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Old 03-03-2006, 04:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Settlement!!!

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BREAKING NEWS
Updated: 6:09 p.m. ET March 3, 2006
Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry e-mail device, Friday announced it has settled its long-running patent dispute with a small Virginia-based firm, averting a possible court-ordered shutdown of the BlackBerry system.

RIM has paid NTP $612.5 million in a “full and final settlement of all claims,” the companies said.

At a hearing last week, NTP had asked a federal court in Richmond, Va., for an injunction blocking the continued use of key technologies underpinning BlackBerry’s wireless e-mail service.

At the hearing, Judge James R. Spencer expressed impatience with RIM and urged a settlement.

“He basically questioned the sanity of RIM, and said it wasn’t acting very rationally,” said Rod Thompson, patent attorney at Farella, Braun and Martel in San Francisco. “His prodding of the parties worked.”

The settlement is on the low end of expectations, Thompson said, especially since RIM will not have to pay any future royalties. There had also been talk of NTP receiving a stake in RIM.

RIM, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario, had already put away $450 million in escrow, the amount of a settlement in 2004 that later fell apart. RIM will record the additional $162.5 million in its fourth-quarter results, it said.

The settlement ends a period of anxiety for many of the more than 3 million BlackBerry users in the United States. Uncertainty over the outcome had some customers wondering whether they would experiences brief outages or even a shutdown.

“I’m relieved,” said Matt Lattman, a management consultant in Boston. “I’ve had it for about a year, and at this point, I can’t imagine life without it.”

RIM had assured users it had developed new software to work around NTP’s patents. But because few details were released, analysts and some corporations expressed concerns about the viability of the technology and the legal ramifications of adopting it.


With a settlement, RIM will be able to avoid any of the headaches associated with introducing this new technology. Even if the software worked, it, too, might have been challenged by NTP, introducing yet another twist to this complicated and long-running case.

In arguing against an injunction, RIM’s attorneys had stressed the public interest in keeping its service running. Government and emergency employees would be exempt from the BlackBerry ban, but sorting them from other users would prove difficult and problematic.

RIM attorneys also noted that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in a proceeding parallel to the Virginia case, was poised to finally reject all patents at the heart of the case.

Spencer first issued an injunction in 2003 but held off on its enforcement during RIM’s appeals. After those efforts largely failed, the case returned to Spencer.


link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11659304/

Last edited by John Clark : 03-03-2006 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It was just a matter of time... it was in the interest of all parties to settle. The Judge gave them so many chances...
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice to just have it over......
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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...and now we can start it all over ... I give Visto two weeks to file suit against RIM
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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And as soon as the USPTO gives the final ruling, RIM can sue the pants off NTP to get their money back.
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckBB
And as soon as the USPTO gives the final ruling, RIM can sue the pants off NTP to get their money back.
Do you really think NTP was THAT stupid? They managed to squeeze millions out of RIM, so I'm sure this settlement pretty much puts them into the clear for the future.
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Old 03-03-2006, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There's probably a clause preventing RIM from suing NTP ever again.

I'm glad to see this over -- I know that this time around both RIM and NTP has probably made it pretty ironclad and nitpicked every detail, considering the last settlement failed.

Although I feel RIM shouldn't have to give the funds to NTP, I think it's in everyone interests to stop being nervous about the BlackBerry service anymore -- now that it wouldn't shut down. They were scaring away so many U.S. customers to the point that 612 million will be more than paid back in extra revenue in the future!
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Old 03-03-2006, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckBB
And as soon as the USPTO gives the final ruling, RIM can sue the pants off NTP to get their money back.
On what grounds? For attempting to enforce a valid patent? I don't think so. This is what it cost RIM to buy its way out of all past infringements and to take a license to the NTP-owned technology up to the point that the reexam process concludes. Call it a cost of doing business.
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am sad they settled, I guess it is time to go look at a treo :(
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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While the settlement is a lot of money that could have used for much more useful purposes, at least now RIM can concentrate on the increasing competition out there.
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nb_mitch
I am sad they settled, I guess it is time to go look at a treo :(
HUH?
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jibi
...and now we can start it all over ... I give Visto two weeks to file suit against RIM
As much as we would love to have the boys in Waterloo join us, I think that between suing Microsoft and Good, Visto's legal department is plenty busy. I don't see them suing RIM.
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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does anyone think the price of BB 8700c will go up cause of the settlment?

I think so.
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBDummy
On what grounds? For attempting to enforce a valid patent? I don't think so. This is what it cost RIM to buy its way out of all past infringements and to take a license to the NTP-owned technology up to the point that the reexam process concludes. Call it a cost of doing business.
Your handle sez it all!
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good_Guy
As much as we would love to have the boys in Waterloo join us, I think that between suing Microsoft and Good, Visto's legal department is plenty busy. I don't see them suing RIM.
Also NTP and Visto are hooked up so perhaps there was something in the deal to prevent Visto from suing RIM in the future!
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roofus
Your handle sez it all!
haha
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think most of America is well enough aware of what went on between NTP and RIM that to get a Jury who didn't think Visto would just be suing RIM for money would be quite hard. As it was said before Visto already has their hands full temporarily. I'm glad it's over so now I can all those people that asked me if I was worried "See I told you I wasn't worried and they'd pay!"
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Old 03-03-2006, 08:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
There's probably a clause preventing RIM from suing NTP ever again.

I'm glad to see this over -- I know that this time around both RIM and NTP has probably made it pretty ironclad and nitpicked every detail, considering the last settlement failed.

Although I feel RIM shouldn't have to give the funds to NTP, I think it's in everyone interests to stop being nervous about the BlackBerry service anymore -- now that it wouldn't shut down. They were scaring away so many U.S. customers to the point that 612 million will be more than paid back in extra revenue in the future!
I agree. I personally would rather have seen RIM implement the workaround until the USPTO rejected the remaining patents and NTP get nothing. I hate the precedence being set with these patent troll companies. However, this was about business, not principles.
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBDummy
On what grounds? For attempting to enforce a valid patent? I don't think so. This is what it cost RIM to buy its way out of all past infringements and to take a license to the NTP-owned technology up to the point that the reexam process concludes. Call it a cost of doing business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roofus
Your handle sez it all!
heh heh... I was just thinking the same thing roofus!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taikun
does anyone think the price of BB 8700c will go up cause of the settlment?

I think so.
Uhm................... NO.
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Last edited by BES admin : 03-03-2006 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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now I can flip off NTP and will say that use this money to buy RIM stocks because they know it is working.
Glad to this over and life could be lot painless and I hope I will have to press NTP continuously for the last time.
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