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Old 12-08-2005, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default RIM says talking to NTP through mediator

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RIM says talking to NTP through mediator
Thursday December 8, 9:45 am ET

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd. (Toronto:RIM.TO - News; NasdaqNM:RIMM - News) shares jumped about 2.5 percent on

Thursday after the maker of the BlackBerry wireless device said it has been speaking to patent holding firm NTP Inc. through a court-appointed mediator.

"As NTP knows, RIM and NTP had been communicating with each other through the court-appointed mediator during the last several days. We are precluded by law from discussing the substance of that exchange. RIM expects to continue communications through that channel," Mark Guibert, RIM's vice-president of corporate marketing, said in an e-mail late on Wednesday.

In opening trade on Thursday, RIM stock rose $1.61 to $63.21 on Nasdaq and C$1.79 to C$73.18 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Shares fell to a five-week low on Wednesday after a major U.S. technology consulting firm advised its clients to hold off on BlackBerry purchases until RIM resolves its legal battle.

NTP co-founder Don Stout told Reuters on Wednesday the patent holding company had not talked with RIM since June about settling a lawsuit that could shut down RIM's U.S. service.

"Why does NTP care? If NTP's case is strong why does it care if RIM wants to settle or not?," asked Scotia Capital analyst Gus Papageorgiou, who rates RIM 'sector outperform', in a note on Thursday.

"The threat of an injunction is nowhere near as inevitable as some people would believe ... even if it is, RIM has the technical ability to invoke a work-around. NTP's public relations actions clearly demonstrate it is worried - and justifiably so."

NTP successfully sued RIM for patent infringement in 2002. It won an injunction the following year to halt U.S. sales of the device and service. The injunction was stayed pending the appeal process, which has largely been exhausted. RIM and NTP announced a $450 million settlement in March but the deal fell apart in June.

RIM was pushed closer to a possible U.S. shutdown after U.S. District Judge James Spencer ruled on November 30 that there was no "valid and enforceable" settlement agreement. He also denied RIM's request to stay proceedings pending the completion of a review of NTP's patents by the U.S. patent office.
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