The new BIS release for tmobile has been a hard one. But what really concerns me is the ongoing battle with NTP [“RIM moves closer to the edge” – Business week].
People who shorted the stock, made a bundle over the last week. The overall mood has been very pessimistic [“End of the road for Blackberry users” – Slashdot]. Apparently, one could find unjustified behaviour on both sides of the argument.
Also see RIMArkable.
RIM vs NTP is a complicated case.. many patent cases are. But when it boils down to it, the approach doesn’t not appear to be consistent between different cases. If the judgement remains, then RIM’s revenues will take a huge hit, US Blackberry users will not be able to use their devices and I can’t see any product on a comparable quality anywhere on the horizon.
- NTP owns six patents that RIM is violating. These patents were submitted at the dawn of PDAs — before the Newton, in fact — and proposed the general notion of a wireless handheld which receives email, including protocols, long before this was an obvious notion.
- The original patent submitter actually built devices based on these patents and hawked them at trade shows.
- NTP’s lawsuit includes the original inventor as one of its litigants. He’s directly suing RIM.
- RIM completely ignored NTP’s requests for a year.
- NTP wasn’t formed to go after patents in general: it was largely formed to give the original patent submitters enough power to go after RIM for flaunting them — and believe me, RIM was flaunting.
- RIM behaved monstrously at court. They tried to starve NTP to death by dragging out everything, repeatedly lied to the judge (to the point that he issued a condemnation of them), and even appealed to Congress to throw out the case by fiat because they’d given Congressmen Blackberries and so if RIM lost the case it’d create a problem with “national defense”.
- RIM has been doing whatever they can to suggest that NTP is a patent whore.
I hate patent whores. They are evil. But NTP is not one of themI. They invented the concepts, produced products based on them, and were screwed by RIM. RIM deserves to fry.