Appeals court agrees RIM infringed on NTP patents

RIM plans to take its NTP patent case to the US Supreme Court following an appellate court's decision to let stand the original ruling. The 2002 decision found that RIM's BlackBerry email service infringed on 11 of NTP's patents. The latest development in the long-drawn out saga renews talk of an injunction on RIM's ability to sell, use or import into the US software or hardware related to its BlackBerry email service. The judge who originally found RIM in violation of patent infringement will decide if the injunction should be enforced. The SEC halted trading on RIM's stock until the company responds to the appellate court's decision.

RIM earlier this year settled with NTP for $450 million, but the settlement later fell apart. After the settlement, though, issues surrounding NTP's patents came to light, with many insiders claiming that NTP's patent claims were not sound. The US Patent and Trademark Office reviewed NTP's patents and dismissed several of NTP's key intellectual property claims. Insiders thought that once most of NTP's patent claims were dismissed, RIM would not have to sign a licensing agreement with the company. The appellate court's recent decision could change their thinking, however, and RIM may have to work out a settlement with NTP in order to save the BlackBerry. The company's flagship email service accounts for 70 percent of its revenue.

For more on the RIM, NTP patent case:
- take a look at this piece from The New York Times

PLUS: RIM inks deal with PGP security software for BlackBerry. Article