Tuesday, January 31, 2006

One Take On A Shutdown

Frank Hayes, Computerworld's senior news columnist takes a fairly blasé view of the possibility of a BlackBerry service shutdown, arguing that it would be late March at the earliest before this could happen and that mostly likely a settlement will be reached. His does suggest reviewing your BlackBerry usage and developing contingency plans in case of a shutdown, which is views as “more likely to happen because of a tornado or a technical glitch than because of a court order, but you want to be ready anyway.”

Monday, January 30, 2006

Commerical Users Wonder About Government Exemption

With the possibility of the BlackBerry wireless e-mail service in the U.S. being shutdown for all but government workers and emergency personnel, Computerworld reports that commercial workers are wondering why they may be affected if their government counterparts are not. (via Techdirt)

Determining would is a government worker or emergency personnel would be interesting, is being on contract to the government or being a health care worker enough be qualify?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Globe and Mail's Recap

The Globe and Mail has a lengthy article on NTP’s background, how it discovered the existence of the BlackBerry, its decision to sue and the resulting legal fight.

The article notes that NTP was formed in 1992 and until a 2001 court filing by RIM in one of its own patent lawsuits bought RIM to NTP’s attention, NTP had done nothing with its patents.

In 1992, Mr. Campana and Mr. Stout agreed to form NTP. The company was never about making things or selling things. It was about protecting potentially valuable ideas, some of which dealt with sending messages to wireless devices. And for nearly a decade, Mr. Campana's patents lay dormant, just waiting for RIM to produce the BlackBerry.

Across the border in Canada, Mr. Lazaridis was also destined to become an inventor. But unlike Mr. Campana, Mr. Lazaridis would surround himself with talented people and figure out early how to make money in the wireless business. Along the way, he would create a Canadian tech success story, with a product that has become to the wireless Internet what the iPod is to music.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Slashdot Post Offers Conspiracy Theories

A Slashdot posting notes the February 24th hearing date and states that RIM’s rising share price means investors expect a favourable outcome for RIM possibly due to political pressure.

The statement "U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), under pressure from crackberry-addicted Congressmen, may be moving to invalidate NTP's patents" does seem to be out of line.

More User Reactions

Computerworld states that “BlackBerry users 'wiggin' out' over RIM/NTP patent battle” and that IT managers don’t like the alternative services. The Toronto Star also looks at users’ fears of a service shutdown along with examples of how the BlackBerry is influencing business and political life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Considering Alternatives

PC Magazine looks at what BlackBerry services would be left following an injunction, assuming no work-around is put in place. The article also looks at competing alternatives such as Palm's Treo line.

Reaction To A Shutdown

CNN Money has an article from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on what could be the most terrible threat to CEOs, lost of their BlackBerries. One reaction:

"It's just nuts. The idea that someone is just going to switch it off in three or four weeks, even if it's only in the United States, is crazy," Peter Levene, chairman of the Lloyd's of London insurance market, told Reuters.

LA Times looks at those who dread the thought of a shutdown and those of relish it – often their family members.

Injunction hearing Set For February 24

District Judge James Spencer has set February 24th as the date for considering a possible injunction that could shut down RIM’s BlackBerry service in the United States.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

RIM Legal Update

RIM has provided an update on the lawsuit following the US Supreme Court rejection. No details on the software workaround if an injunction is issued are listed.

A search reveals a blog posting claiming to have details of the software workaround but some believe it maybe a fake or at least, a red-herring.

NTP Plans to Fight On

NTP Inc. vows to continue its fight following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court rejection of a petition by RIM to review the federal appeal court ruling that rejected RIM’s "we're Canadian" defence in which it argued that since its BlackBerry relay server is based in Waterloo, Ontario, U.S. patent laws do not apply. NTP argued that while emails pass through a server outside of the US, the service is American since they originate and terminate in the United States, and use American infrastructure while doing so.

Companies Form Contingency Plans

eWeek looks at contingency plans American RIM customers are making to deal with the possibility of a service shutdown. Previously it looked at how RIM’s rivals Microsoft and Nokia may try to exploit this uncertainty.