Supreme Court Denies BlackBerry Appeal

BlackBerry users are once again
focusing their attention on Richmond,
VA and U.S. District Court of Judge
James R. Spencer. On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. leaving it in the hands of the District
Courts who could impose an injunction, cutting off access to millions of users
in the US.

This is the latest step in a legal
battle initiated by NTP Inc., a small Virginia
company, who claims ownership of a patent on the technology that drives the
BlackBerry platform. This latest step in the proceedings comes after a previous
federal appeals court ruling decided that Canada based RIM did indeed
infringe on the patents held by NTP. RIM has argued that it isn't subject to US patent infringement laws because it is based
in Canada
along with the main relay station for its e-mail and data transmission
services. The federal appeals court ruling stated that RIMs customers in the
US, of which there are about 3 million, are indeed subject to U.S. laws governing
patent infringement and intellectual property rights, and could thus be
prevented from using the BlackBerry service.

While the
average U.S. Joe Schmoe BlackBerry owner may be standing on shaky ground, it seems
Uncle Sam and his employees are above the patent and intellectual property laws that are at the center of this debate. NTP attorneys have
said that government and emergency workers who have come to rely on BlackBerry
service for their work, would be exempt from any potential "BlackBerry
Blackout" while other users could be out of luck.

News source: The Sun Journal / Associated Press

News source: MSNBC

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