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  1.    #1  
    Here's an NY Times article that discusses Blacberry's patent woes and the 'possibility' of a sales injunction in the US.

    They mention the Treo in the article. I know the Treo has a different patent and everything, but could it be a far stretch to ban the Treo, if they do it for Blackberry? Just wondering...
  2. #2  
    It is far more likely, if ANY PalmOne product would be replacing the Blackberry line, that it would be the Tungsten, not TREO.

    Note that PalmOne already pays royalties to RIMM.
  3. #3  
    Why Tungsten not Treo?
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by robertruelan
    Here's an NY Times article that discusses Blacberry's patent woes and the 'possibility' of a sales injunction in the US.
    What's your NY Times User Name and Password? I can't stand it that the NY Times requires registrations to read articles. Just copy-paste the article for us. Thanks
    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
    -Sir Winston Churchill.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by ericdfairchild
    Why Tungsten not Treo?
    Form factor is everything for such a device - the Tungsten is more usable (and sellable!) for Blackberry-like operations. Also remember that PalmOne is explicitly targeting the Tungsten line at The Enterprise - THE market for Blackberry devices.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoozer
    What's your NY Times User Name and Password? I can't stand it that the NY Times requires registrations to read articles. Just copy-paste the article for us. Thanks

    Here's the article:


    June 7, 2004
    Contest Over BlackBerry Patent

    S it really possible that Bill Gates, Pamela Anderson and phalanxes of stockbrokers, lawyers and Congressional staff members will have to give up one of their most treasured possessions: their BlackBerries?

    Today in Washington, judges at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit are scheduled to ponder whether Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the much-coveted BlackBerry hand-held wireless e-mail device, should be barred from doing business in the United States. At issue is who has the patent for the BlackBerry's technology.

    In August, the United States District Court for the Eastern District, in Richmond, Va., dealt RIM a stunning blow, ordering the company to pay NTP, which sued RIM for patent infringement, $53.7 million in damages and granting an injunction to prevent RIM from making, selling or servicing the devices in the United States.

    The injunction was stayed, pending RIM's appeal now before the Federal Circuit, the nation's highest patent court, which is supposed to hear oral arguments today.

    RIM is "engaging in 'bet your company' litigation," said Jim Wallace, a lawyer representing NTP. "What's at stake is the entire company. If you look at their annual reports, their core business is BlackBerries in the United States."

    Mr. Wallace contended that if the injunction were upheld, NTP would stand to gain a lot of money for royalties owed by RIM, even though it would not get future royalties for the simple reason that RIM would not be producing or servicing BlackBerries. Since interest and legal fees are folded in, he said, the award so far is worth upwards of $100 million.

    The district court ordered that the two sides meet and try to come up with a royalty arrangement, but no settlement has been reached.

    "My guess is that rather than an injunction, NTP would rather have ongoing royalties," said Marc Kaufman, a patent lawyer with Nixon Peabody in Washington. "The time you really want an injunction is when you have a competing business."

    Indeed, NTP does not make anything. It is a patent holding company formed by in 1992 by Thomas J. Campana and some investors with the intent of licensing patents. Mr. Campana, 57, is a retired electrical engineer and entrepreneur from the Chicago area who holds about 50 patents, some of which cover a national paging system.

    The BlackBerry, with its thumb-operated keyboard, was developed by RIM co-founder Mike Lazaridis, who has received several patents covering wireless text communication. While other wireless e-mail devices, like Treo, have been introduced, the BlackBerry is by far the biggest player on the market.

    Representing RIM is Henry Bunsow, a prominent patent litigator who has represented clients ranging from a Napa Valley winery to biotech powerhouse Genentech. Neither RIM nor Mr. Bunsow responded to several requests for comment. In a brief filed with the Federal Circuit Court, RIM charges that the opinion of the district court was "fraught with error."

    RIM has been aggressively challenging five of NTP's eight patents covering this technology (patents 5,625,670; 5,631,946; 5,819,172; 6,067,451 and 6,317,592). The director of the Patent Office has ordered reexamination of these five NTP patents, which were also the subject of anonymous challenges.

    Those five are being re-examined by the Patent Office. Four are undergoing what is known as ex parte re-examination, a process in which only one side is heard, where the chances of a patent being overturned are usually quite small. The party being heard in these four cases is NTP.

    The fifth is undergoing what is called an inter partes re-examination, which means a third party is involved, in addition to the Patent Office and NTP. In this fifth case, that third party is RIM. Given that inter partes re-examinations are relatively new at the Patent Office, this process is considered a wildcard in the case. The Patent Office is expected to issue its ruling on this fifth patent soon.

    Last year, RIM also tried to enlist the help of Congress to stave off NTP's infringement claims, contending that keeping BlackBerries in operation was in the interest of national security. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress ordered BlackBerries for all members and many staff members to facilitate communication during a national emergency. While cellphone lines were jammed during 9/11, BlackBerry owners found it easy to send and receive messages during the crisis.

    The NTP team seems to be especially irked by RIM's attempt to get Congress to intervene in the case.

    "When that issue was raised by RIM the judge was quoted as saying, 'This is one place in the world where power, influence, and money don't mean one damned thing,' " Mr. Wallace said.

    Citing an article on the dating habits of BlackBerry-toting Congressional aides, which ran recently in the SundayStyles section of The New York Times, Mr. Wallace said that if the judge "had known that this was being used for dating purposes rather than national security, I think he would have had even stronger language."

    Last year's legal defeats so far seem not to have harmed Research in Motion, whose stock soared more than 600 percent since the beginning of 2003. Although the stock lost $3.78 last week, ending Friday at $116.15, it had hovered from $11 to $15 for the first quarter of 2003.

    Not everyone thinks hand-held devices for wireless e-mail will be a boom industry. The BlackBerry is a wildly popular gadget only to a certain kind of user, said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director of Jupiter Research.

    It is seen as a must-have item by, for example, many professionals who ride the Acela Express regularly between Washington and New York. "If that's your frame of reference, you probably think everyone in the world is a user," he said.

    In fact, BlackBerry users number only about 1 million. (By contrast, about 200 million North Americans use cellphones.) Even though most new technologies are used only by an elite until they gain popular appeal, Mr. Gartenberg doubts that BlackBerry-type devices will become mass market.

    "People like to hear a human voice," he said. "The other downside of it is spam. No one wants to rack up charges just so they can read Viagra ads while riding the bus."

    For his part, Mr. Gartenberg said he was not going to bother to show up for today's arguments before the Federal Circuit. But Mr. Wallace speculated that the hearing will be well attended by many financial analysts, as well as Canadian journalists who are following the case.

    "It will be standing room only," Mr. Wallace said. "Come early if you want a seat."

    Patents may be viewed on the Web at or may be ordered through the mail, by patent number, for $3 from the Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, D.C. 20231.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | Help | Back to Top
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by gfunkmagic
    patents 5,625,670; 5,631,946; 5,819,172; 6,067,451 and 6,317,592
    In order, these are:






    I have to admit I'm more than somewhat disappointed in what the Patent Office says is patentable...

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