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Hopes Rise for RIM

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the hold-together-baby dept.

Patents 143

sbowles writes "U.S. District Court has set Feb 24th as the next date for a hearing to consider a possible injunction against Research in Motion. Despite this, RIM shares are rising on news that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), under pressure from crackberry-addicted Congressmen, may be moving to invalidate NTP's patents. As a contingency, RIM has announced that they have a software workaround that will allow service to continue uninterrupted."

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Good move for the wrong reasons. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582461)


news that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), under pressure from crackberry-addicted Congressmen, may be moving to invalidate NTP's patents.

While I agree that NTP's case is bogus, unhappy Congressmen are the wrong reason for invalidating the patents in question: it hoists them above the rules everyone else has to live under.
I think most would agree that far more people are disillusioned about the entire patent process. Apparently, though, nothing will come of that until some government-types are inconvenienced by the system.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (2, Informative)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582522)

Given the immediacy of the threat to RIM service, I think this scenario is the best that can be hoped for -- political intervention, either via legislation or influence over the Patent Office. Theortetically the Patent Office has the mechanisms already in place to deal with this issue, but the bureacracy is just slow to take effect...

As bad as patent law has become, it can't be overhauled overnight; a substantial commitment to a thorough review must be made, where the interests of inventors, intellectual property owners, and the citizens of the US are addressed. Not to mention all the other countries with whom the US has intellectual property treaties -- they're affected too.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582738)

Why isn't RIM moving to delay the trial? And by moving, I mean 'filing a motion with the judge.'

If the patent issue is going to be decided by the USPTO soon then why go through the court motions if the entire basis of the litigation is going to change?

The only answer I got in a previous thread was: The Judge is tired of this case and wants to finish it up.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (4, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582826)

The judge refused to stay proceedings until the outcome of the patent office review. This is the reale nonsense of the case ... RIM may have to pay billions (or maybe many millions) to stay in business only to have the patent office invalidate the patents after judgment has already been entered against RIM.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582891)

That's exactly why the Judge won't accept RIMs motions to delay.

He's an idiot, he's tired of the case, and he wants it to hurry up.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583267)

Come on folks...just because they MIGHT invalidate the patents doesn't mean that RIM should have been using them in the first place. The correct way to have handled this is real simple....pay the $$ for the patent (that was valid at the time that RIM "took" it...and is valid today...although it may not be tommorow) and then if the patent is invalid...sue to get your money back. After all, that's the American way!

Seriously...if RIM has a "work-a-round" why not put it in place? Then who cares what the court rules...they can argue the case for another 10 years but not worry about putting millions of users "at risk."

Most of RIM's arguments are pretty weak also...the latest that got turned down was, "We're a Canadian company, we don't have to follow US Patents anyway."

Amazing logic thought process...NOT.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583229)

from crackberry-addicted

This is just the first time I have ever heard someone use the term "crackberry" other then my friend and myself...Thank god :)

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584417)

Time to come out of the cave, Usama

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (2, Insightful)

mavenguy (126559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583465)

I don't know what behid the scenes political pressure has been applied (and I doubt that anyting new in the last few weeks has had any effect), but there has been a reexamination (actually two that have been merged); anyone can see what has been going on by checking out 90/006492 in the public PAIR system [uspto.gov] .

Briefly, there have been two non-final rejections, the last one mailed on November 30, 2005, and all the claims under reexamination (I haven't checked if there are other claims not included that would remain if the rejections are sustained) have been rejected. The only reason the last action was not made final was that additional rejections were made based on prior art made of record between the two rejections.

I don't think an recent publicity about a shutdown of service after the appeal from the District Court was shot down has had any effect on the reexam procedings; I haven't followed this case, however, and don't know what outside influence was brought to bear on the PTO to order the rexams.

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583809)

"unhappy Congressmen are the wrong reason for invalidating the patents in question:"
That is actually how the system is supposed to work.
Congressmen are supposed to represent the people in their district. When something happens to make the people unhappy the congress person from that area are supposed to do something about it.
To be honest this is the first patent case that affects a large number of people directly. If you notice the halt of service will not effect Federal Blackberries so the users in congress will not be shut down. Maybe they don't know that :)

Re:Good move for the wrong reasons. (1)

gostats (647325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583961)

While I agree that NTP's case is bogus, unhappy Congressmen are the wrong reason for invalidating the patents in question

I'd just like to point out that "unhappy Congressmen" is not the *reason* for "invalidating the patents", rather said Congressmen are instead a force or catalyst. You even stated that "NTP's case is bogus". So said bogusness is the *reason* for patent invalidation.

In this matter, the Congressmen have a point. After all, should we really punish the end user in the name of protecting a technology that doesn't yet have a clear owner? And I use the term "protecting" lightly.

Are they hiring? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582491)

Because I'd really love to have a Rim job.

Re:Are they hiring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582656)

This has to be one of the best posts in the last five years, I'm serious.

Re:Are they hiring? (1)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583424)

One of the most common, too.

If they have a software workaround (3, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582513)

then why not implment it and end the whole mess?

Re:If they have a software workaround (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582543)

"then why not implment it and end the whole mess?"

Because they have eaten too many crackers and can't whistle past the grave yard yet.

Re:If they have a software workaround (2, Insightful)

thaerin (937575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582574)

Either that or they don't truly know how it'll work in the real world with hundreds of thousands of users. Sure, working in a controlled environment is fine and dandy to test things, but surely they can't be positive it'll work across the board.

Re:If they have a software workaround (2, Informative)

slash-tard (689130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582800)

It would require reloading/patching all devices and the server software on all customer servers.

Re:If they have a software workaround (2, Insightful)

ihaddsl (772965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582821)

I'm guessing the 'workaround' is inferior in some respect. otherwise, they would have switched already instead of playing chicken with NTP.

Notice how they don't say much about what the workaround is (other than to say it requires a software update on the blackberry handhelds which they'll preload on new blackberry's if required)

something's rotten

Re:If they have a software workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583042)

I work for nextel's blackberry support division, hence the anonymous post. won't want to loose my job, crappy as it is. anyway, the general vibe we get from the people up the chain from us is that the "workaround" is smoke+mirrors. as others have stated, why haven't they moved to it yet, if it did exist.

Re:If they have a software workaround (0, Offtopic)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583231)

"won't want to loose my job, crappy as it is."

I'd fire you simply because you don't know how to fucking spell the word "lose," you loser.

Re:If they have a software workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583379)

I'm guessing the 'workaround' is inferior in some respect

How true... it's inferior in the respect that it cuts out RIM as the middle man/relay. Bye-bye revenues from carriers...

Re:If they have a software workaround (1)

banditski (163064) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583196)

I'm not an expert, but wouldn't they have to pay the (retroactive) royalties to NTP if they implemented a workaround (essentially throwing in the towel)?? If they fight it, perhaps the powers that be rule that they don't owe NTP anything...

Buying Time. (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583238)

I suspect that there are workarounds possible -- it's "only" wireless email afterall. But RIM still has to continue to fight this until the very end. If they lose, they will have to pay royalties on all devices previously sold. The software fix would allow them to continue selling new, unencumbered, devices. So, RIM is doing the smart thing by dragging this out as long as possible. They have a reasonable chance of winning, thereby saving hundreds of millions in royalties. And, more importantly, it buys them more time to continue to work on the work-around and probably do some full scale rollouts to test customers. It's never easy to make a change that affects a few million devices so the more time the better.

Re:If they have a software workaround (1)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583287)

Because they don't have one, simple as that, it's a bluff and a poor one at that. This is an attempt to frighten NTP, to get them to say "Oh we better take their offer right away, otherwise they'll work around our patents and we won't get ANYTHING!"

If RIM really had it, they would implement it immediately - this case is hurting them terribly.

Re:If they have a software workaround (1)

MrJynxx (902913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583770)

That's easier said than done. In a lab environment I'm sure it works, but the issue here is not all blackberries can accept updates on the fly, but instead have to download it manually to the blackberry.

With the new updates to the BES servers, I think 4.0 to be exact, it does allow you to push updates over the air but it doesn't always work very well. Company I work for pushes software wirelessly and we barely get 75% acceptance rate on a user base of approx 1000 and we have pretty much use only 2 types.

And what if someone is using older technology? Not all blackberries are made the same way with the same software so implementing this may be costly in the long run. Ie. may have to offer free upgrades which they already do, but if they have to offer another one to correct a simple bug it'll be extremely costly especially when the userbase is so large.

MrJynxx

Re:If they have a software workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583789)

updating the all the Blackberry stuff would take a lot of time, and why would you put in effect a workaround when the case is bogus? it is like admitting you are wrong.

Darn...too late to buy shares now (2, Funny)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582519)

"As a contingency, RIM has announced that they have a software workaround that will allow service to continue uninterrupted."

Dad was telling me to buy shares in this company. I should have listened.

Workaround... (2, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582541)

So what happens to SCo's case if the work around is accepted and validated by a higher court? That's right- they'd be hosed! Well, more so, but it will be interesting to see how this case plays out and the ripples that it causes.

Ok I admit (0)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582548)

I admit I've always wondered wtf the big deal about the BlackBerry was, browsed the site a bit and probably came to the wrong conclusion. From what I could tell, was that it was a really schpiffy looking PDA'ish type thing that has a nice enterprise-grade suite of integrated backend stuff like mail/etc?

Is that even remotely close to what all the hype is about?

Re:Ok I admit (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582589)

Nostly, you can keep your appointments/calendar, memos, tasks, emails, etc in sync with your Exchange profile. Some of them have 2-way capabilities, but other than that, they're just normal cells as far as I can tell.

Re:Ok I admit (5, Informative)

NickV (30252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582648)

They're much more than normal cells... They're push based email devices, so there's no need to poll for email or "check your inbox". It gets your email almost as soon as it shows up in your email box at home/work. Very powerful, and very useful. You're always connected (and like a phone it can vibrate or ring whenever you get an email.)

Additionally, you can send, accept, etc meeting requests, check other people's calendars, etc. In a large enterprise environment, its pretty indispensible.

Re:Ok I admit (4, Informative)

URSpider (242674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582818)

Yes, it is. The big deal is that they sell an additional piece of hardware/software that your admin installs inside your firewall, which bundles up all of your corporate e-mail and sends it out to the device. Add that to the included readers for most popular office formats, and the easy-to-use keyboard, and it becomes a mobile office.

Keep in mind that, for most people with firewalled email servers, a device like this is the only way that they can have remote access to their e-mail, if their sysadmin supports it.

This probably doesn't seem like a big idea to all the uber-geeks out there, but it's practically a miracle to salespeople and middle management types who can't configure a mail client on their own.

Re:Ok I admit (1)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583024)

I beg your pardon. ;-)

I'm not in management, and AM an über geek, and my BB is indespensible purely because in meetings I can send and receive PIN msgs to and from my colleagues. It's the 21st equivalent of passing notes.

Oh, and the browser is the only way I have to check GMail from work.

Re:Ok I admit (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583964)

Keep in mind that, for most people with firewalled email servers, a device like this is the only way that they can have remote access to their e-mail, if their sysadmin supports it.

If the company/sysadmin is happy to send its mail out through a third party's servers using a proprietary blackbox inside their internal network to leap the firewall, but won't open port 993 for an industry standard secure mail protocol, then someone has needs their head read.

Only /slightly/ off-topic (0, Offtopic)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582551)

I really don't understand 'crack-berry'.. Is this referring to the device itself or the user of the device?

Crack-berry people should be admired - they aren't tied to their computers all day, just to do email. They are out and about enjoying their time, getting more done outside the office with these things. Frankly anyone who can actually keep up to date, reply to messages, and who can take care of business with these things is a hero in my books. I have a black-berry and I'm just not disciplined enough to utilize the device to it's full potential.

Re:Only /slightly/ off-topic (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582630)

I have a black-berry and I'm just not disciplined enough to utilize the device to it's full potential.

And who said opposing thumbs made us primates so much more advanced? ;)

Re:Only /slightly/ off-topic (2, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582652)

"Crackberry" refers to the device. The term is used because so many of the users act like crack addicts - they can't go anywhere without their Blackberry and they stop whatever they are doing (talking, eating, etc.) the second the freakin' thing vibrates to let them know they have email because that email is far far more important than any other person they might be interacting with at the time. Some of the criticisms could be directed at cell phone users too because they often exhibit some of the same characteristics. People that get a Blackberry act like they can't live without it. Personally, I hope I never get one and at present, my company sees little value in it because we have cell phones they use to reach us 24x7 in emergencies.

Re:Only /slightly/ off-topic (1)

zx-6e (604380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582778)

Your not bitter about this.....

Re:Only /slightly/ off-topic (0, Flamebait)

SydBarrett (65592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582921)

You forgot how they never change the default sig the blackberry uses:

"Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld"

Yeah, I'm sure everyone getting your email is so fucking impressed that you are able to spit out a incoherent message on your super neeto wireless device that was designed for retarded chimps. Except that a retarded chimp would know how to actully use it better than you.

I used to work at a helpdesk, and when the Verizon wireless service would go down for a few minutes, the place got flooded with call from these crack addicts. Now if they were in the middle of no place with no computer, yeah, I could see the problem. But 90% of these people were sitting in their office RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE FUCKING COMPUTER, BUT STILL WANT TO USE THEIR BLACKBERRY.

Oh yeah, the cell phone part of them really suck.

Yes, worse than cell phones (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583451)

Indeed many (most?) Blackberry users instantly stop what they are doing - ordering food, talking, paying attention to traffic, etc. the moment the Blackberry activates.

This might not be so bad, as you mention it is similar to cell phone addicts in this regard - but consider that Blackberry users are doing this every time they get an e-mail! Now think of how much email you get at work, and how many Blackberries are tied into corperate email accounts... and you start to realize the extent of the problem and the reason why many consider Blackberry addicts much worse than phone addicts. Hence teh "Crackberry" since it's so much more annoying a problem.

Re:Only /slightly/ off-topic (1)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583635)

I always hoped I would never have to carry one of these cursed things, but I've been carrying one since June, when I was tasked with installing a Blackberry Enterprise Server...

I hate the dammned thing, but the bright side is at least I can almost always know if the email server is up!

Re:Only /slightly/ off-topic (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582687)

Crack-Berry is a jab at former DC Mayor Marion Barry

You see, he was Mayor for 12 years, got caught smoking crack, then went to jail for 6 months.

After getting out of jail, he became a DC city councilman, served another term as mayor, then became a consultant.

In 2004, he ran again for a seat on the city council, won it and about a year later, tested positive for cocaine use.

Marion "Crackberry" Barry

Fake Blackberry TV Commercial (3, Funny)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583184)

Crack-berry people should be admired - they aren't tied to their computers all day, just to do email. They are out and about enjoying their time, getting more done outside the office with these things. Frankly anyone who can actually keep up to date, reply to messages, and who can take care of business with these things is a hero in my books.

Riiiight...

Meanwhile, this is how the REST of the world sees Crackberry users:

http://www.cbc.ca/mercerreport/video_player.html?b lackberry [www.cbc.ca] (WMP or QT)

Funny but NSFW (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583404)

Warning that there's a bit in the middle there that is NSFW - may want to think about who you forward it to.

Hilarious and dead-on though!

Re:Funny but NSFW (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583801)

What part's NSFW? (Watched it on TV a few weeks ago, can't remember...)

Well.. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14584434)

There's one part where he comes out of the shower with helmet and blackberry on - but nothing else.

Funny but some people might take it badly!

At least it's male nudity.

Re:Fake Blackberry TV Commercial (1)

akgw (896515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583594)

Laugh all you want. My 'CrackBerry' lets me operate out of the office better than any *insert device here* I've ever tried.

Re:Fake Blackberry TV Commercial (2, Funny)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583817)

Laugh all you want. My 'CrackBerry' lets me operate out of the office better than any *insert device here* I've ever tried.

Well, if you're using it as an anal probe, then I suppose it's better than a laptop...

Invalidation irrelevant (3, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582560)

The invalidation would be irrelevant and unnecessary if RIM has workarounds.

They're not making any money from already-sold devices.

And they'll be able to continue selling new ones.

They'll spend a few bucks selling firmware upgrades, if that's even possible.

Or they'll sell "upgraded" devices (maybe at a slim discount) to current customers.

Now, that might invite a class-action lawsuit from Blackberry owners claiming they were defrauded by someone selling pirated IP, but when has that ever cost any company what it was really worth to the class?

At worst, the judge will order RIM to pay a reasonable royalty. Shutting down the network would not be a legal option.

Now, where's my broker's number? I need to text him a buy order....

Re:Invalidation irrelevant (3, Funny)

fuzzy12345 (745891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582791)

The invalidation would be irrelevant and unnecessary if RIM has workarounds. They're not making any money from already-sold devices.

"Officer, I'm not speeding. As you can see, we're both here at the side of the highway, at a dead stop."

Re:Invalidation irrelevant (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582858)

They're not making any money from already-sold devices.

???

They sure as hell are. All those companies that have the Enterprise Server to link into the email system are paying them scads of money each year in licensing fees. Those license fees are a "per device" basis (generally speaking) so each blackberry sold to a company is generating annual revenue for them.

Re:Invalidation irrelevant (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583225)

No, you pay for the software, you pay for a per device license, and if you want you pay per device per year for support. If you do not need/want support then there is no ongoing revenue stream for RIM.

Re:Invalidation irrelevant (1)

GWSuperfan (939629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583084)

"They're not making any money from already-sold devices."

How exactly do you figure this? In some cases, the money is directly from corporations (licensing fees for BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, which are required to fully integrate the device into a coroprate environment). For individual users, there is usually a "BlackBerry plan" through the service provider- a portion of which is paid to RIM for providing blackberry internet email service. In my case, There is a line item (separate from my voice plan) on my bill for unlimited data and BlackBerry service. A portion of that money is paid as a licensing fee or service fee by my wireless provider to RIM. The bulk of RIM's revenue actually comes from the service, not the individual device sales.

Crackleberry-addicted Congressmen (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582590)

under pressure from crackberry-addicted Congressmen, may be moving to invalidate NTP's patents

I don't know about you, but I don't want any addicts making my laws.

Addict or not. I just want them to read it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582624)

I just want them to read everything before they sign it. Is that too much to ask?

http://www.downsizedc.org/read_the_laws.shtml [downsizedc.org]

How is RIM relevant to me? (4, Interesting)

pestie (141370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582610)

Am I the only person here who's never used a Blackberry and never known anyone who's used one?

Yes, I know some genius is going to reply "Yes." and probably get modded +5, Funny for it. But I'm serious. I've never seen one of these things in use.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (5, Funny)

imadoofus (233751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582665)

Yes.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582696)

Nope, I never even so much as seen a Blackberry and I didn't know what one was until about 6 months ago. Reading Slashdot is only reason I know what one is. All I know is that it's a portable device that interacts with your email account.

I simply don't know anyone who has one: surprising, considering I have some pretty geeky friends, and I work with bunch of programmers.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583464)

even though it's a techy device I don't know any of my tech oriented friends who have one, mostly people who were given one as part of their job, then developed a love affair with it after the fact

I imagine it's because it's because these people would be getting that crapload of emails either way and having a blackberry lets them deal with it wherever they happen to be, so gives them more freedom

if you don't get a ton of email that you actually have to respond to then I doubt it would be all that useful

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583867)

I simply don't know anyone who has one: surprising, considering I have some pretty geeky friends, and I work with bunch of programmers.

The blackberry isn't really aimed at your average geeky programmer. It's more for your corporate suit types. Programmers are more likely to roll their own solution to email on the move using a POP/IMAP client or Java midlet on their PDA/phone and some procmail scripts to filter it down to what they're really interested in.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (2, Funny)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582701)

Am I the only person here who's never used a Blackberry and never known anyone who's used one?

Yes.

Yes, I know some genius is going to reply "Yes." and probably get modded +5, Funny for it.

I hope so.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582716)

Am I the only person here who's never used a Blackberry and never known anyone who's used one?
I doubt you're the only person, but I'd have to guess that you are not employed (and do not live) in a major urban center. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd have to say that at least 50% of the folks in my company have one of the silly things (Northern Virginia, about 10 miles west of DC). Fortunately I'm not one of them (yet).

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582773)

Go to any airport that has International in it's description and you will see one in 5 minutes.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583023)

Programmers rarely have a use for this type of device, most people that use them are business people (sales) and sys-admins who always have to be accessible. I know very few programmers who need to be available outside of the office, since most companies don't even allow code to be touched from outside.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583051)

Yes, I know some genius is going to reply "Yes." and probably get modded +5, Funny for it.


I was tempted, but someone else beat me to it.

Seriously, I thought blackberries were those fruits you could get in the grocery store. I've seen references to the other kind on slashdot and other places, but I've never used one. OTOH, there's a reason I call myself "Cro Magnon".

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583055)

Where are you living? I live in the Washington DC area and the Blackberry is a standard issue device with any job. Everyone from lawyers to construction workers have them. I've got the 7520 with cell phone, nextel, and yahoo IM client. It reads Word, Excel, PDF documents (text or graphics based) and views .jpg's. I don't need a laptop anymore!

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583059)

Am I the only person here who's never used a Blackberry and never known anyone who's used one? Yes, I know some genius is going to reply "Yes." and probably get modded +5, Funny for it. But I'm serious. I've never seen one of these things in use.

No

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (3, Informative)

Quintios (594318) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583321)

I didn't know if you were asking for a response of someone that uses one, but I do, and I love it.

The main reason I like it so much is that all my contacts from Outlook are wirelessly sync'd and that it does simple email. In my line of work I need to keep in contact with many people and the ability to respond to emails quickly is important. It's not important for me to send an email with really fancy formatting, and if I need to send an attachment I'll simply respond "I'll get that to you a bit later." (For the record, I'm a project manager.)

I use email and the cell phone/contacts portion of the Blackberry and little else. One of the nice features if that you can use the click wheel to select different portions of emails or 'you missed a phone call' notes, and it will tell you who that person is if you can't tell from the email addy or the phone number. I can immediately tell if I need to contact that person quickly or if it can wait. Outstanding.

It's not complicated. It's not buggy. You don't need to install any third party software. (By the way, anyone that uses their handheld to work on Excel spreadsheets is crazy, but the BB will do that.) It just works and works well. I broke my first one and about cried. I got another tho.

I owned a Palm IIIx and an IPAQ. Unfortunately it's hard to draw conclusions because neither of those had an integrated cell phone, but between the three the Blackberry is the best.

Re:How is RIM relevant to me? (4, Funny)

MyDogHasFleas (880529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583413)

Yes, I know some genius is going to reply "Yes."

Close, but it wasn't a genius... it was a doofus

How Much Did They Spend... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582658)

...developing the work around vs. litigating for the last several years?

Does This Mean.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582663)

Does this mean I can finally get that rim job I was looking for?

Blackberry = Packet Radio = 1980 (5, Interesting)

Deeper Thought (783866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582670)

NTP filed their patents in the 90's.

Hams have used Packet Radio since 1980. Packet Radio is wireless transmission of ASCII messages, which is what RIM provides via Blackberry receivers. How is this not prior art?

What is packet radio: http://www.choisser.com/packet/part01.html [choisser.com]
Wiki on Packet Radio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_radio [wikipedia.org]

Broad Patents vs. Narrow Patents (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582808)

I believe NTP's patents are on a much narrower definition of the way RIM's system works.

i.e. they haven't patented sending text messages between devices, they've patented a very specific method of making email available to a mobile device. I don't recall, but I believe the patent deals partially with the corporate firewall problem.

In short, whether it is valid or not, their patent does not apply to packet radio, nor can packet radio be considered prior art for the system.

A good example. Joe Caveman invents the wheel in 500 B.C.

In 1990, John Doe invents a specific tread pattern for a rubber tire that has some Really Nifty Benefit. It's based on the wheel, but enhances it. John Doe can't patent the wheel due to prior art (Joe Caveman in 500 B.C.), but John can patent his specific enhancement of the wheel.

Re:Blackberry = Packet Radio = 1980 (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582855)

Apparently, and IANAL, this is not the issue *right now*. The problem is that the patent does exist, and NTP is actively trying to enforce it.

As I understand it, there is no way to challenge an already granted patent until the patent holder attempts to sue somebody for infringement. After that, the successful defense of the case may result in the patent being declared invalid (due to prior art, too broad of a scope, etc). But, you can't arbitrarily browse the USPTO web site and attempt to have a patent invalidated. You have to build an "infringing" device and then wait to be sued.

If you could challenge patents arbitrarily, I think either the FSF or the EFF (or something else with two Fs) would be looking for a lot more lawyers.

Re:Blackberry = Packet Radio = 1980 (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583915)

'Packet radio' is not among the NTP patent's 89 claims. The patent, No. 5,436,960 [uspto.gov] , claims an email system using packet radio, among many other things.

For a better understanding of prior art in patents, please read Part II [cornell.edu] of the Patent Act, United States Code Title 35. The big thing to remember is that for the purposes of prior art, the invention is treated on a claim-by-claim basis. See 35 USC 111(a) [cornell.edu] , and 35 USC 112, para. 2 [cornell.edu] . Prior art can invalidate a patent because the invention isn't new (35 USC 102 [cornell.edu] ), or because the invention may be new, but is obvious "to a person having ordinary skill in the art" (35 USC 103 [cornell.edu] ).

NTP may have just lost a lot of money (1)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582707)

Now that RIM has a software workaround, I'm thinking that NTP may have
just lost a lot of money. RIM may no longer have any reason to
settle out of court with NTP, or at least they may cut the offer
way back as a result.

I'm curious as to if this software will work on all BlackBerry
models, or just the newer ones.

National Security? (1)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582711)

[i]The U.S. government has even joined the dispute, arguing that BlackBerry's are vital to national security.[/i] Sure, if they have some flaw known only to the NSA that allows them to read terrorist messages: they don't want people moving to something more secure, perhaps?

Re:National Security? (1)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582838)

Or it just may be that they would like to be able to use their blackberries in case of some disaster.

Re:National Security? (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583043)

As a BB user & admin, I'm not aware of any mobile platform (that offers the same features) that is more secure than the BB system.

-Nick

Re:National Security? (0, Flamebait)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583437)

You are showing all signs of addiction including detachment from reality and assigning to your addictive substance (crackberry) mythical powers which it does not posses. Encryption is clearly not one of them.

If I recall correctly the Crackberry is the only wireless email system where the PGP and x509 integration are solely at the server. The messages are decrypted at the server and sent to the device unencrypted perusing only the GPRS wireless encryption which is pretty weak by modern standards. They are temporarily stored at the device unencrypted as well, which defeats the idea of PGP and x509 completely.

I wish RIM would fight (5, Insightful)

fuzzy12345 (745891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582742)

Not that this will happen, but...

If RIM were to say, on a Monday morning, "Due to patent litigation in the US, all Blackberry service will be turned off immediately, indefinitely" we'd see patent reform by Wednesday.

Just as "hard cases make bad law," sometimes there's a confluence of defendant and public (uh, congresional) interest which cause a certain set of facts to be uniquely positioned as a spur to reform. I don't want exclusions for federal workers, I want this case to be used as a blunt instrument to get congress to address the problem. UNFORTUNATELY, what would be best for everyone (IMHO) isn't what's best for RIM, and I doubt they'd take one for the team.

Re:I wish RIM would fight (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582798)

What's funny is that you're absolutely right. I wonder how many execs at the suing company actually use a blackberry. How many congressmen? How many Judges? How many USPTO employees? They would be falling all over themselves.

RIM's hands aren't clean. (3, Interesting)

emil (695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583310)

I don't know much about it, but this guy's comment [slashdot.org] doesn't make RIM look likely to be a good poster boy for patent reform.

Re:I wish RIM would fight (1)

AgentGibbled (688180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583525)

"what would be best for everyone (IMHO) isn't what's best for RIM, and I doubt they'd take one for the team."

Particularly considering it's a Canadian company. That'd be kind of like taking one for someone else's team.

#include "rant_about_the_usa_ruining_everything_for_the_res t_of_the_world.h"

I'd be extremely surprised to see RIM do something like that, especially since they have a workaround in case everything goes wrong. Even if NTP wins, they lose. Everybody's lawyers get paid, and some lobby group or other will convince congress to leave patent laws alone in order to maintain America's "competitive advantage" or some such nonsense.

Good thing Apple was not involved..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582747)

or the headline woulda read:

Hopes Rise for RIM, JOBS

Frost 4is7?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14582781)

the public eyeB: [goat.cx]

Interesting precedent (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582839)

it would be interesting if, for whatever reasons, Congress will be able to rule NTP's patents with regard to Blackberries invalid. After that, we can push for a lot of things to be made invalid citing similar circumstances.

Re:Interesting precedent (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583214)

You run into 14th amendment issues. In general, legislation targeting a specific individual (or corporation, etc.) violates the equal protection clause. (This doesn't stop it from happening, but they usually try to be subtle about it.)

Blatent american attempt (0, Flamebait)

Negativeions101 (706722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582862)

This is yet another blatant attempt by an americans to take away a good idea from Canadians and put it into the hands of americans. Just like they successfully did with the avro arrow and degressi. American companies took them down so that the money could flow their way. It's what america does. f*cuk you america.

*clicky click* (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14582900)

...huh? What was that? Something about patents? Sorry, I was busy sending out some emails.

not my ssh (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583021)

Hell I could give a darn less if they cut off the email to mine, however just don't take away my blackberrry ssh terminal.....i live and die by that sucker...

uhuhuhuhuh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583034)

hopes rise for rim

Shares didn't rise because of USPTO (4, Informative)

pdschmid (916837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583141)

From one of TFA [ottawabusi...ournal.com] :
RIM shares were up almost one per cent on Friday trading on the TSX. Analysts and fund managers who hold RIM shares say its looks increasingly likely that RIM will settle its ongoing patent dispute with NTP Inc. of Virginia, rather than see the service blacked out.

Also, one of TFA includes no information that would justify the comment that the USPTO is under pressure from congressmen to speed up its process of looking into the NTP patents. From the TFA [ottawabusi...ournal.com] :

The U.S. represents about 70 per cent of the BlackBerry market, and the prospect that a judge would issue an injunction closing down the service has business executives and political leaders wondering how they will get along without the devices. The U.S. government has even joined the dispute, arguing that BlackBerry's are vital to national security.
Instead, there is an analysis into the patent dispute in one of TFA [macworld.com] :
Right around the time the parties will be meeting in Judge Spencer's courtroom, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may be moving toward a final resolution of the NTP patents at the heart of this dispute. Last December, the office issued another set of preliminary rulings that found NTP's patents to be invalid. NTP's response is due by Feb. 28. A report this week by analysts at investment banker Goldman Sachs noted that "NTP must prove that these patents contain new inventions on several key patents by Feb. 28 or face the PTO permanently rejecting the patents," the authors wrote. "If the PTO issues final rejections on any or all of the five NTP patents, this could change the course of the lawsuit. To the extent that patents are ruled invalid, we believe that it is likely that this would be considered by the District Court."

off-topic but interesting non the less.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583199)

For all the engineering types, here is an interesting article (from 2001) outlining the highs and low's RIM and Mike Lazaridas (CEO) have faced during their climb from humble beginnings to a worldwide brand.

http://www.profitguide.com/magazine/article.jsp?co ntent=477 [profitguide.com]

Hopes Rise for RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14583524)

My boss threatened to get me a blackberry the other day. I'm praying they go under... Fast!

eh (2, Informative)

Dr Floppy (898439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14583822)

its not just congressmen and senators its also their staff and the lobbyists and reporters in DC that live on blackberries. I worked in the senate last semester and saw it first hand, RIM service in DC is indispensable and may bring both legislative houses to a crawl if shut down.

As hope and stock rises... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14584212)

...so do the inquiries for RIMjobs
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