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RIM faces US Blackberry injunction

Case will continue while Supreme Court ponders

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NTP is to ask a US District Court to confirm an injunction banning the sale of Research in Motion's Blackberry devices in the States after the US Court of Appeals threw out a request to put the legal fight on hold.

RIM has asked the Court of Appeals to suspend the case against it while the US Supreme Court ponders whether it will hear RIM's appeal against the Court of Appeals' refusal to reconsider its own decision in the matter.

In August this year, the Court of Appeals scaled back a ruling made in NTP's favour. Previously, it had said RIM infringed all of NTP's patents. But while its RIM-requested reconsideration of the ruling saw it reject some Eastern Virginia District Court infringement judgements, it upheld others, so NTP still has a case RIM must answer.

Hoping for another change of mind, RIM asked the Court of Appeals to think again, but the Court refused, it was announced earlier this month. RIM essentially wants the Supreme Court to force the Court of Appeals' hand.

In the meantime, the latest judgement means the case can now return to the District Court, which is expected to re-issue an injunction made in 2003 banning sales of Blackberries in the US. Certainly, NTP will ask the Court to confirm the injunction, the company said late last week.

NTP sued RIM in 2002. Its initial success was limited by RIM's move to appeal against the Judge James Spencer's ruling in NTP's favour. The Court of Appeals' initial confirmation of Judge Spencer's decision persuaded the warring parties to negotiate a $450m settlement, though finalisation negotiations would eventually break down. ®

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