For anyone obsessed with being connected at all times, this could be a very interesting day indeed…especially for customers reliant on the BlackBerry operating network. As a result of a patent infringement lawsuit, Research In Motion (parent company for the BlackBerry line) may have to shut down its U.S. operations if proceedings continue on the same path.
To read TFM‘s coverage of portable technology, see “Cell Phones And Facilities” from the archives.
The suit between RIM and NTP is nothing unusual, but its impact on facility professionals and other “road warriors” could be inconvenient, to say the least. This explanation comes from Susan Decker of Bloomberg.com:
Research In Motion Ltd. will probably be ordered to halt most of its U.S. BlackBerry e-mail service after a judge hears arguments today on a proposed shutdown.
U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer is likely to rule in favor of NTP Inc., a company that claims Research In Motion infringed its patents. NTP will argue that BlackBerry service be suspended across the U.S. until the case is resolved. Spencer can make his ruling today in Richmond, Virginia, or delay an opinion.
Legal precedent is on the side of Arlington, Virginia-based NTP, some patent lawyers say. NTP relies on a 1908 Supreme Court decision that said preventing others from using a patented invention is an essential right of a patent owner.
Computerworld.com has a good backgrounder on the suit here.