Last week a US federal court denied a request by Research In Motion for a stay in the court proceedings in an ongoing patent suit. Patent holding company NTP is alleging that RIM's BlackBerry devices violate one of its patents.
RIM has asked the US patent office to re-examine the patent in question, but such a procedure is likely to take years.
"[Last week's] ruling strongly suggests that, unless RIM reaches a settlement with NTP, the court will issue an injunction effectively ending RIM's operations in the US," Gartner concluded.
This caused the analyst firm to alter its recommendation on how users should respond to the court proceedings. Gartner previously advised them to ignore the legal battle and continue with BlackBerry projects as planned.
RIM and NTP came close to a settlement earlier this year, but talks failed in the end. But with the threat of having to shut down the BlackBerry service in the US, Gartner reckons on a 60 per cent chance that the two will reach a settlement within the next three weeks.
In addition to halting new BlackBerry deployments, users should demand that RIM provide further information about plans to create a device that works around NTP's patent.
They should also start looking at alternative solutions for mission-critical applications, for instance by using laptop computers with wireless cards.
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