Friday, February 24, 2006

BlackBerry users relieved e-mail service will continue for now

Following my little diatribe about sensationalistic quotes, comes this article about the potential Blackberry injunction saga in Computerworld. Commenting on the U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer's decision to decline enforcing an immediate injunction to shutdown BlackBerry service in the U.S., Ken Dulaney at Gartner said, "The judge pretty much told them today to find a settlement, and we’ve always said that’s the most likely outcome. Both sides have a lot to gain and a lot to lose.”

Dulaney also noted the significance of Spencer remarking that "RIM had indeed been found by a jury to have infringed on NTP patents. He said, "The judge basically said to RIM that they should not think they can get away scot-free."

Dulaney advised "BlackBerry users to avoid making any drastic moves for a few more days, in case Spencer actually does issue an injunction against RIM that would affect the more than 3 million U.S. users of its BlackBerry service."

While NTP had "urged the judge to consider a 30-day grace period for users before any injunction he might issue takes effect," Dulaney thought it "would be insufficient to get client and server systems in compliance." Dulaney said, "We think a minimum of 90 days is better."

Todd Kort at Gartner added that "if an injunction is issued next week, any grace period will be important. But a bigger unknown is whether the planned RIM work-around will infringe on NTP’s patents and when that issue might be determined."