The US Supreme Court has rejected a petition from Canadian vendor Research in Motion, maker of the extremely popular BlackBerry product, to review a lower court decision on its long-running dispute with patent holding company NTP.
RIM had requested a reassessment of the scope of US patent laws in regard to its products and services on the ground that its operations are based in Canada.
NTP is suing RIM for patent infringement and, unfortunately for RIM, the previous ruling was upheld. This means that all eyes will now be on a hearing in early February when both sides are expected to file final arguments.
This is also the time when a US district judge will decide whether to approve NTP's request that RIM be prohibited from manufacturing or selling products and services identified in the dispute in the US.
However, it is widely expected that the companies will reach some kind of agreement before that stage.
Early last year, RIM and NTP reached a settlement to the tune of $450m, but the deal fell through and RIM is not believed to have made payments to this effect.
As a contingency, RIM revealed that it has been preparing software workaround designs which it intends to implement across all existing devices if necessary to maintain the operation of BlackBerry services in the US.
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