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  1.    #1  
    looks like this place might be gettin flooded with new members
    I couldnt decided whether to put this in OT or not

    Times Online .By Rhys Blakely and Agencies. December 16, 2005

    The BlackBerry service, based on the handheld e-mail device that has become a must-have tool for the business elite, could be shutdown in the United States after a bitter legal battle over a key patent.

    This week, NTP, a small firm that holds a crucial patent that allows e-mails to be sent to mobile devices, announced a licence agreement with Visto Corp - an arch-rival of Research In Motion. (RIM), the company that created the BlackBerry. The announcement could put further pressure on RIM to settle a patent claim from NTP which could be worth up to $1 billion (£565 million), or face having its service shut down altogether.

    With neither side apparently prepared to concede any ground, the dispute seems set to continue. "It sounds like a little bit of Russian roulette," Carl Tobias, a law professor at University of Richmond, told AP.

    Visto has also took out a legal writ against Microsoft, accusing the company of infringing patents. Visto said it is seeking a permanent injunction to stop Microsoft from "misappropriating" technology developed nearly ten years ago by Visto and its co-founder.

    To avoid similar litigation, RIM competitors including Nokia and Good Technology have drawn up licence agreements with NTP, which is based in Arlington, Virginia. In addition to signing its deal with Visto, NTP bought a stake in the company, which licences its mobile e-mail technology to Sprint Nextel and Vodafone, the British-based telecoms company.

    If a court orders a shutdown of BlackBerry's service, it is likely to give users just 30 days' notice to switch to other devices.

    In the meantime, RIM's share price has plunged 21 per cent this year amid growing concerns from users. RIM has 3.65 million BlackBerry subscribers, most of them in the United States. Competitors such as Nokia and Palm are already looking to grab sales from the market leader.

    A federal jury in Richmond backed NTP's patent claim in 2002. Since then, RIMís appeals have failed and a $450 million settlement has unravelled. RIM is now relying on separate proceedings by the US patent office, which has preliminarily rejected the patents at issue, but is awaiting a court decision.

    James Wallace, a lawyer for NTP, says he plans to argue in federal court in Virginia that these deals show there are available options for customers in the event of an injunction against RIM.

    Although some industry observers believe NTP has no financial incentives to force a shutdown, lawyers for the company have claimed otherwise.

    "I understand that theory, and when BlackBerry was the only game in town, there was a certain logic to it," Mr Wallace said.

    Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing for RIM, said that he thinks most people will see through Vistoís "timing and rhetoric."

    "This is a small player looking for free publicity through a last-minute licence with undisclosed terms for patents that have been rejected by the patent office," he said.

    Meanwhile, customers have complained of being left in the dark over the future of the BlackBerry service.

    Officials with Northwest Airlines were worried enough to demand a recent meeting with RIM.

    Although the airline said it was satisfied with RIMís information, it also noted that it had identified alternative suppliers and was continuing to monitor the BlackBerry situation to ensure service would not be interrupted.

    In a statement, RIM said it was speaking directly to customers and partners to explain the patent officeís decisions and to "assure them that we have prepared a contingency plan to implement a software workaround should it eventually become necessary."
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gallardo
    I couldnt decided whether to put this in OT or not
    How about the smartphones-other handhelds forum?
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  3. sfla_tc's Avatar
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    #3  
    This is old news, just search for one of the many other threads on the exact same thing
  4. #4  
    Not only old news, but it will NOT happen.
  5. #5  
    This has about as much a chance of happening as my grandma getting run over by a reindeer!
    <body bgcolor="#ffffff">
    <p><font size="-2" color="#4684ff" face="Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular"><b>imageone</b></font><font size="-2" face="Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular"> &#x2022; current - <b>PowerBook G4 - Mac OS X - white iPod video 60GB - Treo 650 - 700p (Sprint)<br>
    </b></font><font size="-2" face="Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular">retired - Visor Deluxe - Visor Prism - Kyocera 6035 - Treo 300 - Treo 600 - Blackberry 7250</font></p>
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  6. #6  
    Maybe it is old news, but as to whether or not it will happen is another story. Some people may still dump BB on uncertainty, especially since there's another report of that "workaround" being another possible infringement. Don't be too sure about it not happening. There are lot of businesses we didn't expect to die but they are indeed gone or restructered.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  7. DHart's Avatar
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    #7  
    Don't want to pick a fight LadyTreo, but I think RIM will survive. There have been several headlines in the last few days, which I am sure are instigated by the warring parties. One story makes it look like RIM is winning. Another makes is look like NTP is winning. Today (so far), I saw an early story that RIM investors should be prepared for a $1B settlement with NTP. Advantage NTP. The next story was about another of NTP's patent claims being denied by the courts. Advantage RIM. I think RIM is stalling until all of the rulings on NTP's patents are complete in hopes that all will be denied and they will owe nothing or (more likely) some are denied and their settlement will be reduced. I am not a RIM fan, but they have a large very influential base of customers that are interested in their survival. I think all of the headlines are huffing and puffing by each side until the patent ruling dust settles when RIM will settle and go on with life. Just my .02.
  8. #8  
    It isn't that I think they WILL go down, I'm just saying they COULD. After seeing Arthur Anderson, Enron and some major airlines die(or dying), I can't say any business will survive. Although those situations are different, they're still reminders that now business is vulnerable more than they used to be!
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  9. #9  
    There's NO WAY Eastern Airlines is going to go out of business!
  10. DHart's Avatar
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    #10  
    Lady Treo - Agreed. A crash and burn is possible for any business today. I just think people are forecasting RIM's demise a little too quickly.
  11. #11  
    If NTP "holds a crucial patent that allows e-mails to be sent to mobile devices" won't they be suing Good or Palm next?
  12. Q
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by ericdfairchild
    If NTP "holds a crucial patent that allows e-mails to be sent to mobile devices" won't they be suing Good or Palm next?
    Depends on the nature of the patent and how closely Good or Palm's systems follow...

    For the keyboard, for instance, a few years ago both Palm and Handspring (when they were still separate companies) settled suits brought by RIM. I think there may have been other device-related issues tied up in this. It's possible that this has focused NTP's efforts on RIM, as opposed to the various incarnations of Palm and Handspring.

    Has anyone looked at the details of the patents at issue? (I haven't. I've just seen what's been in the news.) I'd welcome comments from someone familiar with the actual patents.
  13. #13  
    Old news or not....it is still developing news with no guarenteed outcomes.

    Is it just luck that our company upgraded from a RIM server to Exchange 2003 this last week? Probably not. They are still supporting the BBs in our company, but I know that once this whole situation started coming to head 6 months ago they started making plans just in case. I would not be surprised if this was not becoming more common with all the added publicity. If it doesn't go under, it is certainly going to take a hard hit no matter what with people jumping ship near the shore, being afraid that they don't go now they may be going down with the ship with a lifesaver to cling onto.
  14. #14  
    So, what happens to existing licencing agreements should the patents be eventually ruled invalid? Do the licencees get their money back?

    Surely not, but what a curious predicament.

    Would you sign over a billion bucks -- about $300 per subscriber -- when there's a strong chance the future will determine you never owed it in the first place?
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Old news or not....it is still developing news with no guarenteed outcomes.

    Is it just luck that our company upgraded from a RIM server to Exchange 2003 this last week? Probably not. They are still supporting the BBs in our company, but I know that once this whole situation started coming to head 6 months ago they started making plans just in case. I would not be surprised if this was not becoming more common with all the added publicity. If it doesn't go under, it is certainly going to take a hard hit no matter what with people jumping ship near the shore, being afraid that they don't go now they may be going down with the ship with a lifesaver to cling onto.
    That is what I meant earlier. If big clients start moving, RIM is in trouble, established company or not. People need to get their emails and may not wait for RIM to get it together! RIM is doing great with new devices and getting out push email. We make fun because we love Treo, but you can't deny that RIM has a good spot in the handheld market. I really don't know what they're thinking not settling this matter sooner. Maybe they are playing chicken, but will it cost them more in the end?
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickS
    So, what happens to existing licencing agreements should the patents be eventually ruled invalid? Do the licencees get their money back?

    Surely not, but what a curious predicament.

    Would you sign over a billion bucks -- about $300 per subscriber -- when there's a strong chance the future will determine you never owed it in the first place?
    Perhaps RIM is correct and NTP's patents are useless. But maybe they could have paid some consolation money to at least keep a possible injunction from happening for the time being. Damned if they do(paying MIGHT make people think they did infringe), damned if they don't(it's uncertain about that injunction and people are getting nervous). But RIM needs to stay in business. I'd hate to see them go down when they had a good thing going. I don't even use them, but I can see LOTS do. In the end, it's all about keeping customers. Not that I'm particularly partial to them or anything, I just hate to see business shoot themselves in the foot.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  17. DHart's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    They are still supporting the BBs in our company, but I know that once this whole situation started coming to head 6 months ago they started making plans just in case. I would not be surprised if this was not becoming more common with all the added publicity. If it doesn't go under, it is certainly going to take a hard hit no matter what with people jumping ship near the shore, being afraid that they don't go now they may be going down with the ship with a lifesaver to cling onto.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Treo
    That is what I meant earlier. If big clients start moving, RIM is in trouble, established company or not. People need to get their emails and may not wait for RIM to get it together!
    I have to say you are beginning to convince me about this. I received email that my corporate IT department is freezing the addition of new BB's for employees until the dust settles. I am sure they have alternative plans if the situation continues to go south. This same scenario is most likely happening everywhere in large IT departments. IT departments are very risk averse. They understand that if communications are hampered in anyway the organization slows down. That costs money, not to mention the intense pressure they would be under to quickly find an alternate solution. So yes, I can easily see a cascade of events leading to RIM's rapid contraction in the marketplace. This could work to Palm's benefit.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by DHart
    That costs money, not to mention the intense pressure they would be under to quickly find an alternate solution. So yes, I can easily see a cascade of events leading to RIM's rapid contraction in the marketplace. This could work to Palm's benefit.
    It could, but whether it is for good or evil... ...I think Microsoft will be the biggest winner, as the easiest and cheapest transition from RIM servers would be MS Exchange with WM05 mobile devices. No additional licensing, no additional contracts, not dependent on a third party to stay alive, etc....
  19. DHart's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    It could, but whether it is for good or evil... ...I think Microsoft will be the biggest winner, as the easiest and cheapest transition from RIM servers would be MS Exchange with WM05 mobile devices. No additional licensing, no additional contracts, not dependent on a third party to stay alive, etc....
    Of course you are correct. Palm does not have the image of being able to do the "heavy lifting" required by large IT shops...In spite of efforts by Good, Seven, etc. And this is one of the reasons the 700W is being released - to build credibility with large corporate customers.
  20. DHart's Avatar
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    #20  
    Looks like RIM is going to survive...

    RIM: BlackBerry service will not shut down


    Research In Motion Chairman and co-CEO James L. Balsillie said the company has a "software workaround" in place to keep BlackBerry's U.S. service running even if it is ordered to end service by the judge presiding over its patent dispute with NTP. Balsillie also said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has signaled that it will eventually reject all of NTP's wireless e-mail patents, which are the focal point of the case. NTP co-founder Donald E. Stout said NTP's case would not be undermined even if the patent office were to rule against it, and added that the judge could still issue an injunction.
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