Patent Review Pending on BlackBerry

Case threatens e-mail service

By Bloomberg | December 18, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The US Patent and Trademark Office said it would try to complete a review with 'special dispatch' of patents that could result in the shutdown of Research In Moti on Ltd.'s BlackBerry e-mail device in the United States.

The patents are owned by NTP Ltd., a licensing company from Arlington, Va., that won a 2001 patent-infringement lawsuit against Research In Motion. The patent office initiated the review in 2002 after James Rogan, then its director, received letters of complaint from Congress about the possible shutdown because of a jury verdict. Research In Motion later joined the request.

US District Court Judge James Spencer, who presided over the 2002 trial in Richmond, has declined to delay proceedings on a possible injunction while waiting for the patent office to act on the review, called a reexamination. The agency has issued ''nonfinal" rejections of three NTP patents, including one found to be infringed.

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Monty Solomon
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