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RIM Rejects More Patent Infringement Allegations 127

SilentOne writes "Waterloo based Research In Motion is facing new allegations of patent violation. Visto Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif., said Monday that it had won an infringement case against Seven Networks, also of California, and is now targeting RIM for infringing four patents, including three involved in the Seven action. "Our case against RIM is based on similar technology, law and patents as the case we have just won," Visto said in a statement. "
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RIM Rejects More Patent Infringement Allegations

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  • More lawsuits... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beuno ( 740018 ) <(argentina) (at) (> on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:41PM (#15241548) Homepage
    Anyone else have the feeling the focus is more and more on legal battles instead of tech innovation?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:11PM (#15241724)
      This seems to have been the trend for a while. It's less and less about competition, more and more about meta-competition.

      Rather than produce the best product at the lowest cost, you buy the legislation to give you a competitive advantage. Rather than create something new, you file some patents and claim other people's work as your own.

      It's difficult to find a solution; the interwoven laws and old-buddy networks are so deeply entrenched that it'll take some major overhaul to set things straight. I really hope that the pseudocapitalists who strap on our shackles notice the chains hanging from their own ankles, as well.
      • May 1, some groups in some countries strike, but then they go back to work the next day. What if enough people got together and even salaried people went on strike. There'd be more to it than that, like having an alternative proposal for government all ready to go, but that's the core of the solution.
    • No, its plain and obvious this is how the market works now.
    • *BONK*
      Hit the nail on the head, you did.
      It's a competetive market out there, yes, I understand that.
      But get innovative (ie:stop trying to rest on your laurels), or get left behind. This has nothing to do with consumer's rights, nothing to do with justice, this only came after the recent trial. Why, if this is really an issue, did it wait until now?
      Smacks of oppurtinism to me, not legitimate in my book.
    • Granted, I dont really believe in software patents.

      But there is more litigation ALSO becuase there is more theft. Using your logic, its not OK for a small company to fight back against a bigger company, just becuase that bigger company put out a product first.

      Thats not fair, and that ruins innovation too.

      Small companies with patents have little recourse in the marketplace outside of lawsuits if a big player starts using their tech. It takes big money to compete with deep pocketed companies, and its just no
    • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:56PM (#15241965) Homepage
      Straight from the innovations in software [] page, we have: "As patentability has increased, there's good evidence that the number of software innovations has decreased. Bessen and Maskin also demonstrated a statistical correlation between the spread of patentability in the United States and a decline in innovation in software. In particular, between 1987 and 1994 , software patents issuance rose 195%, yet real company funded R&D fell by 21% in these (software) industries while rising by 25% in industries in general. This paper gives additional evidence that software patents are inversely related to innovation; it's hard to not notice that as patenting become more common (e.g., 1987 and later) that the number of major innovations slowed down and are almost always not patented anyway."

      The link supplied is to this PDF about patents []. It's worth your time to read about this research.
  • WTF?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PygmySurfer ( 442860 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:42PM (#15241552)
    "Under the law, which protects consumers from products that contain infringing technology, RIM should not be able to sell the BlackBerry system."

    Since when do patents do ANYTHING to protect consumers from anything?
    • Re:WTF?! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Basehart ( 633304 )
      I'm betting there are a lot of kids out there who will stay as far away from inventing something as they can (at least in the USA anyway!)
      • ...(at least in the USA anyway!)

        This is key. Innovation will simply come from countries that don't have as restrictive laws, who will then be able to capitalize on their inventions. There are many brilliant people in the world; the patent system of the United States is going to be their scientific and innovative downfall.
        • Unfortunately the United States likes to push it's laws on the rest of the world so their broken patent system is going to hurt innovation around the world. Except in "renegade" countries, of course.
      • I can see it now, little Billy, without their parents knowing about it, makes a small rocket out of firecrackers and matchheads. He takes it ouside to try it out and immediatly gets stopped by an army of patent lawyers armed with patents on any and all details of rockets, for example "a means of accelerating an object in a direction by ejecting gases at high-speed in the opposite direction", thus saving little Billy of the disapointment of seing that is rocket actually doesn't work or even from bodilly harm
    • Re:WTF?! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by uniqueUser ( 879166 )
      Our copy-right and patent laws were orginaly set up to protect the small people. But it has backfired. I think that it might be time to completely re-think how the current implementation should be. Big Money has just gotten too big.
      • I'm not sure about patents, but copyrights were set up to hand out business favors to the monarch's friends and for censorship (early forms controlled who was allowed to operate a printing press).

        And they have never functioned to help out small artists, not that I would care anyway since copyrights cost me easily 10x the dollar cost of what they're paid, along with substantial freedoms.
      • Re:WTF?! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by typical ( 886006 )
        Our copy-right and patent laws were orginaly set up to protect the small people.

        I don't know about that. They were set up with the intent of funding content creation. Copyright laws may still do that -- abused and stretched as they may be -- but software patents are actively harming the ability of engineers to function in the United States.

        (And engineers who want to make a product that can be sold in the United States, which is damn near everyone.)
      • American patent and copyright laws were created to foster innnovation by allowing the authors and inventors to prosper from their work. This isn't a matter for speculation, as the US Constitution demonstrates:
        "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." It's been a while since I read Jefferson's works, but I do believe he echoed these ideas. Wikipedia's nice article on the sub
      • Patents seem to have backfired, but I would debate the point that copyrights have backfired. If you are saying that the RIAA is draconian with its copyright. Fine so be it, I wont argue with that. DON'T BUY ANYTHING FROM the RIAA. I am amazed at how people like sheep continue buying records, etc. These days there is more than enough choice. The problem is that one has get off their butt and find that choice.

        The problem with patents is that one entity controls access to the source. Whereas copyright controls
    • It doesn't, but newswriters are so used to sprinkling the word "consumer" throughout their stories that they went ahead and used it here as a filler word, whether it made sense or not.
      • Just to clarify; it appears as though the comment was a qoute of Brian Bogosian. He is Visto's chairman, president and CEO. I don't believe the newswriter is responsible for it being a filler word
  • by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:42PM (#15241555)
    This is why RIM fought so hard against NTP. They could have settled early on for far less then the recent settlement + legal fees. They didn't want to give in early (or at all if possible) so they didn't end up as a target for a dozen more places like NTP.
  • Using Patents (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Metabolife ( 961249 )
    "Our case against RIM is based on similar technology, law and patents as the case we have just won," Visto said in a statement. So instead of using the patents they have to make money, they wait for other companies to use them and file suit. When will the patent system be amended to finally make sense?
  • by LeddRokkenstud ( 945664 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:46PM (#15241569)
    As an employee of RIM, knowing about this first hand is kind of scary. I work as the manager of material processing, and I'm actually afraid of the outcome. The whole company is frustrated/fearful of this whole situation, and we just want to keep our jobs. I don't think the suits will stop.
    • The whole company is frustrated/fearful of this whole situation, and we just want to keep our jobs

      Well, I sure hope you all don't lose your RIM jobs.
    • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:56PM (#15241645) Journal
      Cut your losses. Take the blackberry service out of the US. Instantly. Leave every single blackberry owner, including the entire government, hanging out to dry. Use RIM patents to prevent anyone else from servicing them, ensure that where this is concerned, they are well, truly and permanently fucked as a consequence of their screwed up society. Refuse to penny up a dime. That's what should have been done in the first place. The US is not a suitable place to do business. On the contrary, to do business with the US is to fund the most aggressive nation in the world and contribute to global unrest. Just don't do it.
      • Cut your losses. Take the blackberry service out of the US.

        Thank God you're not the guy in charge of insuring shareholder value for RIM - you know - the people that own the company - yeah, they bought it, with their own evil money. Wanna see how far an $80 stock price can fall when you remove the source of the majority of its revenue? Wanna see if it makes any difference to a Canadian company if a US court rules against 'em? Think the Canucks are gonna send the mounties to the border, or enforce the US

        • You sir seem to have missed the past 20 years of trade agreements; American laws, especially those concerning business with the US, are certainly valid here.

          Not that I think this is right, mind you, but we did elect the "let's bridge the imaginary gap between Canada and the US that 9-11 caused" conservatives, and minority government or not there will be nothing but red tape to protect RIM at this point.
        • What an ass.

          RIMM had Income of $361.2 Million on sales of $1.9 Billion in the last 12 months.

          Of that $361.2 Million, they paid out $612 Million in the last litigation, plus how much in future licensing fees? Now another hyena is sniffing.

          Yeah, I just bet the shareholders are happy to be going in that direction!

          Really hard to figure out why you'll never run a major corporation.

          Somehow I have the same feeling about you.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Nice to finally see an aggressive Canadian rant!! Why didn't they just let the US carriers stop selling BB's if the court had the balls to impose an injunction instead of paying NTP for useless patents? How long does it take to lose 600 million? However, perhaps Visto does have some good patents. I guess we'll see.
      • EUers say that the US really sucks, are bullies, etc., but without the United States, there would be no world economy. The American consumer overpays to bring products to market, and the rest of the world gets it at a cheaper price. Furthermore, the American market provides a crucial incentive to bring products to market. The sum of these effects that that without the United States, the world would be at the Stone Age, and it has nothing to do with American innovation but rather the utter idiocy and feckles
        • by iplayfast ( 166447 ) on Tuesday May 02, 2006 @12:15AM (#15242965)
          EUers say that the US really sucks, are bullies, etc., but without the United States, there would be no world economy. I don't think so...

          It would just be a smaller world economy. US debt is well on the way to making this situation anyway. Ever wonder why the Canadian economy gaining against the US? The US has a larger growing season, Canada has a population of California, but Canada is gaining.

          Look to
          1. Bad policies in regard to the public ability to do what it wants. For example, you buy software, but are limited to what you can do with it, and this is accepted because it's called a license. If you were to license a pen, would you only be able to use it on one sheet of paper?
          2. Bad policies in regard to patents, software patents in particular.
          3. Bad policies in regard to copyright. (Copyright lasts for how many years?!?!)
          4. Bad policies in regard to foreign policy. (The war was a stupid waste of tax payers money, now the whole economy is paying for it).
          5. Bad policies in regard to how politions can be swayed by corperate desires.

          The Chinese are gaining ground as well, not to mention the Japaneese and European countries. The US is in sad sad shape compared to what it should be, and you've only your government to blame.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The American consumer overpays to bring products to market, and the rest of the world gets it at a cheaper price. [...] who else would may $20 for a music CD with spyware and put up with **IAA? Only the American consumer.


          While I am not familiar with the price differences taken over the entire spectrum of products (and too lazy to investigate), you are wrong, at least about specific products, and my guess would be that you are wrong in general, as well--at least when comparing US prices to prices where I

        • Would Airbus try to bring the A380 to market if it couldn't sell to the good ol' USA? Probably not--wouldn't make the initial R & D outlay back.

          As of April 6 2005 of the 159 orders placed for A380 Airbus aicraft, only 30 were for US airlines. This is about proportional to the the US's economic weight in the world, about 20% of the global economy. So I guess we don't need you and that Airbus would have gone ahead as a project even if there was no US.

      • But then the terrorists^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlawyers win.
        • Personally, i think this should be moderated insightful rather than funny like its going to be.

          What other group had done more to scare the h*ll of out of the ordinary citizen than Lawyers? and usually in a personal way rather than in a general "we hate the US/UK/EU/UN/Bagels way"

          Terrorism, while being a real threat, is statistically, not nearly as dangerous as a drunken moron in a SUV, How many of us spend our time worrying about that?

          I doubt I would want to be an innovator in a field controlled by
      • This comment is waaaaay overrated.
      • "Cut your losses. Take the blackberry service out of the US."

        Better yet, open source the software, open up the blackberry to community developers, sell the hardware as an empty shell if necessary, flood the market with the devices and still provide subscription services but let the community provide the software.
      • Sounds like a great idea in theory, but I expect there are a few 1000 people in Waterloo that would disagree with you when they lose their jobs. US is a HUGE market to RIM and there is no way the board would approve such a thing.
        • Sounds like a great idea in theory, but I expect there are a few 1000 people in Waterloo that would disagree with you when they lose their jobs.

          Only if they lose. This isn't softball, and they've already shown that they've got the stones for hardball at RIM.
    • And for people who don't sympathize, remember -- if you work at a successful tech company that makes unusual products, you're liable to be put in this guy's shoes any day.
    • Unfortunately what goes around comes around.

      I'm sure the employees of Handspring know exactly what you feel. -Research-in-Motion.html []

  • terrorists! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Feyr ( 449684 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @07:51PM (#15241610) Journal
    that's why there shall be no negotiation with terrorists! as soon as you cave in to their demands they'll just make more of them!
    • Re:terrorists! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:02PM (#15241687)
      Really, though, in this case the comparison to terrorism is weak. I'd say it's more like dealing with a school of really hungry piranha. Or maybe a programmed death machine ... to quote Reese when he was describing a Terminator to Sarah Connor:

      Listen. Understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be reasoned with, it can't be bargained with ... it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear ... and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.

      That's kinda how I look at these patent-wielding law firms. As long as you have the money to pay prote^H^H^H^H^Hlicense fees they absolutely will not stop. Ever.
  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:00PM (#15241670)
    it brings all the others out of the wordwork and encourages more extortion. Granted, RIM is no angel, but this is just getting silly.

  • Those who can, do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:01PM (#15241680)
    Those who can't, sue.
    • This is exactly right. Patents are biased against the do-ers and towards the thinkers. You can't infringe unless you are being productive. The do-ers thought that they could protect themselves against frivoulous patent lawsuits by getting some frivoulous patents themselves. Patents won't you protect you against an entity that make anything but patent lawsuits. Part of me would like to see the Blackberrys shut down for a few days to wake some people up to what is going on.
    • Wait a minute... I read the story and these guys seem like a different animal than NTP. They have contracts with major carriers to sell the product and claim to employ 400 people. If I remember correctly NTP just bought their patents and went hunting--without running a traditional business. If these guys actually invented this stuff as they claim, and have been making a go at it for 10 years, you'd think entrepreneurial folks on this board would support them.
  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:09PM (#15241716) Homepage
    ...sue the asses off those who do.

    What a wonderful world we'll live in when it becomes so financially risky to try anything new, out of fear of some obscure patent-camping leech stealing the investment and work it took to make that new thing.

    We need patent reform: use your patent, or lose your patent.
  • Im going to patent walking.
    So I can sue anyone I see walking to work or going for an afternoon stroll. You are allowed to drive or catch the bus, but not walk.

    So its happened in Germany too :S
    If Da Vinci Patented his ideas, we would all be screwed.

  • by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:36PM (#15241857) Homepage Journal
    Lawsuits like this will happen whenever a company rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars where others have tried and failed. These lawsuites have permanently damaged Corporate America's trust in RIM (or any single point of failure for Corporate Mobile Communication).

    HOWEVER! This has actually produced a fertile field for alternative devices. With WindowsMobile getting more secure and more devices being wireless / wifi capable, the blackberry is no longer the only choice for corporate america (nor should it be). Microsoft is trying to play catchup by pushing Windows Mobile as real alternative to Blackberry. There is no comparison. Microsoft simply doesn't offer an end to end service like RIM. BUT if we got a VERY stable and VERY secure linux alternative (handheld and server?) it could save companies hundreds of thousands. But the service must be able to sync with Exchange / Domino and other corporate mail clients.

    Coming from a company with over half a million dollar budget for mobile devices and working closely with management, I saw many in Senior management that are very AFRAID to stay with RIM. They are looking for other alternatives just in case something ELSE happens to RIM and there IS no way out the next time. They are just now looking to not "put all their eggs (for mobile email) in one basket".

    Bottom line? Windows is now in the market with crappy devices (any 240 x 240 screen, Palm 700). Palm is in the market with a good device (treo 650 with 320 x 320 screen). But there is room to grow in this market.

    As soon as a developer gets one of these wifi/cell-enabled devices to run a solid linux distro and get some good encryption on it, mark my words, SOME in corporate America will eat it up, especially with the cost savings. RIM proved this in a way. Blackberries are wonderful email devices. They faltered (till recently) as phone devices. They are NOT PDAs. Corporate America doesn't necessarily need all their employees to have PDA's, but many if not most need email and a viewable calendar 24/7.

    Botom line: RIM made lots of money from an email device and now that corporate America is afraid of RIM someone else can cash in if they beat Microsoft to the punch..

  • sharks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cahiha ( 873942 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:38PM (#15241869)
    The sharks seem to be circling each other: RIM, NTP, Visto, etc. Let them all sue each other out of existence, while the rest of us keep using our wireless E-mail based on standard protocols and standard servers.
    • The sharks seem to be circling each other: RIM, NTP, Visto, etc. Let them all sue each other out of existence, while the rest of us keep using our wireless E-mail based on standard protocols and standard servers.

      These trashbags will shut down anyone. If you are making money, they will take it. If you are not they will shut you down so someone else can take it. If what people familiar with the case say is true, NTP never had a patent on a non obvious invention, they had a patent on obvious business metho

  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:39PM (#15241871) Journal
    No matter which company wins this round, the lawyers win, ALWAYS. I say we take'em out of the equation.
    • How about we round them all up and put them on a big space ark with all the marketroids, politicians and telephone handset sanitizers. We could tell them all that a giant space goat is coming to eat the planet.

      On second thought, lets keep the telephone handset sanitizers. They may come in handy some day.
  • The saddest part... (Score:1, Informative)

    by HaloZero ( 610207 ) that NTP Inc, and Visto don't even have products. I'd never heard of NTP before the Research In Motion fiasco. Come to find out, they're a 'patent-holding' company. What the hell? So you're a bunch of campers. Nice.

    Just read that NTP has a large stake in Visto. This just keeps getting better.

    I hope to see NTP and Visto get driven into the ground, and RIM come out on top.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Wow, Visto has no products. I guess their clients will be surprised to hear that. Clients like AT&T Wireless, Bell Mobility, KPN, Manitoba Telecom Services, Nextel Communications, Inc., Rogers Wireless, SaskTel Mobility, SmarTone, TELUS Mobility, Vodafone Global, Vodafone Germany, Vodafone Italy and Vodafone Spain (lifted from []). "Visto's products are used by over 200,000 mobile professionals globally. Our enterprise customers include GE, Sara Lee, USA Credit Union,
  • Is that a new Star Trek character?
  • me thinks RIM should tell Vista, *similar technology* this ,,!,,
  • Bastard companies that abuse software patents should be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    Or perhaps the fools in government that legitimized them in the first place. Both at once?
  • Not only do you never get rid of the Dane, you attract more of them.
  • They caved once, now the other muggers are enboldened to try it again.

    Moral of the story..When the bully comes after you the FIRST time, defend yourself to the end. Use a baseball bat if nessessary.

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't" - Thomas Jefferson
  • For those of you railing against software patents, in this case that is NOT the problem. The fact is that up until recently one had to have a working prototype to get a patent. The Constitution allows patent protection to foster innovation by allowing a company to recoup R&D investment during the early years of a product. Recently courts have allowed patent infringement cases to proceed when there was no product to protect and no product ever intended. By patenting an idea and fiercely protecting it wit
  • by certel ( 849946 )
    Companies are targeting RIM because they're based out of Canada. It's a conspiracy I tell you.

"I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.'" -- Robert G. Ingersoll