RIM is finally looking to put this whole patent-infringement mess behind it, reaching a $612.5 million settlement with NTP. NTP got a windfall because the deal stands even if all of its patents in question are rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. RIM just couldn't wait any longer. NTP had backed it into a corner. A federal judge looked like he might shut down BlackBerry service in the U.S. even though it looked like the patent office would invalidate the patents. The judge was tired of the case, which is incredulous to some columnists who correctly likened the judge's actions to ignoring DNA evidence that might exonerate a murder suspect. In addition, RIM said it was feeling the impact from enterprise customers who were scared to expand their current BlackBerry usage or upgrade to new software and hardware.
UBS says it believes the mobile email market is vastly under penetrated and still big enough for multiple players. It expects RIM to maintain its leadership in the high-end market and become more aggressive in the small and midsized business market. Interestingly, shares of Palm fell on the announcement. I'm sure a number of BlackBerry competitors who were looking to swoop in during the midst of patent-lawsuit confusion are disappointed.