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Judge Decides Not to Decide in RIM Blackberry Case

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Another bullet dodged by Blackberry-maker RIM, after a judge in Richmond, Virginia called off a hearing over the device without issuing a decision. That hearing had the potential to put a stop to Blackberry service and sales. NTP, a patent holding firm that successfully sued RIM for copyright violations, had asked U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer to issue an injunction against RIM which would halt sales of the Blackberry and award NTP $126 million in damages. When ending the hearing, Judge Spencer said he would issue a ruling, but didn't say when.

The judge also mentioned that his ruling would take into account the needs of the government to continue using the Blackberry. Indeed, part of RIM's argument against a sudden halt to its services were because Blackberrys have become, in the words of RIM's attorney Henry C. Bunslow, part of the country's infrastructure. Meanwhile, attorneys for RIM held out hope that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would reject those patents that NTP says it has. So, there is still some hope for the Blackberry, at least for the next few days. You know it must be good news for RIM, whose stock rose 8% as soon as the judge s lack of a decision became known.

Judge Ends Blackberry Hearing Without Ruling [The New York Times]