Feeds

US govt. plea in BlackBerry case

Hands off!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Best practices for enterprise data

The US Justice Department has stepped into the ongoing patent infringement suit against BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM), asking the court to ensure that any injunction on the use of US BlackBerrys will not affect Government workers.

The Justice Department has filed a “statement of interest” with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, seeking a 90-day delay so that government agencies can compile a list of workers who would be affected by a BlackBerry shutdown, the Washington Post reports. These workers, says the Department, should then be exempted from any service cut-off imposed by the court.

The Department has also expressed concern that "there may be a substantial public interest that may be impaired" if the BlackBerry service is closed down, reports the newspaper.

The District Court is due to consider arguments on the merits of some of the patent claims brought by holding company NTP Inc., following last month’s refusal by the Supreme Court to rehear an appeal by RIM against a Court of Appeal ruling.

The District Court will also decide whether to impose an injunction prohibiting RIM from selling the BlackBerry and any other products, software or services using the disputed technology, in the US.

According to reports, NTP has already confirmed that government workers will not be impacted by an injunction, but the Administration is concerned as to how this will be ensured in practice.

Background

NTP sued in November 2001, claiming that certain RIM products were infringing on patents covering a method of using radio frequency wireless communications in email systems.

RIM was found guilty of patent infringement in November 2002, when a jury awarded NTP Inc damages of $53.7m and imposed an injunction – which was then stayed pending an appeal.

The injunction was lifted by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington in August this year, after the court found that the BlackBerry did infringe on some of NTP’s patents, but that one of the lower court’s key definitions, relating to the term “originating processor," was too wide. The Court of Appeals therefore returned the case to the District Court for further arguments over the claims that may have been affected by the flawed definition.

RIM appealed, asking that the full Appeals Court re-consider the case, but the Appeals Court and the US Supreme Court have both refused to take the case further.

Separately, the US Patent and Trademark Office has cast doubt on all of the patents involved in the dispute. RIM hopes that the USPTO rulings, which are independent from the litigation process, will boost its arguments before the District Court.

Copyright © 2005, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?