. And again, the RIM/BlackBerry case perfectly illustrates this practice. It is almost impossible to believe that a large, well-financed company like RIM failed to research all prior art in the patent system before bringing the BlackBerry to market.
    The courts found that RIM squatted on another's property and when they were caught, this large multinational corporation could have negotiated reasonable compensation to lease the use of the property. But RIM took the low road. RIM mobilized a massive legal, PR and lobbying effort to paint the victims as abusers: RIM attempted to gain the upper hand against NTP while promoting the argument that the original patent holder, and smaller company, really asked for it. After all, NTP's technology was very desirable.
    The argument is compelling. Every time an American patent protects a desirable innovation, it is bad policy and poor economics to stand by and allow larger multi-nationals to infringe on that patent and then steamroll the smaller company with a media and legal blitz that the smaller company is unable to counter.
    In this instance, RIM has abused patent re-examination to try and break NTP. Not on the merits, but break them with punitive costs associated with the new adversarial reexamination procedures which at this point is something on the order of thirty separate re-examination requests.
    There are many aspects to this particular case which can be explored and debated.
    The facts in this case have become muddied with charges and counter charges and misleading reports, but fairness demands that the media, the public and government agencies honor the intent of the patent system to protect American inventors and innovation.

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