Thursday, October 05, 2006

When $450 Million Just Isn't Enough

SO.... you've probably heard that the Canadian company RIM (makers of the Blackberry - better known as the "Crackberry" because you're never away from email) - got sued by a little company called NTP - alleging that RIM is using one of their patents without payment.

In an "oops, my bad" moment - RIM offered to pay NTP over $450 MILLION dollars for the right to LICENSE their patent. NTP politely took a pass, then sued their ass in US court. RIM has been trying everything short of phoning a friend trying to get their patents thrown out.

They've even appealed to the US Supreme Court - saying that the "good bits" of their technology runs in Canada, eh, so they are exempt. Well, today, the US Supreme court denied their request.

The good folks over at NTP have asked the court to shut down RIM sales and service in the US.

Hmmmm... that would be a bad thing.

NTP, in short, has RIM by the short hairs and they're giving a good old squeeze. Well, good for them - that's good ol' American capitalism at it's glorious worst. I guess they feel they can do better than the $450 mil.

Maybe they are smoking the drapes? That's almost half a BILLION dollars.

To make matters even more interesting - looks like the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) is going to deem the NTP patents invalid.

Yeah, invalid. As in, "ooops, we bad. We should have never allowed it in the first place."

If I were the greedy gophers at NTP - I'd run out and buys some old Steve Miller CD's (better - dig out the old vinyl albums), start singing "Take the money and run", get a six pack, suck it up and settle for the measly 1/2 billion bucks RIM is offering.

NOTE TO SELF: Get patent on the word "the."

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