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RIM Settlement With NTP Falls Through

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After more than three years, the ongoing battle between the BlackBerry maker and a patent holder continues.

Failure to complete a $450 million USD settlement in the patent infringement case could mean a ban on BlackBerry sales and services in the United States.

NTP had sued and won a patent infringement case against RIM in 2002, and an injunction against RIM in 2003. The first case was upheld in December 2004, but was sent back to a lower court to review flaws in the earlier ruling.

In March, RIM agreed to pay NTP $450 million, one of the largest patent infringement settlements ever. But behind the scenes negotiations to finalize the agreement appear to have failed.

RIM filed suit late Wednesday to compel NTP to honor the agreement. NTP countersued, claiming there are problems with the scope of the agreement with regards to sublicensing some NTP patents, as well as other issues.

Meanwhile, the US Patent and Trademark Office has questioned the validity of two of NTP’s five patents involved in the case. However, RIM does not appear to be trying to take advantage of the patent review. They have only asked the court to uphold the March agreement without modifying any part of it, including the payment

Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion has had a long week, one that will probably have chairman James Balsillie reaching for the tummy medicine. On Monday, Microsoft announced to its Tech Ed attendees a service pack for Windows Mobile 5.0 that would support push e-mail, a feature of Exchange 2003 SP2.

Then, Yahoo and Sprint announced a low-cost version of push e-mail for the consumer market. Called Yahoo! Mail for Mobile, the service will cost $2.99 per month.

And while no one is calling for shareholders to consider selling positions in RIM, one analyst for Legg Mason has adjusted his rating to “hold” from “buy.”

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

RIM Settlement With NTP Falls Through
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