BlackBerry fans have been holding their breath as a five-year intellectual property fight that could lead to the shutdown of their beloved mobile devices heads into its final weeks.
Lawyers for Research In Motion and patent holder NTP are scheduled to give final arguments later this month before a Virginia judge who could reimpose an injunction on the sales of BlackBerry devices in the U.S. NTP has won several court victories so far, but RIM has prevailed on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to call NTP’s patents into question.
The case is being closely watched by the tech industry amid calls for patent reform and by anxious BlackBerry users wondering how they’ll keep the mobile e-mail flowing in the event of a shutdown. Just to spice things up, RIM claims that it has a “workaround” that could allow it to bypass NTP’s patents simply by upgrading its software.
I really hope not, I’ve started to rely on mine, although whether non-US users will be affected is to be seen.