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RIM Hauls Motorola Into Court

Relations between the US and Canada grew frosty as Montreal, based Research In Motion pulled Schaumberg, Ill Motorola into court. The two sides are warring over wireless patents and payments, a quick resolution seems unlikely, and businesses could suffer.
Relations between the US and Canada grew frosty as Montreal, based Research In Motion pulled Schaumberg, Ill Motorola into court. The two sides are warring over wireless patents and payments, a quick resolution seems unlikely, and businesses could suffer.Vendor squabbling about patent infringements has been a common theme among wireless suppliers. In fact, RIM has been involved in a couple of other high profile cases. The company filed suit against Samsung because it took offense over the naming of its smartphone the BlackJack. A second case involving NTP Inc. dragged on for years and even threatened to shut the company down at one point. Eventually, those two cases were settled.

The latest case is just beginning, but it potentially could have a dramatic impact on small and medium businesses. RIMs BlackBerry has become a key productivity tool for many road warriors. Motorola has been at the forefront of handheld wireless developments, both with its handsets as well as its network infrastructure products.

Reuters reported that RIM filed a civil action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas earlier this month. The suit alleges that Motorola has infringed on a number of RIMs patents and is refusing to pay the royalties associated with those items. In addition, Motorola is attempting to extract exorbitant licensing fees from RIM for its use of various wireless networking options, including having its handhelds transmit data over Wi-Fi connections.

Following the typical pattern in these scenarios, Motorola has counter sued. The company claimed that RIM infringed on seven of its patents in various BlackBerry 8000-series devices and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The company could take a position like NTP and eventually threaten to block all RIM devices from transmitting information over any wireless connections. That would be a difficult pill for RIM to swallow and also something that would create havoc for BlackBerry users.

How many of you work with the RIM BlackBerry? How about Motorola handsets? How concerned are you about the lawsuits?