Judge rules against BlackBerry patent settlement

Wednesday, November 30th 2005, 11:06 am
By: News On 6

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal judge ruled invalid Wednesday a $450 million settlement between a small patent holding firm and the maker of BlackBerry e-mail devices, Research in Motion Ltd.

U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer's decision is a victory for NTP Inc., an Arlington company that maintains the technology behind the popular BlackBerry infringes on its patents.

Canada's RIM had sought to uphold an agreement reached earlier this year that NTP said was never finalized.

Spencer could next consider reissuing an injunction that threatens to shut down U.S. BlackBerry service. However, analysts and industry observers expect RIM will be backed in a corner and forced to settle for a sum as high as $1 billion.