Research in Motion has unveiled a software application that will allow it to continue selling its BlackBerry technology if a US court implements an injunction against the company over a patent dispute with NTP.
The application is installed as an update to the device's operating system and is referred to as BlackBerry Multi-Mode Edition.
It equips the BlackBerry with two different modes that the company can turn on and off remotely without requiring any user interaction.
One mode is identical to the way a BlackBerry currently operates, while the "US mode" lets the device operate in a way that does not infringe on the disputed patent.
"RIM's workaround provides a contingency for our customers and partners and a counterbalance to NTP's threats," said Jim Balsillie, chairman and co-chief executive at RIM.
"This will hopefully lead to more reasonable negotiations since NTP risks losing all future royalties if the workaround is implemented."
A jury found in 2002 that RIM infringed on a patent owned by NTP. Appeals were thrown out and settlement talks failed. NTP is now seeking an injunction against BlackBerry that forces RIM to shut down its service in the US.
RIM, meanwhile, has asked the US Patent Office to re-examine and nullify the patent in question. Although the company has had some success with these efforts, the procedure will almost certainly take years before a final ruling is made.
The patent dispute is mostly limited to the US. Several European courts, including Germany's, have ruled in RIM's favour.
The update will be shipped with all new BlackBerry devices. Existing users will have access to the application from RIM's website at a later date.
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