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Weekend Contest ‘RIM’s Next Move?’

WGarage: Reverse Lookup
This weekend’s contest is entitled ‘RIM’s Next Move?’. The big news event this week was The Supreme Court’s rejection to hear RIM’s appeal thus forcing District Judge Spencer to set a date next month to consider a possible injunction of Blackberry service in the United States. It seems that RIM has its back to wall legally, but they do still have a few more ‘outs’. They could settle with NTP for a large amount and settle all this legal nonsense or they can use the 30-day grace period to deploy their ‘workaround’. Or we could be tossed a curve ball and RIM some how convinces Judge Spencer to not imposed an injunction. For this Weekend Contest, we’re asking what you would do if you were in charge of RIM.

This week’s prize is three copies of WGarage: Reverse Lookup, a program that allows you to easily do a reverse lookup right from your Blackberry on any phone number to find a person or business’ name and street address. To find more about the program, please visit

To post your thoughts, hit on ‘Comments’

11 Responses to “Weekend Contest ‘RIM’s Next Move?’”

  1. John
    January 27th, 2006 11:02

    I think everything is pointing to a settlement. RIM has been talking a lot about this workaround lately, my guess is they are just trying to scare NTP to settle for less.

  2. Jeff cook
    January 27th, 2006 11:08

    If I were in charge of RIM, I would expose the fact that NTP is in a corrupt and deceptive business practice and abuses the intent of the US Patent system. However since RIM is Canadian owned, it would come across better to have an ally in a major US company that agrees with RIM that patent reform is needed and that NTP is abusing the system.

    NTP is located near DC to “lobby” against patent reform. Hmmmm…. lobbying…. I just hope NTP doesn’t “lobby” the judge in this case.

    I think the best tactic is to publicize the fact that not only does the US Patent office say the patents are invalid but win the battle of public opinion regarding the “patent” NTP owns.

    Most people assume NTP is a legitimate company, struggling to make a living and big old RIM came along and smushed their inventions. The fact is that NTP has never and will never make a single piece of hardware or software, ever. They filed some generic patents regarding push email technology to wireless devices. The intent of the US Patent system is designed to protect competing companies. NTP is not a competitor to RIM, they are squatting on the technology, just like many people tried to do with internet domain names, which has recently been ruled illegal.

    So in summary, I would partner with a major US company that has been pushing for US Patent reform, and write a major article about how the system is being abused by companies like NTP.

  3. RJ Proie
    January 27th, 2006 11:26

    The first move from right now is to get the filing on the new hearing in by Feb. 1. I would also suggest extending the “grace period” as far as possible, but at least get the 30-day period to not begin until the US Patent Office reveals its final ruling on the NTP patents, which are in their final round and are thus far invalid. The “workaround” could then be refined and put into use more effectively if the worst-case scenario happens. If the US Patent Office decides that the patents are valid, I assume that RIM will attempt to settle immediately, as it’s a dangerous game of chicken to get too deep into the “grace period” without settling, which could push the number necessary to settle up to or above the 1 billion rumor that’s been floated. The original settlement (2002?) was for 450 million, so the negotiations would probably start somewhere around there.

  4. John Tobias
    January 27th, 2006 14:49

    I agree, They have a work around, they should implement that, settle on past infringments and move on. Prolonging it is only costing more in legal fees and most likely wont lower the settlement amount much.

    I agree that the system is broken, a company that holds patents should either be the company that created said technology in the first place, or at least actually manufacture something other then money by suing over the patents that have purchased.

    I am sure that RIM has been working all along to refine the workaround or even on changing the workaround into “business as usual”, at least I would have if it were my call.

  5. C Bae
    January 27th, 2006 15:09

    It would seem that the best solution is a settlement.

    If RIM has a workaround, it cannot be as good as what they currently have, or they would have deployed it already while they were working to invalidate NTPs patents in court.

  6. Eric Senf
    January 27th, 2006 15:29

    A settlement of some sorts is pending unless absolutely ridiculous, though that would potentially delay things further for NTP. Everything is business can be solved through the exchange of money. RIM must preserve its shareholder value and a service shut down would do anything but that.

    With that said, the patent system has totally failed its original intentions and has turned into a corporate lottery/jackpot system.

  7. Dave
    January 27th, 2006 18:37

    Why should RIM settle. They should release a software update that includes a patch to not use the technology patented by NTP. This way, they are no longer infringing. Then, they should argue that NTP has not built or attempted to sell any device using their patented technology and therefore RIM has caused no financial loss to NTP. If NTP isn’t making any money off the patent, or attempting to, then no money should be sent their way.

    As an aside, any patent that lies dormant for 14 years should be terminated anywise. There should be a clause that requires a company to release a product using the patented technology (internally or externally) within 10 years of the patent or they lose the patent. A system designed to remove cheating from the world by punishing copycats should also remove the other end: people who patent things and never plan on using the technology.

    I don’t know any exact numbers on what patents NTP has that they have never put into practice but there should be a system that factors in what percentage of a companies patents are actually used before they can make a claim. If it is an absurd number, for example 66% or more, there should be an audit.

    Patents don’t exist so that companies can go out and patent technologies at will, they exist to help out individuals and companies with bright ideas who plan on using them.

    Overall conclusion: patent law needs to be reformed to prevent ‘patent horders’

  8. Joe Peters
    January 27th, 2006 20:07

    I think that RIM needs to play the government angle. The President can PIN a general on the field in seconds with orders. Are we really willing to shut down such an intriquet piece to the puzzle of the war on terrorism?
    We need these devices. At least shut it down for a legitimate company I mean good lord!! NTP is known for there DECEPTION! Come on!? Don’t be silly.
    To sum it all up, The successful functionality of our government is more important than the successful deception of NTP.

  9. Melissa Ox
    January 27th, 2006 22:18

    I think a settlement would be horribly wrong. However I would not be surprised to see one happen. I think they should be letting everyone know what a horrid company NTP is and getting the politicians, business men and woman, and public to see NTP for the big bad scam that it is. How can the words settlement be heard in our legal system when the Patent Office has baiclly said the patents are no good?!
    I think its time a company like NTP was taught a lesson in the way things should be. And I think RIM is a company that can do it. They have so many supporters in business and politics that they have the leverage to get the patent system changed and put scamers like NTP out of business.

  10. Solomon Wong
    January 28th, 2006 01:49

    If I were in charge of RIM, I would take advantage of the most important asset RIM has: customer loyalty. As fanatic a fan base Blackberry users have become, there must be something that can energize this group into action! Think about the success Firefox users had collecting funds to buy a NY Times ad! Nothing is worst than passing disinterest in the threat of a shutdown!

  11. John C.
    January 28th, 2006 22:37

    I think that RIM should just take a breath. As has been said, I put my faith in good sense prevailing. People are beginning to understand what kind of company NTP really is and just exactly how broken the entre patent process is. Maybe I’m just being naive, but I think it’ll all just work out without any disruption. Besides, who wants to see millions of people rioting in the streets?

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