Okay, I was going to try and avoid any talk about NTP and RIM until a judge makes his decision about whether he's going to shut down BlackBerry operations in the U.S. But every news outlet has a story about the nasty patent-infringement battle (are you tired of hearing about it yet?). NTP today asked a judge to award it $126 million in damages and issue an injunction against RIM.
It's interesting to note how this got started. RIM could have settled the whole thing a few years ago by paying as little as $10 million. And last year, NTP promised to go away if RIM would cough up $1 billion. But Chairman and co-executive Jim Balsillie took a hardball stance, saying NTP's patents are "committed to the garbage bin."
Despite whether RIM is right, and it looks like the company is, NTP will have managed to damage the BlackBerry brand and loyalty. And all the while, competitors are swooping in like vultures to slowly and methodically take bites out of RIM's market share. As I'm writing this, the USPTO just gave final rejection of a second NTP patent.