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Old 03-16-2005, 10:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [2005-03-16] RIM settles NTP lawsuit for $450m

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"Research In Motion has settled its remaining differences with its legal nemesis, NTP, paying $450m for the privilege, the erstwhile adversaries revealed today.

In return, NTP will not only suspend the patent infringement litigation it brought against RIM but grant the Canadian firm - and, crucially, RIM's customers - "unfettered" access to the technology it owns. RIM has the right to sub-license NTP's intellectual property. A licensing agreement that puts all this in black and white will be drawn up in the coming weeks.

The $450m figure covers said licence and includes $137m put aside by RIM against damages already awarded against it during the mammoth lawsuit. That leaves RIM having to find $313m, which it will take as a one-off hit to its Q4 FY2005 results. That quarter ended 26 February, and will be reported on 5 April once its licence to NTP's patents has been signed. RIM ended its third quarter with $1.64bn in the bank so it can easily afford the settlement terms. When it announced its Q3 results, the company said it is anticipating sales of $430-455m for Q4, with earnings of 51-57 cents a share. That's likely to come down somewhat once the $313m comes off the bottom line.

A settlement between the firms has been on the cards since the US Court of Appeals ruled last December that RIM had indeed infringed NTP's patents, and sent the case back to the District Court of Eastern Richmond, Virginia that had original ruled in November 2002 in NTP's favour.

More recently, RIM had tried the unusual tactic of claiming NTP's action was invalid since RIM is based in Canada, and US patents are not enforceable there. As we and other observers noted at the time, if that's such a convincing argument why didn't RIM offer it up in the first place? Because it isn't, and NTP clearly didn't fall for it.

Instead, RIM has been forced to cough up, but the settlement paves the way for the company to begin selling its Blackberry Connect software in the US, something it had been prevented from doing by the lawsuit. Blackberry Connect allows non-Blackberry devices to access RIM's push email service, allowing it to grow its user base beyond owners of its own handhelds.

With more than 70 per cent of its revenue coming from hardware sales, that's perhaps a risky strategy - how long will its hardware competitors be willing to partner with it on the software side? But for now the Blackberry brand is sufficiently strong to carry it. "

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03...ettle_lawsuit/

Last edited by Tom : 03-16-2005 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Who is NTP? What do they do? And from what I understand, the suit was over copyright infringement on the software that allows Blackberries to use Push tehnology?

Sounds to me like Rim's getting a pretty good wet-blanket party thrown in their honor... But if in fact they did infringe on a copyright, the settlement is only a part of ONE QUARTER... It's recoverable.

I don't think this'll hurt RIM too much, especially with the new BB's they put out in December, among these the 7520 (proud owner) and 7250. Nextel's been selling the SHNOT out of the 7520.

Fascinating.
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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NTP owns intellectual property/patent rights. It was set up to protect the IP of an inventor named Thomas Campana. NTP does not actually do or make anything. They hold patents and sue other companies (like RIM) for patent infrigement.

This is a good deal for RIM. It's over. This has been hanging over their corporate heads for far too long. Finally a settlement has been reached.

What this will do is jump start the BlackBerry Connect program FINALLY. I expect to see many devices with the RIM e-mail stack coming out very shortly. Manufacturers have been reluctant to issue any RIM products in the US (Nokia comes to mind) because of the uncertainty around this lawsuit.

Now NTP can go away and sue someone else.
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just noticed my RIM stock today, was slightly in red, now back in the black.

(Disclaimer: I recently purchased RIM about 2 weeks ago -- I just own a few sheets of shares in my RRSP.... Never been a shareholder all this time till now, because I thought the stock overpriced!)

Anyway, I wish I bought 2-3 years ago, though!
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon

Anyway, I wish I bought 2-3 years ago, though!
Don't we all...
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is fantastic news!! I sure hope this means that BB Connect will soon be in the U.S.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfrye
Don't we all...
Bought it at $40 (pre split). Sold it at $120.

Bought it back at $80; crashed to $10. Slowly moved back to $46. Sold it. Finally. Two weeks later they announced their first quarterly profit and went to $70. Oh well....
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Schweet!!

Bought time! Anyone remember the similar deal & stock purchase of that other similar push email contacts sync company (they support the treo600/650/ pocketpc pe devices) I forgot their name. How much did they have to dish out to NTP? I do know it was recently and that NTP bought significant ownership of that said company. I remember now its GoodTechnologies.

Forget BlackBerry Connect think of wireless providers actually supporting connection of these companies devices that have products waiting to be used (P910a comes to mind).

Now if only RIM releases that WiFi inter-office communicator; and hopefully releases a true consumer device with an actual camera - of course not good for corporations but thas what I meant by a true "consumer device". If not a camera then how about mp3/aac support via a headset and memory card ->allow the Enterprise Server to delete all media files (photos/music/recorded audio) off the device remotely & desktop software to be installed WITHOUT USB transfer of these files.

Now enjoy RIM really ENJOY.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow, good news.
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Old 03-23-2005, 06:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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it went up 17% in one day last week i think.
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