Wednesday, March 16, 2005

RIM SETTLES BLACKBERRY SUIT: I was particularly happy to see this news, as I have become, as of yesterday, a full-fleged member of the "CrackBerry" masses (thank you - thank you - it's nice to be here), and God knows I wouldn't want anything as insignificant as a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars patent lawsuit to encroach on my happiness.

Anyways, Research In Motion has agreed to pay $450 million to NTP to settle a patent suit against the BlackBerry maker. The company said Wednesday that the settlement included $137 million already held in escrow, while the remaining $313 million would be expensed in the fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 26.

Unfortunatley, from the academic side of things, we will have to wait another time to see what the Federal Circuit will hold on damages for certain infringing activity occurring abroad. In the RIM case, it was held in the lower court that the plain language of section 271(a) does not preclude infringement where a system is used within the United States even though a component of that system is physically located outside the United States. According to the Court, the test is not whether the infringement took place within the United States, but whether "control and beneficial use" of the infringing system was within the United States. Thus, in RIM's case, control of the system and RIM headquarters were in Canada. End users, however, were located in the U.S. At a minimum, control and beneficial use of the BlackBerry system was located in both the U.S. and Canada.

- See Dennis Crouch's analysis here and here

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