Research In Motion Loses Bid to Halt U.S. Lawsuit Proceedings
Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Research In Motion Ltd. lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid to block proceedings that might result in a nationwide shutdown of its BlackBerry e-mail service.
U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. rejected the Canadian company's request to halt trial court proceedings while it pursues high court review of a patent-infringement finding.
Research In Motion now has the option of filing the same request with a second justice. In the meantime, the case goes back to a trial judge in Richmond, Virginia, who will consider ordering a halt to U.S. sales and service.
Closely held NTP Inc., a patent-licensing firm based in Arlington, Virginia, sued Research In Motion in November 2001. A year later, a federal jury in Richmond found that Research In Motion used NTP's e-mail technology without permission. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld part of that finding.
NTP says it plans to ask U.S. District Judge James Spencer, who presided over the 2002 trial, to reinstate an order that would halt BlackBerry service for non-government users.
Waterloo, Canada-based Research In Motion also has said it will ask the judge to force NTP to abide by a $450 million settlement that fell apart in June.
Even as the courts deal with the lawsuit, Research In Motion is asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the NTP patents. In an initial finding, the patent office rejected all of the NTP patents although NTP has a chance to respond.
The cases are NTP Inc. v. Research In Motion Ltd., 03-1615, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington), and NTP Inc. v. Research In Motion, 01cv767, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond).
To contact the reporter on this story:
Greg Stohr in Washington at
Last Updated: October 26, 2005 13:16 EDT http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...8&refer=canada