John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Grim Business: RIM Hit With Another Patent Suit

Could be worse. Could be raining ...

Add one more dark cloud to the list of woes troubling Research In Motion. On Tuesday afternoon, NXP Semiconductors NV filed suit against RIM, alleging certain models of its BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet infringe on its patents.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando, Florida, the city in which RIM plans to hold its annual BlackBerry World conference next month, NXP’s suit accuses RIM of violating six patents issued between 1997 and 2008 covering everything from wireless data transmission range expansion to computer bus systems and circuit manufacturing processes. It seeks an injunction against further infringements as well as lost profits and treble damages for what it claims are willful infringements.

For RIM, the suit’s timing couldn’t be worse. Reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings last week, the company said it will stop issuing financial forecasts as it reviews its strategic options. Investors have been beating the hell out of it ever since. And for a company whose shares have already fallen more than 80 percent in the last 12 months, that is truly bad news.

RIM declined comment on the suit, citing its policy about pending litigation.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus