Judge James R. Spencer decided not to enforce an injunction against BlackBerry maker Research in Motion that would prevent the PDA leader from selling BlackBerry devices or service in the United States but warned both NTP, the Virgina based patent holding company that owns 5 patents that Research in Motion was found guilty of infringing upon, and RIM to settle out of court before he would be forced to do it for them in court as a matter of law.
Judge Spencer’s comments made it clear that NTP and RIM should get together and settle this thing, however, I think that we may be farther away from a settlement now, then we were back before the hearing.
As the BlackBerry hearing was going on last Friday the United States Patent and Trademark Office was busy invalidating the last three of the five NTP patents RIM was found guilty of infringement. The first two fell on the preceding two days. In an interview just after the hearing, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie pointed out several times that the NTP patents are “absolutely going away”. Balsillie didn’t categorically say that RIM will not settle with NTP, but, he alluded to the possibility very strongly.
If there is one thing that we know for sure, this thing is definitely not over.