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9/30/2005
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BlackBerry Maker Wins Round In Ongoing NTP Battle

The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has rejected all of NTP Inc.'s claims against Research In Motion Ltd., but it's not over yet. The battle lives on in the court system, and Research In Motion still faces possible injunctions that would stop it from selling BlackBerrys in the U.S.

Research In Motion Ltd. appears to have won a round in its battle with NTP Inc., a patent-holding company that has filed infringement lawsuits against the maker of the popular BlackBerry device.

Research In Motion says it has received an initial ruling from the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office, which has rejected the 655 claims in technology patent No. 6,317,592, the last of eight patents that NTP claimed were violated. The Trademark Office previously rejected the other seven patent claims.

But it's not over yet. The Trademark Office still has to make final rulings—the initial rulings can be overturned. NTP is expected to appeal the eight initial rulings. And in August, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld seven claims of patent infringement made by NTP. The court ordered the case back to District Court where either an injunction could be issued that stops RIM from selling BlackBerrys in the U.S. or a settlement could be achieved between the two companies. RIM is currently awaiting another review by the Appeals Court.

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