Issue #2003 - 18
RIM Under Attack or Facing
1. RIM does not score well in its fight with NTP
The U.S. Federal District Court in Richmond, Va. ordered Research In Motion to pay NTP Inc. an additional $8.87 million in damages, and 80 percent of NTP's attorney fees in a patent infringement case initially filed by NTP in 2001. The court also increased the royalty rate that RIM must pay NTP to 8.55 percent, up from the 5.7 percent rate set after a jury ruled in November that RIM had infringed on NTP's patents. RIM said the federal court judge could have tripled the damages, but did not, and that the case is still before the court and is subject to appeal. The court must also rule on NTP's request for a permanent injunction on sales of RIM's BlackBerry hardware, software and services in North America. Analysts said the case will likely go on for years before it is settled. (Source: Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires
2. Good Technology Moves Forward Hitting Hard at RIM
Good Technology has gained 750 companies as customers for its wireless e-mail service, some of them former users of Research In Motion's BlackBerry product. The features that have prompted some companies to leave BlackBerry for Good include the ability to synchronize their devices with their PC-based e-mail in near real time over the air, streamlined set-up for the devices, and access to Microsoft Outlook. RIM now offers Microsoft Outlook and plans to introduce synchronizing that doesn't require a cradle. RIM has about 534,000 customers for its services, some of them loyal fans. RIM has filed suit against Good Technology, alleging that Good infringed on some of RIM's patents. "It's regrettable they've chosen to litigate instead of innovate," Good Technology's CEO said. (Source: AP) - more info
MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: We
would not comment on the legitimacy of NTP's patents and its royalty
fee claims against RIM. Courts are best place to do that. It does
appear, however, that NTP is prevailing. Therefore, RIM has
rightfully decided to keep money aside for final settlement of NTP's
claims. A royalty fee of 8.55% is steep and would hurt RIM's bottom
RIM should concentrate more on
staying one step ahead of Good
Technology than on NTP. Instead, Good Technology has been receiving a lot of
investment support from VCs and market support from its customers.
RIM can not afford to be complacent about Good Technology. RIM has
been rightfully expanding its product reach to the enterprise beyond
messaging. It should continue on
that path. RIM is not under attack. It is just facing some
competition. It should force RIM to be more innovative and aggressive.
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