Friday, February 24, 2006

Crackberry Reprieve

So a judge has fired a shot across the bow, but millions of mid-level bureaucrats will continue to ignore their supervisors with blackberries - at least for now. And millions of supervisors will continue to send useless e-mails in an ever-infuriating effort to control workers who hate them.

U.S. District Judge James Spencer said Friday that Research In Motion Ltd. did infringe on the patent held by NTP Inc., when it made its Blackberry personal irritation device. RIM has denied it infringed on the patent, and the judge refused to issue an injunction that would have shut off these little hand-held monsters.

Thousands of government wonkers heaved a collective sigh of relief. The small devices send and receive e-mail and also have organizer, cell phone and other functions. About 3 million Americans, including Bush administration officials, members of Congress and executives, use them. Much to the chagrin of those who would rather be left alone.

RIM urged the court to give the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office more time to study the issue. The Patent office - part of the Bush Administration - is reexamining the NTP patents. Earlier this week, the agency rejected the first of five patents closely tied to the court case. Hmmmmm. I wonder if those patent attorneys use this device?

The two companies reached a tentative settlement of $450 million early last year, but that deal later fell through. The judge said he would issue a ruling "as soon as reasonably possible."

This at a time when Sprint is marketing it's Treo which would be another step up.

It's also just enough time to give the scientists a way to do what the Chinese do - change one thing, apply for the patent, and then say the whole idea is theirs!

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