Tuesday, November 29, 2005

RIM's BlackBerry Service Faces Possible Shut-Down in Patent Dispute

In a long-running patent dispute, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that a settlement agreement between Research In Motion Limited (RIM) and NTP was not an enforceable agreement. The ruling raises the possibility that RIM's popular Blackberry mobile e-mail service could be shut down in the U.S.

RIM said it will file a request that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its appeal in the patent case. While further review by the Supreme Court is generally uncommon, RIM continues to believe this case raises significant national and international issues warranting further appellate review.

As a contingency, RIM also said it is preparing software workaround designs which it intends to implement if necessary to maintain the operation of BlackBerry services in the United States. Further details will be made available if such implementation becomes necessary.

Separately, Telefónica Móviles and Research In Motion announced plans to launch BlackBerry in 13 Latin American countries beginning in early 2006. Telefónica Móviles operates GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay and CDMA 1XRTT and CDMA EV-DO networks in Brazil and Venezuela.

See also