Blackberry wins reprieve in US court dispute

Blackberry wins reprieve in US court dispute

Research in Motion, maker of the popular Blackberry handheld device, has been granted a reprieve in its damaging patent dispute with Virginia-based NPT as US District Court Judge James Spencer called on the warring parties to settle their case out of court and withheld a judgement on an injunction that would have immediately shut down the service.

The Judge has yet to make the final decision, hinting that NTP and RIM should resolve their dispute this week.

The two companies have been locked in a court battle for more than four years. NTP previously called on the courts to issue an injunction against RIM while it tried to enforce a $450 million settlement agreed between the firms last year which fell through. The settlement relates to a 2002 case when NTP successfully sued RIM for patent infringement.

RIM has denied any patent infringement and is insisting that there is an 'exceptional public interest' in maintaining uninterrupted BlackBerry service.

Blackberry users in the financial services industry will be breathing a sigh of relief at the judgement. According to the research released by wireless network operator Pyxis Mobile ahead of the court decision, 81% of asset managers questioned consider the Blackberry service as 'vital and 'critical' to their business and had been busy forumlating contingency plans in case of a disruption in service.

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