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Intellectual Property Law: IP Blawg
Are we headed toward a BlackBerry-less future?
By Farella Braun + Martel LLP
We've been keeping you posted on the ongoing patent infringement dispute between Blackberry and NTP. On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd.?s petition for a rehearing of its patent infringement case. With this rejection, RIM is facing the possible court-ordered shutdown of most of its BlackBerry email devices. There are over 4 million BlackBerry email users that will be impacted by a possible injunction.
RIM?s recent setback is the result of a series of legal issues stemming back to a 2001 patent infringement case brought against it by NTP, a patent holding company. NTP won on its patent infringement claim at the trial court and was awarded damages. Last year, the parties entered into a settlement for $450 million. The settlement agreement recently fell through. Although NTP is scheduled to file a request for injunction in early February, it is unclear as to when the court will hand down its decision or about the scope of a possible injunction.
Even though an injunction could feasibly force RIM to shut down all BlackBerry service, NTP has reported that the service will not be cut off for federal, state and local government users. Moreover, commercial business BlackBerry users may also not be out of luck. RIM has reportedly been working on contingency software workaround designs for its BlackBerry product. It is also possible that the parties could try to work out a settlement agreement again. Thus, while BlackBerry?s future is dim, its email users do not have to log off yet. Stay connected as the story unfolds.
Today's Blogger: Heather Tewksbury
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