The Register reports that, faced with an ongoing patent battle in the US that threatens to place injunctions on its products, RIM is focusing heavily on Europe and has launched a tri-band full colour BlackBerry PDA (personal digital assistant) this week -- only to find itself attacked by another intellectual property lawsuit, this time from a Luxembourg-based company. RIM and T-Mobile USA have been sued in Delaware by InPro II Licensing, a Luxembourg-based licensing company, which claims that the companies are infringing its patents. Inpro is seeking damages which are "in no event less than a reasonable royalty". RIM, which is appealing against an injunction granted to US intellectual property company NTP that could potentially ban it from selling its products, has filed a suit in federal court in Dallas asking for a ruling that the InPro patents are invalid. RIM said in a statement this week that InPro had shown "threatening and grasping behaviour". All the legal uncertainties surrounding RIM add to the problems facing all PDA makers in a declining market. One of the company's weaknesses has always been its lack of success in Europe, which it is aiming to reverse next year.

The IPKat has observed over the years that IP litigation in general, and patent litigation in particular, becomes more intensive in weakening markets. That's because, when a market is expanding rather than contracting, money that might be spent in litigation frequently attracts a better return when spent on marketing or new product development. But when the market diminishes, enforcing IP rights may be the only way to save a business from losing profitability or indeed going under.

How PDAs work
Other PDAs here, here and here
More on blackberries here, here and here

BLACKBERRY BLIGHT HITS RIM BLACKBERRY BLIGHT HITS RIM Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, November 30, 2003 Rating: 5

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