Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

RIM Strikes Back, Files Countersuit Against Visto 83

SilentOne writes "Research In Motion Ltd. launched an all-out assault on competitors yesterday, countersuing its latest legal nemesis and introducing software to pre-empt imminent launches by other challengers. The countersuit also gives RIM a chance to move the patent battle to a courtroom where it has a better chance of beating Visto. Visto filed suit against RIM on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, which reportedly favours patent holders in 92% of cases heard by the court. Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-chief executive, said the company wants the trial moved to the Dallas area, where RIM's U.S. headquarters are located, for practical reasons. Meanwhile, RIM is giving away a free software package, valued at US$3,000, to hook the e-mail accounts of small businesses and consumers up to BlackBerries instead of competitive devices from Palm and Microsoft."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIM Strikes Back, Files Countersuit Against Visto

Comments Filter:
  • This just highlights fundemental flaws in our countries IP laws. Here is a successful company with a sought after product, and they can't keep themselves out of court for violating IP concerns.

    Nevermind the technical merits of said device, which I have never owned or had to work with.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:53AM (#15268363)
      What you're discussing is only a small portion of the problem. These sort of incidents are what will directly lead to nations like China and India taking the lead in technological developments.

      While American companies are mired in legalities, and restricted in their ability to produce and innovate (two things which any successful economy requires), Indian and Chinese companies will not be so restrained. As American companies are wasting resources on petty legal fights over patents, Chinese and Indian teams will actually be taking part in the development of the next generation of technology.

      Many suggest that the trade ties between China and the US are enough to prevent China from saying to hell with the US. Such people are naive. They don't realize that the 2 billion people of China and India far eclipse the American market. Soon enough, the demand for technology in China and India themselves will be enough to fuel future innovation, regardless of what the American market demands.

      It's likely that in the future, historians will discuss how the freedom of innovation in places like China and India, and the lack thereof in the US due to excessive legal barriers, directly led to the decline of the US in favor of India and China.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @05:05AM (#15268865)
        Kind of like how America took the lead over Europe in the 19th century because Europe had relatively restrictive IP laws which America did not respect, so Americans (notably Edison) freely stole European innovations while Europeans were forced to respect American property rights and could not steal back?

        Listen up, America. If you don't want to go the way of Europe and sink into mediocrity and irrelevance, you have two choices... either you loosen up your crazy draconian IP laws, or you declare all-out war on China and India. Sadly, the way things are going, I suspect it'll be the latter...
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Right. Restrictive IP laws are what made Europe irrelevent. Those two world wars really didn't do much to shape European culture. IP law, however, stamped its mark on the face of the continent forever.
          • World wars weren't in the 19th century. :P
          • Right. Restrictive IP laws are what made Europe irrelevent. Those two world wars really didn't do much to shape European culture. IP law, however, stamped its mark on the face of the continent forever.

            After the second World War, in lieu of the more converntional wars reparations demanded of Germany by France, Britian and Russia such as cash repayments, industrial production curtailments, etc, America chose instead that its war reparations be paid for in the transferral of patents held by german holders, to
      • RIM is a Canadian company, and the US patents involved do not apply to RIM's business in Canada and presumably other non-US countries. The same situation will happen to other companies, whether they are in China or India, if they wish to do business in the US. So I do agree that the whole patent nonsense is impeding innovation, but if a company wants to tap into the US market, they're going to have to deal with this problem until it gets fixed (which, I suspect, I won't live to see).
        • if a company wants to tap into the US market

          For many Indian and especially Chinese companies, US market may soon (5-10 years) be almost irrelevant, especially if there is a big difference in IP laws between the countries. If you're likely to lose more on court battles than you're likely to make on sales, then there's no point in coming to the market in the first place, no matter how big it may be. And Japan will likely be more than happy to concentrate on Asian market as well, if US market becomes too exp
      • I see your point, but the 2 billion oppressed people aren't always able to purchase technology. Hey, I am not oppressed (directly) and I can't afford a Blackberry or an iPod!!
      • Much as I disagree with the overbearing and wasteful IP laws in the US, the complete lack of restraint in China (and maybe India too, I don't know as much about them) is equally problematic.

        Right now, China is still playing technological catch-up with the rest of the world. China really doesn't need to bother with indigenous innovation today, since they can easily acquire superior technology from outside their borders. At the rate that their industry is advancing, however, they are quickly nearing parity
      • While what you write seems to bear a resemblance to our current situation, it is both fortunately and unfortunately not accurate.

        Real technology transfer has yet to really happen. Many companies know all about the flagrant disregard for intellectual property exhibited by China and they closely guard their secrets.

        Furthermore, there is not yet the development of a market which can support the kind of research and development required to produce a company like Cisco or IBM, that takes years of experience and
        • China, India and the US are in a death grip with one another. For any one party to pull out and 'change the ruleset' would mean their exclusion and destruction.

          Thats globalization for you, Mutually Assured Economic Destruction. Some interesting reading on this is in a great book called 'The Pentagons New Map', highly recommended no matter where on the political spectrum you fall.

          It will take -decades-, if not longer, for these countries to create enough of an internal market for these gadgets and that is pl
      • They don't realize that the 2 billion people of China and India far eclipse the American market

        Except the fact that the VAST majority of those 2 billion ppl are poor as shit and can't buy anything you have to sell. Numbers of people do not equate to a "large market". Numbers of people with money to spend is what qualifies as a "large market".

        And when you measure like that, the US IS the largest and most well funded market for products in the world. By a long way.
  • Can't blackberries access a pop acount? Or this this just not good enough? Or you can't you set up e-mail forwarding directly to the users blackberry account if you need "push" mail? Or doesn't this work? I just don't really understand where this estimated software cost is coming from? Do blackberries use weird custom protocols? On a side note, I'm getting my replacement treo600 tomorrow! It succumbed to the known "no service" battery fault a while ago, not to mention a broken top panel by the sd card, wit
    • Yes, however, POP does not support email pushing which is a large component of it's success. To have it constantly check a server and have to make a data connection with the towers kills the battery life. I believe treos actually, popup a message about it if you set the time to less than 1 hour.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:00AM (#15268382)
      Having used the latest BBs for over a year with the best set up (I work for RIM btw), let me give you a few reasons why the BB is different and so good.

      -full integration with Exchange/Lotus/groupwise. Any important action which I can do from outlook, I can do from my BB and everythign is mirrored and synchronized
      --typically any mail sent to my email gets to the device less than 1-2s after it gets to outlook. deleting, marking as read, forwarding, replying etc, everythign you do to a message on the BB is mirrored in outlook an vice versa.
      --calender is wirelessly sync'ed and you can accept requests, send out invitations etc.
      --memos, tasks, contacts etc, etc are all wirelessly sync'ed as well. Entering any such data on the BB will automatically send it to outlook. Beleive me, this is VERY useful.
      --the BB is efficient and uses A LOT less bandwidth than MS PPC handhelds.
      --RIM's has infrastructure is very reliable.
      --Security is very very important. The US government uses is extensively, and they even have a BB smart card reader.
      --it can be administered remotely, have applications pushed to it, different IT policies enforced etc, pretty easily.

      Basically, the handhelds themselves are pretty nice (though not exceptional), the whole package is unbeatable. No wonder the only way companies are trying to stop RIM is through the courts. :\
      • --memos, tasks, contacts etc, etc are all wirelessly sync'ed as well. Entering any such data on the BB will automatically send it to outlook. Beleive me, this is VERY useful.

        Blackberrys are great except for two major things that drive us crazy at my company:

        1. RIM refuses to build IMAP functionality into Blackberry Enterprise Server. Most of our company's email users connect to a Linux IMAP server, but we have to provide an Exchange server just to accomodate the Blackberries, even if the users don't need a
      • Given the poor grammar and rampant typos, this is probably a low-level employee, at best a technician/IT flunkie, at worst a shipping clerk. I wouldn't take his comments very seriously, certainly not the ones having to do with security, infrastructure, etc.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I agree. BB has no inherent security during transmission to the handhelds. The security guys freaked out when they discovered all the transmissions were in plain text.

          Integration with Exchange/AD is horrible. There are no LDAP lookups to AD, and the sum total of BB integration with Exchange is via a single mailbox. Hardly an "enterprise-class" product.

          I can't wait until we start playing with the PPCs and get a real solution for mobile mailboxes.

      • Despite the typos, this posting is right on the mark. The BB integration with M$ Exchange server is excellent. I can't speak for how well it works with any other servers (e.g., Lotus). If you're already using Exchange (and, believe me, I have plenty of beefs with that product), the BB is an excellent mobile partner.
      • Ok great it does sync with Exchange well, lets look at some of the 'features' though.

        If your battery runs low the blackberry will disable wireless. Now thats great because I get extra life out of the device and can use all the PIM functions for a while without wireless. Now if you plug it into a charger guess what it doesnt do? It never re-enables the wireless, so if you're not paying attention and dont "enable wireless" you'll be wondering why you're not receiving any phone calls or emails.

        The desktop s
        • Also, this may be related to my network/outlook setup, but typically my email gets to my BB long before it hits my Outlook client, which is somewhat fun because I'll feel the thing vibrate and look at outlook but see no email.

          Your outlook is probably running in the newer exchange cached mode. Originally Outlook was always online and connected to exchange, the cached mode essentially makes outlook offline and it checks for new mail every minute or so.

          So you get more of a delay in cached mode, but the benefi

  • by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:36AM (#15268317)
    I'm beginning to think I should have listened to my English teacher and gone into law, instead of I.T
  • Is that free as in beer, or free as in Open Source? :-)
    • It's free as in the t-shirt that comes with the 2-4 of beer.
    • Free as in Heroin. The first one is free, the rest are going to cost you.
    • Re:Free software? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:31AM (#15268447)
      a free software package --valued at US$3,000

      "Valued at $3000". By who? How can they say something like this wiht a straight face?

      • Re:Free software? (Score:3, Informative)

        by vux984 ( 928602 )
        "Valued at $3000". By who?

        RIM of course. :)

        How can they say something like this wiht a straight face?

        I see where you are going, but you would be wrong.

        Actually this is what they typically charged customers for it previously. Its not some magical artificial suggested retail price that nobody ever actually paid... that they plucked out of their ass; people actually did pay around 3k for a modest Blackberry Enterprise Server package.
      • [] looks like an open source version of the same thing. But it is dual-licensed like MySQL so they do also have a price associated with something they are giving out for free. :) (I don't know how much, because you have to fill out some long form to contact sales just to find out. I assume that means it costs a lot)

        I just got a blackberry and the amount of open source software available for it is surprisingly low. We have to get coding. :)

  • by Eric Smith ( 4379 ) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:49AM (#15268354) Homepage Journal
    I'm always disgusted when I see the ridiculous "valued at" statements in advertising. I publish some relatively obscure free (GPL'd) software, so I suppose I may as well assert that it's "valued at $10,000,000".
    • It's not a crock (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pauljlucas ( 529435 )
      The value for a piece of software can be determined by how long it would take a developer to develop it multiplied by said developer's salary, plus overhead costs like equipment, facilities, insurance, etc. Indeed, this is true for anything, not just software. Many companies make a buy/build decision based on whichever is cheaper to do: buy somebody else's or build your own.

      Now what the MSRP for a piece of software (or, again, anything) is is it's value plus a profit margin that's determined by "what th

  • by CFrankBernard ( 605994 ) <cfrankb&gmail,com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:17AM (#15268414)
    "...said Deepak Chopra, an analyst with National Bank Financial..."

    Must not be the same Deepak Chopra as this meditation [] nut.
    I hope.
  • by geofferensis ( 808339 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:21AM (#15268424) Journal
    The whole series is of course:

    I. The NTP Menace
    II. Attack of the Lawsuits
    III. Revenge of the USPTO
    IV. A New Lawsuit
    V. RIM Strikes Back
    VI. Return of the Blackberries

    Now available on DVD in classic and digitally re-mastered editions!
  • ...launched an all-out assault on competitors...

    Damn wallhackers. We'll get 'em next round, though.
  • You gotta know that RIM is piasssed. After having to choke down NTP's garbage, they are out for blood. They are going to get MEDIEVAL on Visto! I pitty them fools.
    • iirc NTP took what 1/3 or 1/4 of the cash reserve.

      RIM going all psycho is not just to get revenge [well directed at someone else] but because they can't afford to lose again.

      Frankly this makes me happy. I hate crackberry syndrome. It does change people, not always for the better.

      More than once I would be interrupted during an interview to have some little dork read his email. Sure I'm not a rockstar so probably not 100% entertaining but during a Job interview when you ask a question, listen for at least
  • is barely mentioned in TFA. What they're referring to is BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1 Express [].

    Only a 1-User licence is provided for free, however.

    RIM is obviously worried about Microsoft giving away push technology in Exchange Server 2003 SP2 [].

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @04:58AM (#15268855) Homepage
    I'm so sick of being in meetings with people sit their like overgrown
    children playing with their Blackberries when they're supposed to be
    paying attention. My opinion is that these "tools" far from aiding business
    actually cause far more time to be wasted than anything else yet devised
    (including the cellphone!) as insecure middle management constantly check
    for emails from the boss they're currently brown nosing. It they couldn't
    use them I genuinely believe the business enviroment would be a lot
    • As far as I can figure, it's like a Palm Pilot. Only with fewer features and instead of a large touch-screen you can write on or bring up a keyboard on if you have trouble writing, it has a teeny tiny physical keyboard.

      I suppose it makes a fashion statement. That statement is apparantly, "Look at me, I can't understand how to use a touch screen keyboard, and I can't be expected not to lose the stylus anyway. I'm trendy!"

      So there you have it. Blackberry: The Palm Pilot for the Duplo crowd.
      • The reason Blackberry became Crackberry is realtime e-mail access. If you want e-mail on your Palm Pilot, be prepared to make it twice as large when you attach the wireless module. And Blackberry's integration with MS Exchange is much better than anything you can do with a Palm Pilot.
    • People talk on cell phones in cars, too, but that doesn't mean that cell phones are useless things we shouldn't have. As for dweebs constantly checking their mail from their boss, blackberries have "push" email which informs you when an email arrives. You don't need to keep checking them all the time, like you would with a typical email server.
    • My opinion is that these "tools" far from aiding business actually cause far more time to be wasted

      I guess you would object to people bringing in their laptops to meetings too. How about a writing pad, it can be used to doodle on drawn non-work related images ? I think you need to realize that not everybody thinks and works like you and you need to accept and work with the differences. Yes some people abuse blackberries, but these people would very easily find some other distraction to replace it if you

  • About time too. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clevershark ( 130296 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:45AM (#15269012) Homepage
    It certainly sounds to a lot of people like a bunch of IP parasites are taking it in turns to sue RIM in the hopes that they can cash in on its work and marketing by virtue of it being a foreign company and not used to the USA's sue-happy culture -- that certainly sounds like the NTP case in a nutshell.
  • And i thought they were such a 'nice' company that was being unfarily attacked, and they wanted to help ban software patents..

    Of course they are just like everyone else.. Suckers
    • Yes, because obviously the only thing to do is to keep cutting big checks to unproductive leeches taking advantage of the amazing incompetence of the USPTO to file lawsuits which have no basis in reality!

      Please tell me you're not responsible for drawing up any company's business plan...
    • Uh they're counter suing.. Was your post a joke? Or do you expect every company to just cut a check for bullshit patent lawsuits? Are you a moron?
  • It is fairly obvious that NTP is trying to make an end run around it's recent settlement with RIM by inventing another lawsuit. These patent holding companies are absolute scumbags that make their profits on filing these stupid lawsuits. They don't sell a product at all - their only income is from litigation. *GRRRRRR*

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court