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The prospect of Research In Motion's Blackberry network falling silent in the US drew a little closer today as the country's Supreme Court denied a request to intervene in its patent case.

RIM had asked the Supremes to stay an injunction which would close down the network. Chief Justice Roberts refused the request, but the Supremes may get involved at a later data.

For now, a federal district court gets to revisit a late-2003 ruling which stated that RIM had breached patents held by NTP.

NTP filed suit in 2001.

With its legal options dwindling, RIM had agreed to a $450m settlement with the patent holder in March. But NTP walked away from the deal, and renewed its threat to turn off the Blackberry. RIM wants a court to enforce that settlement.

The deal also includes IP held by Intel and Seven, who side with RIM. Not surprisingly Microsoft, which has targeted the Crackberry for destruction, sides with NTP. ®

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