Wednesday, February 15, 2006

NTP Says RIM Can ID Gov't Users

In a court filing NTP Inc. stated that RIM should bear the burden of identifying government workers would be exempt from a possible court ordered shutdown of RIM’s BlackBerry email service in the United States. It argues that RIM “mislead” the US government about its ability to identify the estimated 1 million government users of its service which it notes cost the government about $40 a month in subscription fees.

The Globe and Mail’s article notes the impact of RIM’s workaround and the expected NTP challenge to it if it needs to be put in place.

NTP reiterated its request for an immediate injunction on new BlackBerry sales, noting that RIM is selling more than 7,000 devices each day. RIM and its carrier partners can readily comply with such an order, the filing said.

Should the judge comply with this request, RIM would likely seek an immediate stay of the injunction from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It would also presumably put the workaround into effect immediately. NTP is expected to challenge the workaround by filing a motion for contempt of court. If the motion is granted, the leverage would fall heavily in its favour. If it's not, leverage would swing to RIM, assuming the workaround works as advertised.

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