Saturday, February 25, 2006

RIM Apologists Scurrying

The powers that be are out in force to make something happen. Bush already ordered that the patents be overturned, but that might not be enough to keep RIM from having to pay for the technology they stole. Why do Congresscritters even care? For a couple of reasons - one, RIM has been lobbying (bribing) Congresscritters for years now, and Congresscritters actually use these crappy little devices and they're tired of getting complaints from other RIM users.

Will justice be served, or will Bush manage to reverse the laws of this land once again?

UPDATE: Judge gives RIM ultimatum - says to settle.

Or, is it the other way around? Who knows for sure.

One thing is pretty clear, though - RIM and the Congresscritters it has in its pockets are trying put this decision on the judge. They don't think the judge has the intestinal fortitude to make this decision - to shut down the RIM service. It's basically like overturning Row v. Wade in the capitalist system - there will be lots of unhappy Congresscritters and uber-rich elites who bribe them. Let's see if the judge has what it takes. Really - the American judicial system - as incredibly corrupt as it is, is the one thing that separates America from Liberia - a judge can bring an elite to his/her knees if he/she so chooses. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

UPDATE: This article, which quotes the judge in the case, seems to align with my contention that RIM was purposely putting it on the Judge to make the decision to shut down the RIM service. Apparently, the judge is not happy. He wants a big promotion from daddy Bush, but daddy Bush ain't gonna be too happy if the judge shuts down RIM. So, what's a judge to do? Give RIM more time, a little polite scolding, and pray to God that RIM executives find Christ and settle the case, to save this judge's career. Here's some of the judge's riot act/pleading:

The hallmark of sanity is that one remains firmly tethered to reality.

And one unfortunate reality for RIM, and one that they would just as soon forget or ignore, is that in this very courtroom there was a trial, a jury was selected, a trial was carried out for a period of weeks, and evidence was received, and the jury heard arguments from some of the best legal talents that money can buy. And when all was said and done, they decided that RIM had infringed NTP's patent, and that the infringement was willful.

The jury consisted of 12 men and women, tried and true citizens of this district, and I can assure you that the citizens of this judicial district and the Commonwealth of Virginia are not foolish or frivolous when it comes to the matter of fixing legal liability. After all of the appeals, the petitions, the politics, the lobbying, this central truth, this reality of the jury verdict has not changed in any essential or substantive way.

So here we are on remand with very clear direction from the federal circuit...two legal issues to be resolved, damages in light of the Federal Circuit's opinion, and whether or not injunctive relief is appropriate; and a sub-issue is what is the appropriate scope of such injunctive relief. And I think at least every lawyer sitting in here today understands the rules and standards that must be applied by the court to come to a legal conclusion regarding these legal issues. And I have been doing this for almost 20 years, and my approach will be no different in this case than any other cases I have had to similarly resolve.

I must say I am surprised, absolutely surprised, that you have left this incredibly important and significant decision to the court. I've always thought that this, in the end, was really a business decision. And yet you have left the decision in the legal arena, and that's what you're going to get, a legal decision.

I can discern from reading the pleadings and preparing for this hearing that a legal decision, a court imposed solution, will be imperfect. The legal squabbling will continue, RIM's business will continue, in plain words the case should have been settled. But it hasn't. So I have to deal with that reality.

I must admit I was somewhat surprised at RIM's argument, which seems to me to be inconsistent on the one hand, that if the court was to impose an injunction, that it would have a catastrophic effect and the very foundation of western civilization would be shaken by wireless e-mail or the absence of it. ...

In other words, the judge is saying:

I really, really, really want this promotion, so can you RIM guys please settle this? Pretty please?

Kinda pathetic. But, we'll see...

UPDATE: The gangsters at RIM have decided to settle. I guess they knew the judge was gonna end up putting the smack-down on them. And they got pressure from their customers to do something. Their payoffs to congresscritters with influence over USPTO had no effect in the end. Suckers.

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