Embattled RIM sends word out to the investors

Reference: Patent Abuse – Jim Balsillie, December 19th, 2005.

Finally, Jim has spoken. RIM’s CEO, Jim Ballsillie has just put out an op-ed on the Wall Street journal. You may read the article on RIM’s website if you have not subscribed to the WSJ. Way to go Jim, all those who complain that RIM’s silence on the issue is hurting RIM must now be quiet. For a while, I thought no one at the helm had the guts to put down NTP’s sabre rattling and FUD. The tone of the article is aggressive. Jim makes it very clear that RIM believes NTP’s only motivation in this issue is greed. It would be wrong for RIM to simply give in to NTP’s unreasonable demands (almost extortion).

No, it’s not about legitimacy, fairness, entitlement or anything described above. It’s about greed. It’s about a willingness to abuse the overburdened patent system for personal gain. The NTP lawyers have been blinded by their ambitions to the point where they turned down one of the largest settlement offers in history and a royalty rate that is 10 to 20 times higher than industry norms for uncontested patent portfolios.

I found it interesting that NTP has been trying to delay the patent re-examination. The obvious intent would be to prevent their case from eroding.

It’s not about embracing and respecting the process within the USPTO. NTP has repeatedly and purposefully delayed the re-examination process. It’s latest attempt at delay was thankfully denied by the USPTO last week. NTP also failed to comply with its duty to provide the USPTO with highly material evidence (called the “TeleNor art”) until it was effectively forced to comply months later. It even recently tried to overwhelm the USPTO’s re-examination process by filing over 30,000 new patent claims on top of its existing 1,921 claims (which was already considered to be an unusually high number of claims for these patents).

Makes me wish that media would portray all aspects of the case. The only news I have heard shouted out loud are the setbacks that RIM has faced in court. Sure, everyone wants to short the stock :P. Sucks.
Let me not get caught up with my sentiments on this issue, after all, if RIM is bashed in public, I am going to sit up and take notice. Nothing new there. To be more objective – the system that rewards patents and enforces them here in the USA does require a serious review from those who have the most to lose – Investors and Inventors. RIM has had the unfortunate pleasure of facing a shutdown even when the severity of its violations have been undeserved of such a fate.

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