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-   -   BlackBerry Contingency Plans -- NTP Issue. (http://www.blackberryforums.com/rim-stock-legal-discussion/20384-blackberry-contingency-plans-ntp-issue.html)

Mark Rejhon 11-30-2005 02:09 PM

BlackBerry Contingency Plans -- NTP Issue.
 
There has been a rash of duplicate posts about concerns about the BlackBerry network shutdown. It bear worth quoting again:
Quote:

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.

Mark Rejhon 11-30-2005 02:13 PM

Other threads have posted various links. Because there were too many duplicate threads talking about the same thing, I had to close all of them. Please keep topics to one thread, please.

Here is some media talk mentioned in other threads (read: hype)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10265694/
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/051130/blackberry_battle.html?.v=2

teamcrn 11-30-2005 02:17 PM

thank you...lol this makes things easyer... i need my crackberry!!!!!!! i will send my people's with no social security number to ntp and take care of them...rotflmao if they dont stop( people from the hood will understand what im talking about... and people from the burbs will say huh?!!!)

Mark Rejhon 11-30-2005 02:17 PM

Even with all the virtual certainity that RIM won't be shut down, there are certain organizations that desire contingency plans anyway. This post is moved here, for completeness.
Quote:

Originally Posted by summa
In the patent infringement case, NTP is seeking an injunction again RIM which would essentially shut the network down and render all Blackberries unable to receive wireless e-mail. It would also halt the sale of Blackberries in the U.S. The judge is requesting briefs and setting a hearing date on the injunction request.

IF (and yes, it's a big IF) such an injunction were to be issued, what is your/your organization's backup plan? Are you spending money now to put such a plan in place? How long would the network have to be down and you/your people be without BB service before seeking alternatives?

We are wrestling with these issues and are interested in what others are doing and thinking.

For many, this is understandably a legitimate worry of even a temporary interruption in BlackBerry service because of this, as tiny the chance as it may be. Feel free to discuss here, and only in this thread. Do not create unnecessary duplicate threads.

penguin3107 11-30-2005 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by teamcrn
thank you...lol this makes things easyer... i need my crackberry!!!!!!! i will send my people's with no social security number to ntp and take care of them...rotflmao if they dont stop( people from the hood will understand what im talking about... and people from the burbs will say huh?!!!)

Why do you have to be so intellectual about this situation? A little light-heartedness might do you some good.

teamcrn 11-30-2005 02:24 PM

hey i always try to keep it light.. because when it comes down to it..... i can always buy a pocket pc... had my eye on the moto q.... but i just cant let my crackberry go..

BaronVonBB 11-30-2005 02:34 PM

Mark,

How do you think that the much talked about 'workaround' would actually work, in the unlikely event of a shutdown?

blkberryboy 11-30-2005 02:35 PM

So if NTP wins, will I be able to get mp3 ringtones for my Blackberry???

Mark Rejhon 11-30-2005 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blkberryboy
So if NTP wins, will I be able to get mp3 ringtones for my Blackberry???

You can install MP3 ringtones on a BlackBerry 8700 today. It works. (just make sure file size is small, something like 100 or 150 kilobytes, use mptrim.com and keep bitrate around 96 Kbps - and must be downloaded via the browser, not by email). For more information and future questions about MP3 on BlackBerry, see the 8700 Forum.

Mark Rejhon 11-30-2005 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BaronVonBB
How do you think that the much talked about 'workaround' would actually work, in the unlikely event of a shutdown?

Apparently, it seems to already be part of Version 4.1 -- if what I heard is correct. So if you are already using Version 4.1 software throughout your infrastructure (BES, BlackBerryOS, etc), the shutdown wouldn't affect you, as I understand it. I could be wrong, but this is what I heard.

Contact your RIM contact for more information. They will take care of you;

mgerbasio 11-30-2005 03:38 PM

I'm certainly not the smartest when it comes to business, but honestly, if RIM had a good backup solution, don't you think it would have been implemented by now? Does it seem even slightly plausable that a company who has a stock that would be trading at least 20 points higher without this lawsuit hanging over their head would rather keep investors guessing and have trading halted at least twice if there was a good backup plan? And it isn't like this is a small part of their business, it is their entire business.

If anything, they've had since 2003 and deployed nothing. If a fix was in 4.1, wouldn't they want investors, if not users, to have the warm fuzzy feeling if the lights go out tonight, they can flip a switch and turn it back on tomorrow?

Obviously the money RIM has already set aside isn't enough to settle this issue. The fact that RIM is so popular is working against them, not for them.

Don't you think the judge knows the patents have been thrown out? Unfortunately for RIM there is a patent appeals process that can take as long to resolve as this lawsuit. The orignal lawsuit was determined based upon the original patents and what is legal and what is fair aren't usually the same.

Personally I hope RIM wins. But if RIM has a better way to skin a cat, they'd have done it long ago. It isn't a game for them to spend millions in legal fees and lose 100x that in market capital and most importantly for the management, executive pay, which is probably tied to stock price.

If I owned the stock I'd be questioning the management if they let this go on longer than needed. Companies always settle mindless cases out of court just not to have investors fearing liability.

My guess is RIM has a workaround that, once deployed, will cause at least some problems to iron out over days and weeks if not a month, and, cost at least as much in dollars and unhappy customers as $450M; I'd also bet that the backup doesn't entirely free them of all patent claims but they'd be willing to fight that battle later if needed.

Plan B is probably less costly than the number NTP wants to settle, whatever it is $1B(?) but at least as costly in dollars, dissatisfaction and image as $500M. RIM is biding their time, hoping the US Government lessens the chance of a shutdown giving them enough time to sort this out, either settling with NTP or hoping to stall a shutdown until the patent issue is settled or, in worse case, plan B.

If they really wanted to play hardball they'd roll out a solution in a limited manner. How about a beta test for 50,000 users? That would certainly lessen the fears of the big investors nevermind the users, and that is where the ultimate concern lies for RIM.
Also, NTP says they've seen RIM's solution and it still doesn't get around all the patents.

To say this is a total non-issue now doesn't seem even slightly reasonable by the fact it is still in court. RIM would have stepped away from the settlement faster than NTP if plan B was that easy.

Regards-Michael G.

1RIM4sure 11-30-2005 04:43 PM

RIM's NTP issues
 
Mark certainly brings a strong case for why RIM is okay. However, i am not convinced that the "workaround" is anything more than a negotiating tool against NTP. Therefore, RIM will be forced to settle for big $$ or risk an injunction.

Does anybody have ideas as to how a workaround would actually be implemented? is it on the BES, the Device, or the push system?
RIM wont say, any speculation out there?

Also, Is any body concerned about the possibility of an injunction (although it is unlikely)? This would be a pretty big deal. Is anybody out there panicing?

If RIM conitnues to fight NTP rather than paying a big settlement, there might actually be an injunction....

:bb:

Chadster 12-01-2005 01:09 AM

The more I read the more I think they (RIM) are letting their bitter feelings make their business decisions. It seems that the price tag for settlement keeps going higher and higher with every loss in the courtroom, not to mention the legal costs when you play at the Supreme Court level. Wonder how much our plans will go up, and wonder how corporate customers will react?

Jase88 12-01-2005 06:43 AM

The technical workaround exists: I'm familiar with the details, and from what I understand, it won't significantly impact the performance of Blackberry.

There is an interesting possibility with regards to this litigation, in which I haven't heard much about:

Nokia reached a licensing agreement with NTP a few years back when they decided to run Blackberry Connect on their devices. Assuming a worst-case scenario in which RIM must utilize the "workaround" or cease U.S. sales, Nokia would become the only vendor legally able to sell true Blackberry push email in the U.S.

Could this set the stage for a Nokia buyout of RIM? I think so...

Mark Rejhon 12-01-2005 06:59 AM

It is simple brinkmanship. Sit tight. It does look scary and it will probably get a little scarier.

Most likely, nothing is going to happen -- Don't forget NTP has a fair bit to lose if they cause RIM to shutdown, too. They end up getting less money if the network gets shut down.

At worse, minor temporary service interruptions may occur and even so, you will have plenty of advance notice. Even disruptions probably won't happen as there will be a flurry of negotiations during the countdown to "network shutdown", guaranteed to be minimum 30 day advance notice; it will not happen suddenly. NTP says they will give 30 days, government asks for 90 days advance notice. (See the links in my original post for references for where I get these numbers).

This predictable scenario may play out: Injunction happens, RIM deploys workaround, minor panic ensues as everyone upgrades to latest software, BlackBerry network keeps working as long as you've upgraded to the latest software (Possibly 4.1?). Make sure your system administrators are in contact with RIM and have access to the recommended software -- you might not even need to do anything, but always a good idea to track down a contact at RIM. As long as you do that, you should be fine.

You all ask why the workaround was not deployed sooner. Think about this. The workaround was likely thought up a long ago, but it's an obvious interpretation that RIM did not want to weaken their negotiating position with NTP by deploying it earlier -- the workaround can be interpreted by the courts as a de-facto admission that the NTP patents are valid rather than invalid. It's very easy to think about this: Seeing that there was an earlier preliminary ruling that the patents might be invalid (still pending -- see the link above about NTP's patent possibly being invalid), RIM is now less afraid to advertise the existence of workaround. Then it suddenly becomes clear why RIM never dared to whisper about the workaround earlier.

It's inconvenient brinkmanship to be sure, but your BlackBerries will keep working fine. You might just need a software upgrade (And you'd have a 30 day window minimum to deploy it). It might not even be necessary. Don't worry too much. Just simply be prepared for that possibility. Planning is always good; the executives do need to be reassured that a contingency plan is in place.

Sure, media will have a field day "BlackBerry Network Shuts Down!" as the timer starts -- big scares for sure, short sellers will have a field day -- but it won't shut down, because of the obvious courses of actions that will happen.

It is important to be clear:
- RIM already has a workaround available. The workaround is real.
- You are guaranteed advance notice of shutdown. Even NTP agreed to this.

The sky is NOT falling.

blkberryboy 12-01-2005 07:26 AM

Mark: My mp3 comment, it was a poor attempt at sarcasim, but thanks for the anwser just the same.

All: Today on CNBC at 12pm(EST) they are going to have a show about RIMM. Im sure a lot of info will be offered up and many questions anwsered. I will try and tun in and post and new information.

dpeters11 12-01-2005 08:00 AM

If the workaround is 4.1 there are a few concerns I have. One, will BES 4.1 be made available to everyone, whether or not they have TSupport? I have it, so it's not a problem for me, but I can see it for others. Also, will carriers release 4.1 for all their handhelds? I still have some users using Verizon 7750s, and Verizon hasn't released a new version since the original 4.0.

xyrcncp 12-01-2005 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
Sure, media will have a field day "BlackBerry Network Shuts Down!" as the timer starts -- big scares for sure, short sellers will have a field day -- but it won't shut down, because of the obvious courses of actions that will happen.

It is important to be clear:
- RIM already has a workaround available. The workaround is real.
- You are guaranteed advance notice of shutdown. Even NTP agreed to this.

The sky is NOT falling.

Great post Mark!

You are 100% right about the media having a field day with this whole deal. The funny part is that they barely have anything to say, usually is something like "BlackBerry might shut down leaving [insert crazy number of users here] users without service because of a patent infringement suit...now the weather..." and nothing else. The info posted in this forum is much more informative than the turds at the news creating all this hype.

Jase88 12-01-2005 08:04 AM

4.0.2xx already has the workaround embedded (U.S. versions only).

A new release would be necessary for the 7750's.

Mark Rejhon 12-01-2005 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpeters11
If the workaround is 4.1 there are a few concerns I have. One, will BES 4.1 be made available to everyone, whether or not they have TSupport? I have it, so it's not a problem for me, but I can see it for others. Also, will carriers release 4.1 for all their handhelds? I still have some users using Verizon 7750s, and Verizon hasn't released a new version since the original 4.0.

I refer you to your RIM contacts. RIM will treat all BlackBerry users appropriately. There are people who know more details about the workaround than I do.

Edit: Jase88 answered the question about the minimum version. You need Version 4.0.2 and later (4.1.0 is newer than 4.0.2) to be ready for the workaround. 4.0.2 upgrades are already available for many handhelds -- and carriers will hurry out 4.0.2 for all handhelds.


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