Legal Issues: Lawsuit Threatens Blackberry Shutdown
Information Today, Vol. 23, No. 2, February 2006
4 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2009
(beginning with the middle of paragraph 2 and cont. through 4)
For over four years a dispute has raged between Research in Motion (RIM), the Ontario, Canada based manufacturer of the BlackBerry, and NTP, a Virginia company which holds several patents covering wireless e-mail technologies. NTP sued RIM claiming that the BlackBerry infringes on eight of NTP’s patents. A trial court agreed and awarded damages to NTP and issued and injunction preventing RIM from continuing to use the patented technology.
So far, the injunction has been delayed by the courts. However, following four years of trial and appellate court decisions generally favoring NTP, a federal court in late November denied a proposed settlement. The court also agreed to consider imposing the long delayed injunction, which would prevent RIM from using the patented technology. Such an injunction could shut down the BlackBerry communications network.
The lawsuit highlights the incredible complexity of patents governing the technology that we have come to take for granted. It also represents the difficulties associated with applying patent law to those patents.
Keywords: patent infringement, technology patents, patent law, patents, global patents, BlackbBerry, wireless handheld devices, wireless communication, RIM, Research in Motion
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