For RIM: Careful What You Ask For

Tomas Kellner, 12.06.05,

NEW YORK - Last November, the federal government injected itself in the protracted BlackBerry court fight, where NTP is suing BlackBerry's maker, Research In Motion, over patent infringement.

The feds filed a "statement of interest" with the court, saying the U.S. government is a major BlackBerry user, and the court should refrain from issuing any injunction that would shut government BlackBerries down. The government went on to say that it was "assessing" the extent to which "the public interest would be impaired by the award of any injunctive relief" to NTP.

"This is nearly unprecedented," says professor Mark A. Lemley, director of Stanford's Program in Law Science and Technology. "I can't think of another case in which they have weighed in unsolicited on whether a court should grant a particular injunction," which is a great weapon for plaintiffs in patent litigation, shutting down defendants' product or even the entire business, and forcing them into settlement talks.

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Eric Friedebach /Jaywalking in Dallas/

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Eric Friedebach
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