The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Tuesday, 24 January 2006


BlackBerry case proves fruitful for NTP

Since everyone else is covering this item, the IPKat feels he should be doing so as well ...

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Research In Motion Ltd (RIM), who make the BlackBerry, against NTP, the owner of a patent which it infringes. This means that the court hearing the patent infringement action in Richmond, Virginia, may at its discretion impose an injunction against the company and block the use of the iconic BlackBerry in the United States.

The justices were asked to decide whether Research In Motion could be held liable for patent infringement in the United States when its main relay station for email and data transmission was located in Waterloo, Ontario, outside US borders. RIM was challenging a ruling by a federal appeals court that found that the company had infringed the patents held by NTP Inc., a small northern Virginia patent-holder, because its customers use the BlackBerry within the US. The panel said it did not matter where the relay station was located.

RIM have sought to play down the significance of the court’s rejction. Said Mark Guibert, RIM’s vice president for corporate marketing:

“RIM has consistently acknowledged that Supreme Court review is granted in only a small percentage of cases and we were not banking on Supreme Court review. RIM’s legal arguments for the District Court remain strong and our software workaround designs remain a solid contingency".
The IPKat wonders whether a British court would ever grant injunctive relief in a case such as this. Where the infringing act is not actively interfering with any other product on the market and where the amount of disruption to third parties is so great, he bets that relief would be confined to damages alone. Merpel adds, NTP have been accused of being a parasite or a troll because they don't actually exploit the patent themselves but merely demand a tax from others who use it. But isn't that what academic institutions also do ...?

Blackberry recipes here
Blackberry crumble here
Blackberry infestation here

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