Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On February 22, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a final rejection of claims of one of five patents owned by NTP and involved in the NTP/RIM litigation, which is a step in a long process that Research In Motion Ltd. hopes will allow it to keep operating its U.S. BlackBerry service.

NTP, a closely held patent holding company, has previously won a district court verdict against RIM for infringement of claims of its patents.

On February 24, the presiding judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer, will hold a hearing to consider NTP's request to go forward with an injunction that would shut down most sales of RIM's BlackBerry wireless e-mail device and service in the United States.

RIM said on February 22 that the latest decision and previous rejections have been based on "multiple grounds" and "are expected to withstand all future appeals" by NTP. However, the issue here is one of timing. NTP can appeal rejections in a re-examination first to the BPAI and second to the CAFC as a matter of right. If Judge Spencer grants a permanent injunction before the re-exam procedure is over, then RIM is going to have trouble no matter what the ultimate fate of the re-examination procedure turns out to be. This possibility may be perceived as unjust to some, but it is a possible avenue for the litigation to take.

See also CNN money

[IPBiz post 1278]


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