WASHINGTON (Reuters) – BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (Toronto:RIM.TO – news)(Nasdaq:RIMM – news) was dealt another legal setback in a key patent infringement case on Wednesday, raising pressure to settle or face a possible shutdown of its U.S. mobile e-mail service.
U.S. District Judge James Spencer rejected RIM’s request to delay the case and refused to enforce a disputed, $450 million settlement with patent holder NTP Inc.
“Valid patents would be rendered meaningless if an infringing party were allowed to circumvent the patents’ enforcement by incessantly delaying and prolonging court proceedings, which have already resulted in a finding of infringement,” Spencer said in his ruling from Richmond, Va.
Spencer said he would request briefs and set a hearing date to deal with NTP’s request for damages against RIM and an injunction that would halt U.S. sales of the BlackBerry and shut its service.
This is just great. We use Blackberry devices fairly heavily at where I work, and this would be a huge pain in the ass. Hell, I just got a new Blackberry 7100g, too… *grumblemutter* Hopefully some kind of settlement can be reached soon.