RIM gets ruling, more legal woes ahead
The NTP Vs. Research In Motion case looks like it will be decided today. According to lawyers, the ruling has been, "Affirmed in part, reversed in part." Stock in Research In Motion [RIMM
] has been on a high-volume roller coaster since news that a ruling had been made at noon.
bq. "We don't have the decision yet. For some reason they haven't posted it on the Web. The only information that we have is a tape recording that says affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded to the district court, so that could be a host of possibilities," said James Wallace, a lawyer representing NTP
A quick background on the case: NTP sued RIM in 2002 for patent infringement in its BlackBerry device. NTP won the case and got a judgement for RIM to stop making the BlackBerry, but RIM won a stay on the injunction until RIM's appeal finished.
Investors have been expecting a ruling since
Trading of RIMM has been
(Update: trading has since resumed, with only a short time before the day closes) resumed by NASDAQ.
TheStreet.com has an explanation
of what has happened:
bq. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned a lower courts' $54 million judgment against RIMM and an injunction against the firm against further infringing the wireless patents held by NTP... The decision was based on how the lower court defined one of the terms at issue in the patent suit. The appeals court upheld the lower court's construction of other phrases and affirmed the district court's ruling that RIMM had infringed on NTP's patents.
Reuters adds more
bq. The appeals court concluded the lower court had misconstrued the term "originating processor", which was used in several of the claims at issue, and sent it back to the lower court to determine if the verdict should be modified.
Both sides are claiming victory. The bottom line is today was not the final day as many were expecting--the legal battle will continue.
According to lawyers with the case, 11 of NTP's 16 claims against RIM were upheld by the latest ruling.
Below is a statement issued today by RIM.
*RIM Provides Update On NTP Inc. Vs. RIM Litigation*
*Judgment and Injunction Vacated; Case Remanded To District Court*
Research In Motion (RIM) provided an update today following receipt of a ruling this afternoon from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in regard to the NTP Inc. vs. RIM litigation.
In response to RIM's appeal of a judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered the judgment vacated and the case remanded to the District Court for further proceedings. The Court of Appeals also ordered the injunction (previously imposed and stayed by the District Court) vacated.
As previously disclosed and subsequent to the jury verdict rendered in the District Court in November, 2002, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ordered re-examinations of all NTP patents litigated in this matter. These re-examinations continue and are separate and unaffected by today's ruling.
RIM will continue to provide updates on this matter as material information becomes available. Further comment and details were not disclosed at this time.