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BlackBerry Maker Loses Bid for Stay

October 22, 2005|From Reuters

TORONTO — Research in Motion Ltd. moved closer Friday to an injunction that could halt U.S. sales of its popular BlackBerry wireless e-mail device after it lost a bid to suspend a patent case against it.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Research in Motion's motion to stay the case until the U.S. Supreme Court decided whether to accept the company's request for an appeal.

The case goes back to 2002, when patent holding company NTP sued Research in Motion in a lower court. It won an injunction in 2003 to halt U.S. sales of the BlackBerry and to shut down its service, although that ruling was stayed pending appeal.

The appeals court scaled back the initial ruling, but still concluded that Research in Motion infringed NTP patents. Research in Motion shares sank this month when the appeals court refused to reconsider the matter.

The case will now move back to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where it was first heard by Judge James Spencer.

NTP said Friday that it would ask the court to confirm the injunction.

Research in Motion said it believed an injunction was inappropriate but added: "It ultimately will be up to the courts to decide these matters."

The Waterloo, Canada-based firm also will ask the Supreme Court to suspend proceedings pending a possible review.

Research in Motion and NTP reached a $450-million settlement on the dispute in March, but the deal fell apart in June. Research in Motion wants the lower court to enforce the agreement.

Research in Motion shares fell 3.6%, or $2.32, to $62.34.

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