A U. S. Federal Court today denied Research in Motion’s request for the full court to rehear its appeal of the NTP patent infringement case in which RIM was found guilty on 5 counts.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington today denied the company’s request for a rehearing before the entire 12-judge court. A three-judge panel in August upheld a jury finding of infringement. Such panels almost always decide patent cases on appeal, and it’s unusual for a full court to reconsider a panel’s decision.
RIM stock fell sharply to $3.84 to $63.13 before trading was halted at 11:15 a.m. on what ThinkEquity Partners analyst Pablo Perez calls “terrible news for RIM.” NTP is pushing for an injunction to stop all sales of BlackBerry devices and services in the United States.
There could be an injunction that stops all sales in the U.S. It’s not a guarantee that NTP will get the injunction, but it is now much stronger.
More than two thirds of Research in Motion’s sales come from the United States alone and such an injucntion could devistate the company. RIM has been working on a workaround solution that would run on existing BlackBerry phones and pagers that would not infringe on any of the patents in question.