Light Reading
Here's a thought: Let's wait to see if NTP has valid patents before shutting down RIM.

Judge to Blackberry Users: Drop Dead

The Martin Chronicles
The Martin Chronicles
The Martin Chronicles
2/3/2006
50%
50%

5:20 PM -- I've never been in Judge James R. Spencer's courtroom, and I hope I never will be.

Don't get me wrong: Judge Spencer is a distinguished jurist, a cum laude graduate of Harvard, first in his class at Howard University's divinity school, and the first African-American judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He worked in the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, and I have no doubt that his principles match his brilliance.

But Judge Spencer has got it wrong in the BlackBerry case. I'm not talking about the merits of NTP's patent infringement suit; I'm talking about Spencer's stubborn refusal to take into account the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's moves to invalidate NTP's patents. This week the Patent Office issued a preliminary ruling that struck down the fifth and final patent at issue in the NTP-RIM lawsuit. NTP will appeal that ruling; a final decision could come in the next 60 days -- or it could take years. (See Final NTP Patent Struck Down.)

Judge Spencer won't wait. He's repeatedly made it clear he has no intention of letting the slow grinding of the Patent Office's machinery affect his ruling re: RIM. "Frankly, it's highly unlikely that I'm going to stay these proceedings," Spencer said from the bench back in November. "I don't run [the Patent Office's] business and they don't run mine."

Well, nobody's trying to restrict your judicial independence, Judge Spencer, but the outcome of the RIM case is not just "your business" -- it's the business of millions of Blackberry users, too, who use the devices every day to keep the wheels of American commerce spinning. RIM may very well have based its business on second-hand technology; it certainly wouldn't be the first successful tech company to do so. But if the Patent Office strikes down NTP's patents, as appears likely, there's no case here. Maybe it's worth waiting a while longer to find that out.

If Judge Spencer's impatience prevails, though, Crackberry addicts can refer to this handy guide to how to deal if the worst-case scenario happens.

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
daniel.taylor
50%
50%
daniel.taylor,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:07:19 AM
re: Judge to Blackberry Users: Drop Dead
Mr. Martin is making an assertion not supported by the facts at hand when he discusses "...Spencer's stubborn refusal to take into account the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's moves to invalidate NTP's patents." The Court's November 30 decision is devoted entirely to the prospect of a PTO decision and appeals process.

That decision is available on Pacer. It's Document #423 for Case 3:01-cv-00767-JRS in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia. Like NTP's 960 patent, it's a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the outcome of this case.
mwatson1111
50%
50%
mwatson1111,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:07:10 AM
re: Judge to Blackberry Users: Drop Dead
While I compliment Mr. Martin on his ability to write, his argument is extremely flawed. He is suggesting that RIM be rewarded for violating patents simply because there are a lot of customers and "maybe" some of the patents will be invalidated. So if I want to steal IP and make money, it's OK as long as I get lots of customers before someone finds out that I have violated the IP? After all, we don't want to upset customers? If there is someone you want to criticize, it should be RIM, not the judge. If you or RIM were really concerned about Blackberry customers, then start an editorial campaign aimed at having RIM settle with NTP. Or start an editorial campaign aimed at IP squatting scum (which is not-so-subtly inferred in your article). Why should the known violator be rewarded based soley on a presumption of public interest and the hope that their defensive campaign of patent invalidation will work? More importantly, why should a judge be criticized for doing his job and not becoming a 'consumer activist' judge. Let us all hope that you never have any influence over our patent office or judiciary.
RBMartin
50%
50%
RBMartin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:06:52 AM
re: Judge to Blackberry Users: Drop Dead
Actually I think you've mischaracterized my argument. As I said, RIM may well have violated NTP's patents; if those patents are invalidated, though, there's no intellectual property to infringe upon, is there? This seems self-evident. I entirely agree with your larger points -- that RIM should settle, and that the patent system needs reforming.

....and thanks for the compliment.
mwatson1111
50%
50%
mwatson1111,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:06:37 AM
re: Judge to Blackberry Users: Drop Dead
I'm sorry if I mischaracterized your argument. I understand that the patents may become invalidated. Personally, I have equal distain for IP violators as I do squatters. I also understand that in a perfect world that patent validation and infringement judgements shouldn't be decoupled. Unfortunately, they are. My point was that given the current state of our legal system and this particular case, the victim should be given the benefit of doubt while the peripheral cases are being resolved, not the other way around as you suggest. That's all I meant.

...and you're most welcome.
More Blogs from The Martin Chronicles
Is this where Apple got its 'Multi-Touch' UI idea?
Former Qwest CEO set to stand trial starting March 19
Muni network controversy pales next to the mayor's private scandals
Billionaire might force a Moto showdown
One can't help but chortle
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (0) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Add SmartSense to Make Your Network Ready for 4K

10|27|14   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


To make current networks ready for the coming 4K TV challenges, Huawei SmartSense solution will conveniently add experience and operation capabilities to boost telcos' future business.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed