U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer has set the date for the next hearing in the NTP vs. Research in Motion patent infringement case to February 24th, four weeks from this Friday. In this hearing, Judge Spencer could decide whether or not to enforce an injunction against BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion, from the sale of BlackBerry devices or service in the United States.

Many are worried that RIM is going to be shut down, however, in the words of our friend Russell Shaw from BBHub, “It ain’t gonna happen“. If the USPTO hasn’t ruled all the NTP patents that RIM was found guilty of infringement invalid, Russell’s idea of of an escrow payment to NTP that waits until final outcome of the USPTO’s rulings is dead on.

By all indications, NTP’s patents will be invalidated which makes this case all but go away. If however, the worst case scenario for RIM creeps up, the patents are upheld, RIM still can, and would settle.

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