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Old 02-24-2006, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [2006-02-24] U.S. judge delays decision on BlackBerry cutoff

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RICHMOND, Va., Feb 24 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday stopped short of ordering an immediate shutdown of millions of BlackBerry portable e-mail devices, but reminded manufacturer Research In Motion Ltd. it had already been found to have infringed the patents of NTP Inc.

U.S. District Judge James Spencer also expressed skepticism about RIM's argument that a BlackBerry shutdown would hobble critical public services and infrastructure.

He noted that the company had told investors that its software work-around would avoid disruptions to users.

Wrapping up nearly four hours of arguments, Spencer said there was no escaping that RIM had been found to be infringing on NTP's patents. "The simple truth, the reality of the jury verdict has not changed," Spencer said, adding that the parties should have settled out of court.

Spencer said he would take the arguments he had heard under advisement and issue a decision on an injunction "as soon as reasonably possible."

RIM shares soared on Spencer's decision not to issue an immediate cutoff of BlackBerry service. RIM stock rose as much as 12.7 percent to $78.38 before trimming its gains to $74.78, up 7.55 percent on Nasdaq.

Canada-based RIM has been locked in a court battle for more than four years with privately held NTP, which successfully sued RIM for infringing on its patents.

Earlier on Friday, NTP asked Spencer for an injunction against U.S. BlackBerry service with a 30-day grace period for users and the immediate imposition of $126 million in damages for past infringement.

RIM and NTP reached a tentative settlement of $450 million early last year, but the deal fell apart. Some analysts have estimated that a settlement at this point could cost RIM as much as $1 billion.

The small portable e-mail devices are used by over 3 million U.S. subscribers including government officials and lawmakers.

Some users have complained about thumb injuries from their almost addictive tapping of the tiny keyboards on their so-called "CrackBerries" to send a steady stream of messages during meetings and while traveling.
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Old 02-24-2006, 02:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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NTP won but RIM's share went up????
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Heres what is puzzling me. NTP is seeking to have injunction shut down all future BB sales in the USA as well as prevent RIM from continuing to use NTP technology.RIM must also settle the monetary award which went in favor of NTP ages ago. Which RIM has refused to comply with so far,that is why they are at where they're at with this whole situation.So if Judge Spencer shuts down RIM in USA ,what is he really shutting down? If RIM claims to have this "workaround " technology,and it is verifiably workable which only T-Mobile has gone on record as having tested and ok'ed.Why didnt RIM do this months ago ? Why are they screwing around with their customer base?The injunction it seems would have to basically stop them from doing business period until the monetary damages are paid( which now some claim approach $1Billion). If not why could RIM not just once again ignore or drag out the payment to NTP,while seeking to challenge them based on invalidation of NTP patents. Then concurrently switch to using workaround technology. So what would NTP have achieved ? A moral and yet financially hollow victory,with RIM still operating at full tilt.Seems like there must be more to it that we dont know or aren't being told.NTP cant be that stupid . They would have achieved very little through all this then. Dont get me wrong,I want RIM to come through in all this.I am a cetified CRACKBERRY addict, but some things dont seem to quite add up. I welcome the input
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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NTP is getting money for past infringement, no matter what happens with the injunction and no matter what happens in the USPTO.
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