TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Court Ruling in BlackBerry Case Puts Service to U.S. Users at Risk

Court Ruling in BlackBerry Case Puts Service to U.S. Users at Risk

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 9 Oct 2005 14:19:46 -0400


OTTAWA, Oct. 7 - A court decision Friday renewed the possibility that
service to BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices might be cut off for
most users in the United States.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in
Washington rejected a request by Research in Motion, the Canadian
company that makes the BlackBerry, to rehear its appeal of a patent
infringement case brought by NTP Inc., the patent holder. A
three-judge panel of the court ruled in August that Research in Motion
had violated seven of NTP's patents.

As part of that litigation, NTP, whose only assets are wireless e-mail
related patents, had been granted an injunction banning the sale of
BlackBerry devices in the United States and forcing Research in Motion
to stop providing e-mail services to all American customers except
government account holders.

While the court declined Research in Motion's request for a complete
rehearing by all 12 of its judges, it did order the panel of three
judges to review some aspects of NTP's patent claims.

Kevin Anderson, a lawyer for NTP, said the company would now ask the
court to apply the injunction to the patent claims that are no longer
under review. Those patents, he added, are broad enough to prevent
Research in Motion from continuing service in the United States, which
accounts for about 70 percent of its revenue.

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