Personal Tech Pipeline | RIM Unveils Plan To Keep BlackBerrys Alive (Reuters)

White Papers

Sponsor Resources

WebCasts
Free Newsletter GlossaryContact UsAbout Us
Players & CamsPhones & PDAsHome & AutoOnline

February 09, 2006

RIM Unveils Plan To Keep BlackBerrys Alive (Reuters)



Personal Tech Pipeline

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Research In Motion <RIM.TO> <RIMM.O> on Thursday unveiled a plan that it says will let its addictive BlackBerry e-mail device work even if it loses a patent dispute, and said the workaround will prevent a shutdown of service in the United States.

In an announcement made as the clock ticked to a February 24 court hearing on patent holding company NTP Inc.'s request for an injunction to halt U.S. BlackBerry service, RIM also said it was still willing to negotiate a deal.

The Canadian technology company, whose black, blue or silver device is dubbed "CrackBerry" by many users, said it is has taken a "pragmatic and reasonable" stance in mediation.

But it called NTP's offer to license disputed technology "untenable" and offering only "illusory protection."

The high-stakes legal battle is heating up in advance of the February 24 hearing by U.S. District Judge James Spencer in Richmond, Va.

That could be the final step before Spencer decides whether to impose an injunction granting NTP's request -- potentially affecting more than 3 million subscribers.

The U.S. Justice Department has already argued against a shut-down, saying that NTP had not submitted enough evidence to show that government users could be exempted "without substantial hardship."

RIM's lawyers have said there was "exceptional public interest" in maintaining an uninterrupted service for government and national security officials.

NTP sued RIM for patent infringement in 2002 and won an injunction in 2003 to shut down the U.S. service.

That injunction was stayed pending appeals, and the court has issued a series of rulings since then, moving RIM shares like a yo-yo, depending on whether the rulings looked good or bad for the firm.

The stock climbed 3.4 percent before the bell on Thursday, adding $2.35 to $71.

RIM, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario, said it has developed and tested software workaround designs for all BlackBerry handsets operating in the United States.

"RIM's workaround provides a contingency for our customers and partners and a counterbalance to NTP's threats," said RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie.

"This will hopefully lead to more reasonable negotiations, since NTP risks losing all future royalties if the workaround is implemented."

RIM said it has filed applications for a patent for its workaround, part of a software update called BlackBerry Multi-Mode Edition.

The company said it will soon begin shipping handsets with the software update in a dormant mode. It will make the update available at www.blackberry.com/workaround at a later, but as yet unspecified, date.

RIM said the changes would require software updates, but the new system will deliver the same functions and performance.

It said a legal opinion from a patent law and workaround expert said its designs do not infringe on any of the NTP patent claims remaining in the lawsuit.

($1=$1.15 Canadian)


By: Susan Taylor

Copyright 2006 Reuters. Click for Restrictions

E-mail This Story
Print This Story
Reprint This Story




Get the latest Personal Tech news, product info, and trends every week.


Related Content

  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Main RSS Feed
  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Blog RSS Feed



Keeping Up To Date On Enterprise Server Tech?
Review our compilation of columns on server security, database software, and Linux issues.
Unleash the Power & Opportunity of Grid Computing
Experts will identify trends in grid computing, provide
examples and examine solution options.
Using Current Performance to Shape
Future Results

Hear new strategies for improving business
performance and results.

Editor's Picks

Well, Microsoft has "unfolded" its "Origami" ultra-mobile PC platform Thursday. It turned out to be a full-featured PC smaller than a tablet but bigger than a PDA. Are you impressed?
Yes! I want one!
Sort of. We'll see.
No! It's too big for a pocket and too small for real computing. What's the point?


In search of personal tech products? See our new Product Finder, where you'll find personal computing devices, communications solutions, security products, and more.



PERSONAL TECH PIPELINE MARKETPLACE (sponsored links)
Transform your IT infrastructure with IBM
Successful CIOs see IT as a prime stimulus for business innovation-and themselves as key participants in a process that develops business and IT strategies in concert. Read an executive summary and register to download the full IBM paper.

Symantec Backup Solutions
Desktop to Data Center Protection. Explore the Official Symantec Site.

EMC SAN helps El Camino deliver superior service
EMC CLARiiON and Centera systems are helping El Camino Hospital provide better patient care. The hospital can quickly and effortlessly monitor, modify, and protect the availability of its entire storage environment while saving money ($150,000)

Block or Secure IM Use
IM threats up 250%. Protect your corporate network. Free Download.

Secure & Easy Console Management with Digi CM
The Digi CM console server provides secure, intelligent & easy access to network devices with a serial console port. With Digi CM, you can securely monitor & control servers, routers, switches & other devices even when your network is down.


Buy a Link Now


Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia
Stellent eSeminar "Approaches to Metadata Design" on March 23
Mobilized Solutions Guide: Find and compare solutions for your business
Top Requested White Paper Categories from TechWeb White paper Library
Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia