The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling today in the patent litigation between Research In Motion Limited and NTP, Inc. The Federal Circuit denied RIM’s motion to stay further proceedings in the case until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether it will accept an appeal of the decision in this case.
The Federal Circuit issued its ruling today and remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings based on the Federal Circuit’s decision of August 2, 2005. The Federal Circuit has now reversed or vacated the infringement finding on 9 of the 16 litigated patent claims and has vacated the damages award and injunction originally entered as a result of the District Court trial in 2002.
RIM expects the District Court will decide all matters relating to the enforcement of the settlement agreement announced by the parties on March 16, 2005, the impact of the Patent Office re-examinations of the NTP patents on the litigation, and the further proceedings ordered by the Federal Circuit in its August 2, 2005 ruling. RIM also expects that NTP will imminently file a new motion asking the District Court to enter an injunction prohibiting RIM from providing BlackBerry service and from using, selling, manufacturing or importing its handhelds and software in the United States. While RIM maintains that an injunction is inappropriate given the facts of the case and substantial doubts raised subsequent to trial as to the validity of the patents in question, it ultimately will be up to the Courts to decide these matters and there can never be an assurance of a favorable outcome in any litigation.
In addition, RIM will ask the Supreme Court to suspend the court proceedings while RIM seeks Supreme Court review of the 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.
All of the NTP patent claims have now been rejected by the Patent Office in its initial rulings in re-examination proceedings, based in part on prior art not considered in the District Court trial in 2002.