WSJ 9 Dec 05 at 11 am: NTP settlement offer
NTP Seeks Royalty Payment
To Settle BlackBerry Dispute
By MARK HEINZL
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
December 9, 2005 11:18 a.m.
TORONTO -- NTP Inc. would settle its longstanding patent-infringement dispute with Research In Motion Ltd. for a payment equal to 5.7% of RIM's future U.S. BlackBerry revenue, according to a person familiar with the situation.
It's not clear what amount such a royalty would represent, though it would likely be at least several hundreds of millions of dollars. NTP's patents last until 2012. RIM's revenue in the latest quarter was $490.1 million, and most of its BlackBerry subscribers are in the U.S.
RIM and NTP in March had announced a preliminary settlement in the dispute, where RIM would pay $450 million to NTP, but the pact broke down before final terms could be reached.
NTP plans to seek an injunction on U.S. BlackBerry sales at upcoming hearings in U.S. District Court in Virginia. RIM is hoping to convince the court an injunction isn't appropriate for various reasons, including recent preliminary moves by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reject NTP's patents.
I wonder how this would work. Do they want 5.7% of future revenue now? How do they determine what future revenue would be? It would be great if RIM was able to pay it on a yearly basis, since they may olny have to make 1-2 payments before all of NTPs patents are finally voided. Of course they still have the Inpro patent trouble in UK and Germany.
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