BlackBerry Gets Patent Boost

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The Patent Office has rejected all five patents held by NTP, just ahead of a hearing on Friday that could still shutdown Research In Motion’s BlackBerry service in the United States.

RIM may get to put its software workaround back on the shelf when Friday’s hearing in Virginia takes place. RIM and NTP have been fighting over patents associated with the BlackBerry wireless email service for five years.

NTP has accused RIM of infringement on its technology. RIM has denied that accusation. The two sides appeared to be ready to settle in March 2005, but NTP abruptly ended those talks and returned to court to continue litigations.

Bloomberg reported that the infringement case and the patent validity case run parallel. The presiding judge, James Spencer, has stated he will not delay this hearing.

Should the judge impose an injunction against RIM, the company has a software workaround that it believes will permit the BlackBerry service to continue functioning in the US. The workaround, called Multi-Mode Edition Software, would have to be installed on BlackBerry servers and handheld devices.

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

BlackBerry Gets Patent Boost
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