U.S. District Judge James Spencer held the first district court hearing in the NTP v. RIMM case since the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sent the hearing back to the lower courts. Seems like the Judge may push the the two sides to settle, seeing how he wont wait for the pending reexamination of NTPâ€™s patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office to finalize his verdict.
“I intend to move swiftly in this … I’ve spent enough of my life and time on NTP and RIM.”, Spencer said.
In 2003, Spencer granted an injunction that would have halted U.S. sales of the BlackBerry and shut down its service after NTP successfully sued RIM. But Spencer stayed the injunction pending appeal. An appeals court later scaled back the infringement ruling against RIM, but upheld some patent infringement claims. Efforts by RIM to get the courts to stay case have failed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year completed a re-examination of eight NTP patents and issued initial rulings rejecting all of the claims. RIM has noted the patent office ruling is not final, and NTP has said it plans see the full re-examination process through, which could take years.