RIM has connections

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Prime Minister Brian MulroneyRemember RIM’s patent case with NTP? Of course you do. We all knew RIM had support from both U.S. and Canadian government officials (whose work day would have ground to a halt if NTP had won the case) during the lawsuit, but a new report originally printed in the Waterloo Region Record this weekend shows just how much juice RIM has.

According to an internal email obtained by the Region Record, RIM hired Montreal law firm Ogilvy Renault in late 2004 to work on the case, and with it former Prime Minister turned lawyer Brian Mulroney. Mulroney apparently made attempts on RIM’s behalf to contact then-U.S. commerce secretary Don Evans about the case; secretary Evans was informed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office not to speak with Mulroney.

In the end, it should really be no surprise that RIM has the connections to hire a former Prime Minister. In Canada, the company is a media darling and viewed as one of the country’s most important technological and business exports. Now I know who to ask if I need a favor (or a Prime Minister for a lawyer).