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RIM Says NTP Patent Claims Rejected

June 23, 2005|From Reuters

TORONTO — BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said Wednesday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had in effect struck down two more patents held by NTP Inc., which had successfully sued RIM for patent infringement.

Research in Motion said the patent office had rejected the claims of seven NTP patents it was reexamining and was "expected to issue an office action on the single remaining patent soon."

The Canadian company, which helped popularize mobile e-mailing with its thumb-operated BlackBerry, on June 9 announced that it had failed to finalize a $450-million settlement with NTP, a closely held U.S.-based patent holding company.

But Friday, the patent office issued decisions questioning the validity of three more of the eight NTP patents it was reexamining.

Analysts have said every rejected patent gives Research in Motion more leverage in settling the matter with NTP, while noting that NTP still has the right to appeal the reexaminations.

The outcome of the case is key to Research in Motion's prospects because of the risk that NTP could use a court injunction to halt U.S. sales of RIM's flagship wireless e-mail device.

Shares of Research in Motion rose $4.27, or 5.8%, to $78.35.

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