The whole Internet is abuzz after the news yesterday that competing push email service provider Visto has filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion for patent infringement. Whatever the outcome, this is obviously a situation that RIM did not want to find itself in again. We’ve compiled the best snipets from around the Internet to give you a feel for what everyone’s thinking.
The legal battle promises more plot twists than a John Grisham thriller. NTP holds an equity stake in Visto, as part of a deal announced on Dec. 15 in which Visto took out a license for NTP’s patents. In other words, NTP, after getting more than a half-billion dollars from RIM, is once again party to a lawsuit to squeeze cash out of the Canadian company for patent infringement.
Unlike NTP, which owns patents but doesn’t make anything, Visto is an established communications-software company with 400 employees in 10 countries. Customers include Cingular Wireless, Sprint Nextel, Motorola and Nokia.
“Oh, no, not again,” sighed Scott Pansky, a public relations consultant and BlackBerry addict. “Just knowing there’s another lawsuit against RIM is bad. I’ve got to believe they’re going to settle this. They can’t do this to their customers again.”
“They’re facing a reality that a number of successful companies see,” said Brian Ferguson, a lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery in Washington. “As your product starts to make money, you become more of a target for patent-infringement cases.”
Though Visto alleges that RIM has been violating its patents for years, the company had a couple of reasons for waiting until now to file the lawsuit, Bogosian said. Visto, which is also suing Microsoft Corp. and Good Technology Inc. for violating some of these same patents, did not want to “dilute” its legal resources by launching the suit before the Seven Network judgment, he said…
This settlement was also a factor in Visto’s decision to move forward with its own lawsuit, Bogosian said. “There was a very significant and real risk that RIM would be shut down,” he said. “In our opinion, it did not make sense to launch a litigation at that time.”
Bogosian says he intends for Visto to be the “last man standing” in the wireless-messaging market. He also hinted that the privately held company could have a stock offering on the horizon. “This isn’t about who sells more e-mail to which kinds of wireless devices,” he said. “This is about the battle of the next desktop, and Microsoft and Nokia and RIM are all jockeying for position. We expect to be the only ones standing in the next year and half, and with a very large market cap.”