Blackberry Emerges From NTP Jam

    March 3, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Nearly a year of litigation between Research In Motion and NTP Inc saw settlements offered and rejected, patents overturned, and the popular Blackberry service laying face up in a guillotine watching the keen blade of an injunction that could have cut off thousands of users in the United States.

The fight really ended when the US Patent Office overturned the fifth of five contested patents help by NTP, not long ago in late February. Instead of persisting in its fight with RIM, NTP accepted a $612.5 million settlement, MarketWatch reported.

This was The Fear taking hold at NTP, which saw a judge delay an injunction against RIM a couple of days after the Patent Office hit NTP with a Joe Frazier-hook to the head. That was 1971 at Madison Square Garden, Frazier taking the sting out of the Butterfly in the 15th round.

NTP had no punches left to throw. No answers to the Patent Office decisions that would take more money and more appeals to fight. RIM had offered $450 million to end the bout in 2005, but rumors claimed NTP wanted a billion dollars. So NTP wrapped the hands, laced up the gloves, and stepped in the ring.

They will be paid well for losing. $612.5 million for a small patent-holding firm should help the company salve its cuts and bruises. As long as Iron Mike Tyson isn’t controlling the NTP purse strings, they should have some kind of brighter future ahead.

As for RIM, they are quite ready to put the lawsuit behind them. Terms of the settlement included the full and final payment, the dismissal of the case, and a perpetual fully paid-up license for the patents in question. RIM noted in a statement that its “total of cash, cash equivalents, short-term, long-term investments and escrow funds was approximately $1.8 billion.”

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.