Trading halts of big companies are always uncomfortable. Even companies such as Intel have had their trading halted temporarily before. Temporary halts on trading are common when big news are pending. Typically there'll be a lot of stock volatility. 10% moves in stocks, for example.
1. As mentioned, RIM has developed a workaround already
. They can keep running. NTP is out of luck, they can only sue for retroactive damages -- and the network keeps running.
2. This patent tussle is stuff that has been going on since 2003
and they haven't been shut down. RIM has had plenty of time with lots of backup plans that the media hasn't been publicizing. Some of us know more a lot more about these plans than the media does.
3. RIM already set aside nearly half a billion dollars
to pay NTP. Although they are fighting over details, the money is already set aside. RIM will do a last minute settlement if they have to. The money is already there, but will only be used during an emergency elevent-hour settlement.
4. Even if worse comes to worse, the U.S. government - by way of DOJ - is on RIM's side. Even if they don't deploy the workaround, the USA government has asked for an exemption
because the U.S. government is remarkably dependant on this Canadian technology (surprise, surprise!). This gives RIM plenty of time to deploy a workaround at their own leisure. No shutdown necessary.
5. You would have several million angry customers, since BlackBerry is also the most popular PDA
(more popular than Palm now -- and many more units than TREO). You can bet RIM is going to play hardball to the eleventh hour, before they give a red dime to NTP.
6. The patent may be invalid
. NTP may be suing over nothing. RIM wants to keep its half billion dollars.
Therefore, RIM is never going to be shut down in USA. RIM is wearing six backup parachutes
-- skydivers jump with only one backup in addition to their main parachute. Don't believe the media hype one little bit.
It's a total non-issue now. It shouldn't be affecting BlackBerry purchases anymore since the network isn't going to be shut down, even if a few of the parachutes go bad.