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Old 12-08-2005, 02:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mediator used in BlackBerry fight

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I don't know much about how patents are issued, but it seems to me that if a company has a patent and is just squatting on it and isn't using it, then it should be revoked. It reminds me of all those people that cyber-squat on domains just waiting for its market value to go up and then extort a huge sum for it. Disgusting.

Through a court-appointed intermediary, Research In Motion tries to keep NTP from halting sales.
December 8, 2005: 9:38 AM EST

TORONTO (Reuters) - Using a court-appointed mediator, Research In Motion Ltd. has begun discussions with the company that could halt sales of RIM's BlackBerry wireless device.

"As NTP knows, RIM and NTP had been communicating with each other through the court-appointed mediator during the last several days," Mark Guibert, RIM vice-president of corporate marketing, said in an e-mail released late Wednesday.

"We are precluded by law from discussing the substance of that exchange. RIM expects to continue communications through that channel," Guibert's e-mail said.

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

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 appeals, which have 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 Nov. 30 that there was no "valid and enforceable" settlement agreement. (Full story)

The judge 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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