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RIM Announces Workaround in NTP Case

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the holding-up-the-sky-like-atlas dept.

Patents 118

Justin Michael writes "RIM announces they have a software solution in the event that the courts rules in favor of NTP. The fix is called their multi-mode edition. Customers are being told that they do not need to take action yet, but would need to install the multi-mode edition on both servers and handhelds." A Reuters article also covers the announcement. From that article: "The company said it will soon begin shipping handsets with the software update in a dormant mode. It will make the update available at www.blackberry.com/workaround at a later, but as yet unspecified, date. RIM said the changes would require software updates, but the new system will deliver the same functions and performance."

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118 comments

Watch Out RIM: (5, Funny)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677871)

Just when you thought you were safe, another patent was approved:

Patent 6666666:
Title: WEW (Wireless Email Workaround)

Abstract: A method of using wireless email in another fashion different than the original infringing one.

What is claimed:
1. Send Email Differently
2. The method of claim (1) used to "workaround" another method.

This one is so generic it must be airtight.

Fixed that too (5, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677924)

Don't worry, we are already working on a workaround to the workaround, it is tenatively called 'Circle Work'

Already been done (2, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678318)

Sorry, I just patented the Workaround(tm) last week.

Re:Already been done (1)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680122)

As the holder of a patent on abusive patenting of processes that are common knowledge, I demand royalties. Now off to send letters to some particular companies who owe me a fortune...

Re:Watch Out RIM: (2, Funny)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678029)

Where should I send my resume? I would like a RIM job.

Re:Watch Out RIM: (1)

Brewskibrew (945086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680213)

www.blackberry.com/careers offers opportunities in the exciting fields of Blow Development and Hand Engineering. Apply now to be considered as a candidate! Starting salaries for entry level Blow Jobbers and Hand Jobbers are around $69k.

Title it 'Wireless handheld email workaround' (1, Funny)

Rhys (96510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678211)

Whew. That was close.

To: George W. Bush +1, Friendly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14677917)

"Go right to hell" with Tony "Imperialist War-Monger" Blair.

Sincerely,
Hugo Chavez [guardian.co.uk]

P.S. Spreading freedom and democracy my ass.

Excellent! (2, Funny)

Jeian (409916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677921)

I guess their employees won't be losing their RIM jobs after all.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678461)

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I've NEVER seen that joke before on Slashdot. You sir, are a COMEDY GENIUS.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Jeian (409916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678555)

Well, somebody had to say it.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678464)

omg lololol

maybe i'm wrong? (3, Informative)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677927)

Maybe i'm wrong, but i could have sworn they (RIM) came out with this information several weeks ago...

Does anyone else remember seeing this elsewhere?

Re:maybe i'm wrong? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678080)

They've been claiming for awhile that they had a work-around. I think the news now is that they claim to have tested the work-around

Here's another article

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000082&si d=a63OizUWrfYI&refer=canada [bloomberg.com]

Same functions and performance? (4, Insightful)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677953)

RIM said the changes would require software updates, but the new system will deliver the same functions and performance.

If that's the case, why haven't they switched already?

Re:Same functions and performance? (2, Interesting)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677980)

I cannot say for certain, but given the current perilous status of the NTP patents, it may just turn out to be unnecessary. It seems the Patent Office is overturning these things, but operating even more slowly than the courts.

Re:Same functions and performance? (4, Interesting)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678026)

Two possibilities come to mind:

1. Don't mess with a working system if you don't have to. There may be bugs in the new one, and why expose your users to that unless it's absolutely necessary?
2. Maybe the new process requires more computing power on the server end.

Re:Same functions and performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678908)

may also be
3. Require more processing on the device end or more sevice-server communication.

That is likely worse than 2 (more server processing) because it drains device batteries faster while server processing is not expensive nowadays.

Re:Same functions and performance? (2, Insightful)

pingveno (708857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680140)

3. Upgrading is a hassle for their customers.

Re:Same functions and performance? (3, Insightful)

The Rabid Panda (951579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678050)

Because that's sending the message of "Hey, guys it's cool! We won't infringe your patent anymore!"
It's capitulating. You don't give in and change your product just because some guy says he thinks his patent covers your product. You research it, fight it, and THEN if you lose, you've got to change.
They're just covering their butts IN CASE OF. I think that's wise.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678573)

An update is required for each handheld, and to each Blackberry Enterprise Server.....

They have a plan in case they are told to shutdown until they can stop infringing the patent.
The finger is over the button but only the court will press it.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

duffer_01 (184844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678773)

I would guess because
1) It took them time to test the fix.
2) They would prefer not to require software updates unless they have to as there is always the "chance" of problems.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

mediocubano (801656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679047)

My read on that statement is that their "workaround" is not a very good alternative to the NTP solution. Like it could even be a bluff or a "duct tape/elmer's glue" sort of solution.

If their "workaround" worked at all, then it seems that they wouldn't need NTP any more, and would not need to keep trying to bargain with them. They are trying to strengthen their alternatives as part of their bargaining strategy, and in doing so are trying to bring NTP back to the bargaining table.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

hevenor (931854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679474)

On top of bugs, why expose your users to extra work if you don't have to. This update would require software updates to the blackberry units and to corporate servers and we all know that rolling something out is a pain in the ars.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

eison (56778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679476)

Easy. Patent is on radio-based "push" e-mail. Obvious workaround? Go to a polling system. Downside? Significantly reduced battery life.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679927)

Easy. Patent is on radio-based "push" e-mail. Obvious workaround? Go to a polling system. Downside? Significantly reduced battery life.

How does that equate to "the same functions and performance"? I have a feeling that they're not telling the whole story.

Re:Same functions and performance? (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679939)

Because they don't want to unnecessarily force their corporate customers to upgrade their server-side software? Or to unnecessarily obsolete any unupgradable devices? Just a concept.

Re:Same functions and performance? (2)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680139)

If that's the case, why haven't they switched already?

It was 3:27 am and Gerry was staring at the little screen, held lovingly, in the palm of his hand. "Oh sweet giver of information!" he breathed, watching the tiny print roll by on his screen. And then, without warning, the characters on the screen began to change, to morph into indecipherable icons. Promptly, the screen went blank, and then new words appeared... "SYSTEM SHUTDOWN. UPGRADE COMMENCING. ESTIMATED DOWNTIME: 17 Hours." Gerry's eyes went wide, his palms began to sweat, his hands trembling. He threw back his head and screamed "Noooooooooooooooooooooo...!!!"

That's why.

Too Late? (0, Flamebait)

u16084 (832406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677970)

With all the "Media" spelling out the "Impending Doom" of RIM, I would assume every large client has already or is making plans to jump ship to another carrier/solution?

If someone told me that My car "MIGHT" stop working sometime in the future, BUT just in case heres CAB fare... I wouldnt wait that long.

Re:Too Late? (3, Insightful)

CDLI (818500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678204)

That's not what they're saying, though. They're saying that your car's engine might stop working, but if it does they'll replace it immediately, at no cost to you, with practically no effort on your end, with an engine that is guaranteed to not suffer the same problems. That doesn't seem so bad, especially when the original engine's dying is the fault of a stupid patent system.

Re:Too Late? (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678340)

No effort? How is updating every Blackberry Enterprise Server and every Blackberry handheld little or no effort? I guess you have never worked in IT because I can tell you having a forced, unplanned upgrade to a major "mission critical" system like the crackberry network is not going to be easy or fun.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Antifuse (651387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678699)

Sounds easier (and cheaper) than replacing your entire blackberry network with something new.

Re:Too Late? (1)

WebCrapper (667046) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679397)

I can see the job posting on Craigslist:

"Exciting Opportunity! Several temp positions available at XX Company. Assist in rollout of new software on the Crackberry platform. Must be able to thumb type 35wpm. Experience recommended, crackberry addicts need not apply."

Seriously though, I can see temps being brought into major companies across the US to take these suckers and place them on a cradle and update - rinse and repeat for 8 hours a day.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Brewskibrew (945086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680257)

Good Technology (competitor of RIM) has a cool "kiosk" application. Build an XP box with a cradle/cable and lock it down to the one application. Locate it in main lobbies and other user-dense sites. Addicts... errr... subscribers... pop their device into it and viola! Upgraded with minimal IT effort. The only problem is when the user is out there in the world and doesn't come back to HQ. Maybe RIM has an over-the-air way to deploy this "workaround" / "update"?

Re:Too Late? (1)

colganc (581174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680096)

With a BES you should be able to roll it out wireless and transparent to the end user. It doesn't have to be unplanned. RIM is notifying companies now with this press release and they have mentioned this work around for a while now.

More like Rocky V (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678278)

It looked pretty bleak for RIM there for a bit, but out of no where they got a second wind, stood up and muttered something about the fight not being over. They then sucker punched the patent holder by using political pressure (not merits) to get the last patent tossed. And then, while the other company was writhing around on the ground, RIM whipped it out and started pissing on them. Sure, they could have avoided the fight all together by just applying this patch ages ago, but where's the fun in that?

-Rick

Re:Too Late? (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678378)

RIM's other markets were never at risk. RIM isn't even based in the US anyhow. They're based in Waterloo, Canada, IIRC. And we don't seem to have as broken a patent system as the US does.

The "article" seems to indicate that the changes are to the backend only, and absolutely nothing will change for the user. Everything is identical in the GUI and usage. So this should be a kick in the pants for NTP. NTP now has two options:

1) Settle for a paltry amount, far less than what they could have accepted before.
2) Press forward to get an injunction, and have the case die when RIM uses the workaround, without NTP seeing a dime.

All of NTP's patents (All of them now) have now been invalidated (at least preliminarily), and even if NTP succeeds in getting an injunction, those invalid patents won't even apply anymore. NTP doesn't exactly have a strong case anymore, and they have to know it.

Of course, NTP didn't stop when the US government stepped in to warn that an injunction would compromise the nation's security, so I'm pretty sure they fall into the evil-but-stupid category that is too both too evil to abandon the case, and too stupid to realize it is a lost cause.

Re:Too Late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679443)

Well, the court system doesnt really work like that.

Obviously, you are not familiar with the case .....

Here are the facts:

(a) RIM came to market with a device

(b) NTP (which was founded by a former beeper developer) contacted RIM to explain that he held the patents for such technology

(c) RIM told him to piss off

(d) He sued RIM, but offered to settle for $1 mil USD

(e) RIM took him to court. During the trail, RIM fabricated evidence to show they had prior art.

(f) Plan didn't work, they got caught. Judge was pissed

(g) They were found to be in violation of NTP patents and ordered to pay

(h) RIM refused, and has been repeatedly filing appeals and injunctions

At this point, simply because they come up with a work-around doesnt suddenly make them not liable for the previous damages.

In addition, the fact that they even came up with a 'work-around' is because they know they are infringing on NTP patents.

The remaining court cases have nothing to do with patent infringement. That has already been settled an no one is arguing that. The current crop of court cases is to decide how much RIM owes for violating them.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680103)

How can RIM be required to pay damages for invalid patents?

Since RIM can't be charged ongoing royalties for a patent they no longer infringe, and since they can't be ordered to shut down a service that no longer violates patents, the only question that remains is how much lump sum they pay out, if any.

RIM can sustain such a thing. A settlement or damages payment isn't a big deal. So long as it doesn't bankrupt RIM, they take the hit and move on. A single amount of money can be replaced. It isn't nearly so damaging as having their service shut down or paying ongoing royalties.

So, from RIM's perspective, the big danger should be over. From NTP's perspective, I suppose they can still try to get some cash out of the deal, but the patents being ruled invalid, if that holds, that'd put a damper on damages. I mean, why pay damages for violating patents that are invalid?

I'm probably biased against NTP for the sole reason that I hate patent-holding companies. I see them as parasites that lurk around waiting to strike. They don't do anything productive, don't produce any products. They just sit around, wait for somebody to do the actual hard work, and then try to step in and claim a share. NTP wrote some stuff down on a piece of paper and never did anything with it. RIM came up with the same thing and spent the time and effort to turn it into a working product. If NTP actually produced a competing product, I'd feel for them. But as a patent holding company, they're really the ones stealing other peoples' work, since they don't put any effort into developing the product they want royalties for.

Re:Too Late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14680891)

Couple of points:

(1)

There are 7 or 8 patents involved in this case. 6 have been declared invalid.

There are still 1 or 2 valid patents that NTP holds.

(2)

What do you really know about NTP?

You seem to keep going on and on about "patent trolls". The man behind NTP was an inventor that worked for 30 years in the telcom and radio industry. Many of his products were commercial products. Hell, AT&T was even a licensee to some of his stuff in the mid-80's

I know it's fashinoable to be against IP. However, you must remember that it is exactly these IP laws (specifially copyright), that allows the GPL to be enforceable.

Re:Too Late? (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679561)

The "article" seems to indicate that the changes are to the backend only, and absolutely nothing will change for the user.

Although existing users will have to install the workaround and as most of us know that can be quite a technical issue for some.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680120)

We live in a world of automated updates. If RIM doesn't have an effective update solution in place, that was rather shortsited.

If they don't, I would imagine that any user could simply take their BlackBerry back to their cellular provider to have them apply the update to keep it working. Since the update would be required, the carrier would probably be obligated to provide the service at no cost.

Re:Too Late? (1)

torokun (148213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679564)

No, no, no.

If NTP wins, they get damages based on RIM's past infringement. Although RIM can prevent another suit by using a workaround, they can't get out of their past infringement.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680142)

If the patents are ruled invalid, there shouldn't be any past infringement. Invalid means they were never valid in the first place. If the US legal system doesn't recognize that, it needs some updates itself.

Re:Too Late? (1)

waldo2020 (592242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680108)

Wrong! They'd still be on the hook of about a billion dollars if the judge ruled against them later this month. The NTP patent was legal and binding, at the time RIM ignored it, were warned and' refused to pay. Nothing has changed that situation.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680206)

A patent being invalid would mean that it never was valid. Requiring a company to pay damages for what the patent office admits was their mistake doesn't make any sense.

Re:Too Late? (1)

dacaldar (614951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680248)

RIM isn't even based in the US anyhow. They're based in Waterloo, Canada, IIRC. And we don't seem to have as broken a patent system as the US does.

I don't see how ours can be any less broken. In my last 11 years of co-op and full-time high tech employment, I've always heard that a Canadian company simply applies for the US patents first, gets them (of course), and then applies for the Canadian patents, showing that they already have the US ones as evidence of patent-worthiness and ownership of the invention.

Re:Too Late? (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678842)

Well, there's nothing quite like a Blackberry to switch to. There are some devices that can be tweaked to get a Blackberry-esque experience, but it isn't the same.

The closest thing will be the new Windows Mobile 5 devices, but they aren't really out yet. So RIM could have lost a lot of customers, but the competition just wasn't positioned in time.

Re:Too Late? (1)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679191)

You are not a Crackberry addict.

Damn. (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14677979)

I was really hoping that this patent dispute would destroy the company -- not because I don't like RIM, but because it'll take something that drastic to get the government's head out of it's ass and notice how fucked up our patent situation is.

Sigh -- I guess we'll just continue on riding the status quo to oblivion, then...

Re:Damn. (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678043)

The problem being that the government has had its head up its ass for so long that it has come to believe that's where it belongs and defends the position.

KFG

Re:Damn. (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678332)

And the VIEW! The view is fabulous!

Re:Damn. (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678466)

The PC term is "Rectal-cranial inversion"

Re:Damn. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678593)

You mean like this [geetarz.org] ?

Re:Damn. (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678257)

Just be patient. It is going to happen. Just not now with RIM.

Re:Damn. (1)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678353)

Actually the whole patent office is going to be overhauled in two or three years according to the patent attorney I was with in Silicon Valley last week.

Re:Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678783)

Ohhh, well I'm so glad we have your hearsay one-line story on the matter. I feel much better now.

Re:Damn. (1)

codegen (103601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678587)

I was really hoping that this patent dispute would destroy the company -- not because I don't like RIM, but because it'll take something that drastic to get the government's head out of it's ass and notice how fucked up our patent situation is.

Do you honestly think the US govt cares about a Canadian company?


Re:Damn. (3, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678697)

Considering that "in BlackBerry-centric Washington, D.C., [...] every congressman, lobbyist and political operative worth his expense account has one in his pocket." I would have to say yes. Reference [usatoday.com] .

Can't wait (4, Insightful)

hoomank (748224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678032)

Until RIM crushes those patent trolls. Without giving them a dime.

Re:Can't wait (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680129)

RIM is a patent troll. They've threated other people that use a thumb-wheel on a handheld device.

They're all fuckers.

Pete and Repeat walk in to a bar (-1, Troll)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678042)

Seriously, some kind of repeat story check wouldn't be that hard to code:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/27/19 39255 [slashdot.org]

Re:Pete and Repeat walk in to a bar (1)

_pi-away (308135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14681113)

It's now a troll to point out that a story is a repeat? Nice.

And now we see what patents have become... (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678059)

...a system for wasting the time of large companies (and putting small ones out of business).

Hey, maybe I should patent that!

Re:And now we see what patents have become... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14680295)

Too much prior art.

I read the title as.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678083)

"RIM Announces Reacharound in NTP case"

Re:I read the title as.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679055)

Maybe you should learn to read better.

NTP to RIM (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678085)

We're sorry but we have the Patent to that technology as well. See you in court again.

this is the time (0)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678126)

For those interested in the stock market, this is the time to buy RIM shares. No matter what, that share price will increase with this good announcement. I hope it is not vaporware. Once I certify the news, I am buying.

No, your honor... (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678132)

The algorithm does NOT multiply by 2, as stated in the patent. It multiplies by 3, and then substracts the original! As you can see, it's A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ALGORITHM!

Re:No, your honor... (1)

bherman (531936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678476)

Too bad your math doesn't work. 3*3 (3*3*3)-3 You must work for the patent office!

Lol (1)

JMZero (449047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678556)

3*3*3 is 3^3, not 3*3.

3*2=6 3*3-3=6

Re:No, your honor... (1)

bherman (531936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678571)

Ya, ya I know, "I must work for a __________" because the stupid not equal symbol translates into a HTML tag <> and I didn't use the preview.

The math should have been 3*3<>(3*3*3)-3

Re:No, your honor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678902)

the first method was multiplying by 2 e.g. 2x, the second was multiplying by 3 then subtracting the original e.g. 3x-x, which i calculate to be 2x again which is the same as the original and hence his maths did work

Re:No, your honor... (1)

austad (22163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678991)

You must have worked for Enron!

Factoring (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679203)

Huh? All he said was:

(N * 2) = ((N * 3) - N)

Which I'm pretty sure works for all N. (Maybe there are some that it doesn't, but it's right after lunch and I don't feel like thinking about it right now.) It's just factoring out N from 3N.

Yuo faiL itx? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678393)

Real justice (3, Interesting)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678452)

It would be awesome if RIM could not only beat NTP on the patent issue, but go back at them and sue for damage done to their image and stock.

Re:Real justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679173)

To the parent. Pull your head out of your ass. If you cared to be on top of the subject at all, you would realize that NTP is the good guy and RIM is the bad guy. Basically, the patents that NTP holds are held on behalf of the true inventor of the technology who died of cancer. Buy a clue.

Re:Real justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679422)

Yeah the original patent holder went out got venture capital, created an R&D team and spent millions of dollars developing his "patents". Not ot mention he has a multimillion dollar company that employs hundreds of people. This man worked really hard to making his patents a reality.

I heard RIM googled "wireless email" when they came up with the idea of the blackberry. /sarcasm off

This Just In: NTP says "Doh!" (2, Funny)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678502)


I bet the guys at NTP are slapping their forehead, saying "DOH!", and thinking
'Ya know.. we probably should have settled for boatloads of money when he had
the chance'.

Old News (1)

tecker (793737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678511)

This was said to have happened a long time ago.

This C|Net article [com.com] is dated June 16 of 2005

This slashdot blurb [slashdot.org] shows a link to this on Jan 27, 2006 and links to this InformationWeek article stating a workaround. [informationweek.com]

This is just RIM wanting to quell some fears about being shut down. Execs wild eyed clutching their blackberries worring if they will be cut off is not what RIM wants.

Re:Old News (1)

CoachS (324092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678694)

Given that it does appear to be old news I wonder why RIM hasn't been putting this news out there more prominently. There is still a lot of hand-wringing among organizations who are heavy Blackberry users and this kind of information would go a long way towards soothing them.

In fact today's press release it the first mention of it I can find in Blackberry's press releases. Their October 26th, 2005 release about the case makes no mention of it, for example.

-Coach-

I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (1, Flamebait)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678520)

I know many here are siding with RIM "by default" because of some philosophical kinship with those who are fighting against patents or whatever, but everything I have read about this case says that RIM have been complete asshats in all of this. On several occasions they had the opportunity to settle for far less money, and they kept escalating and escalating the situation. If you dislike patents, fine - argue agains the patent system in general. But given that it is the law /and that RIM had more than adequate opportunity to get out of it in some reasonable form/ i sure as hope they come crashing down hard. Maybe not hard enough that their subscribers feel it, but hard enough. Remember folks- be it based in some sleepy backwater or not, they are a megacorporation that have been acting like they are above the rules of the game.

Re:I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (2, Insightful)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678657)

I think you are missing the point. NTP is trying to claim that they are due money because they hold a piece of paper that says that they were doing it first. The problem is, NTP doesn't do anything but hold pieces of paper.

RIM is saying, "We don't owe you anything. You should never have received those pieces of paper, and we will make sure that the issuer investigates the matter."

The USPTO is invalidating the patents left and right. If (and likely when) the patents are all gone, NTP won't have a leg to stand on. I wonder anyone will sue NTP at that point for extortion due to the "licenses" that other companies purchased.

Re:I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679332)

Not so. RIM never settled because the claims NTP has against them are bullshit.

I'm actually quite impressed that they didn't roll over and just cut NTP a check to make them go away, as I'm sure a lot of companies (and people) would be wont to do.

RIM has played the game very well. The only criticism I've heard of them at all is that, in the past, they were quite aggressive in using their own patents to keep other people out of the portable-email market, so to a certain extent they're getting bitten in the ass by their own tactics. But at least when they were using their patents, they at least were protecting a market; NTP is just doing the corporate equivalent of a mugging.

However, I have far more respect for them now, given that they've refused to settle and really showed some balls, than I would if they had just let the bunch of shyster lawyers that is NTP (you did know that NTP is just a front set up by an attorney, right?) bleed them for several million bucks.

Given the "marriages of convenience" that we've been seeing recently in the tech sector -- where it seems a whole lot of companies are willing to get in bed with anyone, including the Chinese government and our own (and at the same time, no less), if it makes them a few bucks -- I find it refreshing that RIM didn't just settle.

Re:I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (1)

Grayden (137336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680292)

So whatever happened to the SCO vs IBM lawsuit? This is another case of someone refusing to cave into bogus claims even though caving in and cutting a check would be more convenient.

Re:I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (1)

FatMacDaddy (878246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679453)

As the poster above says, I think you miss the point. It's not that anyone thinks that RIM is great and above reproach. Instead, it's just that everyone can agree on how loathsome patent-grabbing litigation firms are.

Re:I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (2, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679551)

On several occasions they had the opportunity to settle for far less money, and they kept escalating and escalating the situation.

Right, what assholes. Who do they think they are, demanding their day in court and all? Believing they are innocent until proven guilty? Refusing to pay the required bribe to the company trying to use a submarine patent on them.

I mean, hey, that's the corrupt system we live under, and they should just have gone along with it.

Re:I hope RIM gets what's coming to them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679625)

RIM put $450 million on the table last year.

RIM is filing their own patent applications (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678616)

I also submitted this story, and included a quote on the part I found funniest (from the Yahoo! story [yahoo.com] in my submission).

RIM said it has filed applications for a patent for its workaround, part of a software update called BlackBerry Multi-Mode Edition.

To answer a couple of other posted questions:

RIM, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario, said it has developed and tested software workaround designs for all BlackBerry handsets operating in the United States.

And...

The company said it will soon begin shipping handsets with the software update in a dormant mode. It will make the update available at www.blackberry.com/workaround at a later, but as yet unspecified, date.

Why I no longer side with RIM (5, Interesting)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14678787)

The main reason RIM lost the original case is because they created false evidence to try to demonstrate prior art. However, they were caught trying to pull this off in the courtroom. Nothing says "I'm breaking the law and trying to get away with it" like perjury.

Re:Why I no longer side with RIM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14678973)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/docume nt/v4/sub/MarketingPage?user_URL=http://www.theglo beandmail.com%2Fservlet%2FArticleNews%2FTPStory%2F LAC%2F20060202%2FRRIM02%2FTPBusiness%2FCanadian&or d=1139505702575&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login= true [theglobeandmail.com]
(warning, soul sucking registration required)

Thursday, February 2, 2006, Page B1

WASHINGTON -- Research In Motion Ltd. secured a key victory yesterday after U.S. patent authorities rejected the last of five contested patents at the heart of a bitter legal battle between NTP Inc. and RIM, maker of the BlackBerry.

So NTP has 2 options now

1) Run and hide in a closet and cry
2) Get humiliated when they get their arse handed to them in court

On the other hand, RIM's been acting like a spoiled brat the entire case. I'm canadian, and i support them, but the perjury and refusing to accept settlement when it was low were marks off their score card for me.

you F%ail It. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679399)

us the courtesy includes where you FreeBSD's unless you ca8 workf There's no sux0r status, *BSD

job at RIM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14679626)

I worked for my uncle at RIM last summer. He gave me a great RIM job.

NTP in YRO? (2, Funny)

Kynde (324134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679925)

Am I the only one who eagerly opened up this thread to see how this relates to the Network Time Protocol?
I went -1 and searched for it in vain. I for one am seriously tired of these new jack-ass companies starting to recycle already well established TLAs. What's next? "Sony faces TCP inc. in court over patent infringement"?

Corbomite? (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14679969)

Completely different at the bottom but completely the same at the top, huh?

It occurs to me that this could be bollocks, an empty attempt to scare away NTP with a "Yeah, you'll maybe win, and then you'll have wasted all that time and money for nothing."

There doesn't seem to be any detail on what the actual new technology is (I presume it is, you know, proprietary, or something. And stuff.).

Buy Em... (1)

tecker (793737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680154)

Why doesnt RIM stop fighting NTP and just buy them? Wouldnt that make their life easier?

Who needs them? (1)

rwarrenr (653738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14680970)

Or the other services that charge like GoodLink, etc. If you already have an Exchange server (okay it does require Exchange), wireless capability is free now and works almost as well as Blackberry. With Windows Mobile on the handheld, which is being deployed more now on phones it works great!
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