More lawsuits fly in mobile email realm

More lawsuits are flying in the mobile email world. Visto has sued rival Good Technology, claiming Good has violated its patents. Good makes email products for the Palm Treo, HP's iPaq and other devices. Visto has contracts with Cingular, Sprint and other carriers. The move comes as NTP's patent lawsuit with Research In Motion comes to a head this month, with a judge contemplating whether or not to shut down RIM's BlackBerry in the U.S. With that, a flood of competitors like Visto and Good have made noise about the fact that they can provide a safe haven for RIM users if the network is shut down. And it's all incestuous. RIM-rival NTP has an equity stake in Visto and in Good.

Visto appears now to be working at eroding Good's credibility, but it is also renown for suing a host of companies, including Microsoft, Seven Networks and Smartner Information Systems. Interestingly, Visto plans to make a declaration in the RIM case claiming that the industry can absorb RIM's customers if BlackBerry service is turned off. It would be interesting to hear how that might work since enterprises have invested significant dollars in BlackBerry service and can't afford or don't want to switch. Visto, however, is highlighting the fact that its mobile email service does not require specialized hardware and can be obtained in multiple ways.

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