Supreme Court may consider BlackBerry case


Government Computer news is reporting this morning that the US Supreme Court could respond to a brief filed by Research in Motion, Ltd., as early as 23 January. The brief challenges an Appeals Court injunction against RIM, in favor of patent holder NTP.

RIM filed the brief in December, claiming that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in an August decision left open for interpretation whether NTP’s patents apply to Internet technology housed outside the United States. In this case, RIM says its Network Control Center, which processes nearly 100 million e-mails a day from BlackBerry users, should be exempt from patent infringement cases because it is in Canada.

If the high court takes up the case, it could prompt a lower court that is holding a hearing on NTP’s request for an injunction—likely to be held next month—to stay its proceedings until the Supreme Court rules, said RIM attorney Herbert Fenster of McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP of Washington.

“This could have a significant impact on the injunction case,” Fenster added.