Is Visto Playing with Fire?

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The news that Visto is suing RIM for patent infringement came out of left field for most of us. However, we’re sure RIM saw this coming, first the lawsuits against Seven, Good, Smartner, and of course Microsoft. Microsoft comes to mind because just the day before is when Visto and NTP inked a licensing agreement, not to mention the lawsuit came after a major round of financing. David Cowan, co-founder of Visto writes in his blog that it was pure coincidence but it sure doesn’t look right to most.

The patents that RIM is accused of infringing upon are the same patents surrounding the Visto v. Microsoft case. So that brings up the question, why sue RIM now? RIM has been in the push-email space for years, way before Microsoft even thought it was worthwhile. Why waste time by suing all the smaller companies like Seven, Good, and Smartner. Any worthwhile lawyer would tell you to sue the company with the deepest pockets. It leaves you wondering if there’s an ulterior motive behind this patent lawsuit, maybe Visto knows that they can’t win and are doing this for publicity reasons. Or it could be that investors are pushing Visto executives against their rightful judgment after they saw the $612.5 million settlement granted to NTP. Either way, Visto is playing a dangerous game by suing every company in the push-email space.

Unlike Microsoft who have just recently been serious about wireless, RIM has over 20 years experience in the wireless industry. RIM has had time to develop their own patents and weren’t shy about telling Visto that they themselves could pursue legal actions against them, now that would be ironic.