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Will RIM Resort to Patent Trolling to Boost Business?

There's new speculation that RIM may resort to patent trolling in order to boost business. This move is supposedly one of many options currently on the table that is expected to help RIM get through the next two quarters until it launches a BlackBerry 10 smartphone or tablet. The news isn't surprising given that RIM's competitors are all entangled in some kind of patent-based lawsuit because, after all, this is the Age of Patent Infringement Litigation.

The speculation stems from an exclusive report by Reuters back on April 21. RIM reportedly hired on law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy to help iron out a restructuring plan that may include selling assets, seeking joint ventures or selling patents. Taking an aggressive stance with the patents it currently has in-house is supposedly one of those options too -- meaning RIM may actively seek out companies infringing on those patents to gain additional cash.

At one time RIM was reportedly aggressive about its patents, but fell back after its battle with NTP, Inc back in 2000. During a trial, the latter company claimed it owned patents covering wireless email, but RIM tried to prove that a functional wireless email system was already in the public domain by the time NTP's inventions were made. But eventually the jury ruled in favor of NTP, claiming that RIM "willfully" infringed on the patents and thus caused NTP $33 million in damages. By 2006, RIM finally agreed to settle the dispute and cough up a meaty $612.5 million (USD).

RIM reportedly became a target after the owner of NTP read in the newspaper about RIM suing numerous competitors over its own patents. Now rumor has it that RIM will take up the patent troll mantle once again just as it did years ago. Currently it's unclear as to what patents RIM currently holds, or if they pose any kind of threat to iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Reuters reports that RIM posted a $125 million loss in its most recent quarter. It took an even larger hit three months earlier thanks to the underwhelming PlayBook tablet. RIM's stock has plunged 75-percent in the last 12 months, giving the company a market value under $7 billion, the report said.

  • internetlad
    The Title, the Sub-title and the first paragraph all state the exact same thing, why the hell does Kevin Parrish get paid to do this again?

    Seriously every article is "troll" this or "nuke" that, the guy should run a blog, not be a legitimate journalistic writer.

    If I could filter out Greuner and Parrish's articles I think the quality of my toms experience would increase tenfold.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    RIM still has business?
    Reply
  • stygian
    I don't think this is trolling. RIM makes products with the patents it owns. It was once the main player in the mobile market and still remains a major player in certain enterprise environments (hospitals and banks for instance). Enforcing your patent rights when you are an active member of the market is not trolling.

    P.S. I agree with internetlad.
    Reply
  • stygian
    I don't think this is trolling. RIM makes products with the patents it owns. It was once the main player in the mobile market and still remains a major player in certain enterprise environments (hospitals and banks for instance). Enforcing your patent rights when you are an active member of the market is not trolling.

    P.S. I agree with internetlad.
    Reply
  • invlem
    Probably one of the worst articles I've read here.

    Indeed i agree with stygian.

    There is a vast difference between RIM, a company who actually uses its patents to produce products and NTP who has never once released anything of use to the market.

    RIM's patents allow it to compete in the market place and build on its technology, companies like NTP simply sue the world and to what end, they never actually make anything of use, or move technology forward in any way.
    Reply
  • jordan009
    Apple is the patent troll of all time.. Rim can't compete with their level of troll.
    Reply
  • ta152h
    jordan009Apple is the patent troll of all time.. Rim can't compete with their level of troll.
    I beg your pardon! As an owner of more shares of RAMBUS stock than I care to admit, I must take offense at this remark. I'm just one successful frivilous lawsuit away from hitting the mother load.
    Reply
  • halcyon
    internetladThe Title, the Sub-title and the first paragraph all state the exact same thing, why the hell does Kevin Parrish get paid to do this again?Seriously every article is "troll" this or "nuke" that, the guy should run a blog, not be a legitimate journalistic writer.If I could filter out Greuner and Parrish's articles I think the quality of my toms experience would increase tenfold.Harsh. Not defending but perhaps something more constructive is in order?
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    Ok, how is holding a patent they developed in house and then going after those violating those patents considered patent trolling?

    Yes, companies formed for no other purpose than to buy up obscure patents just to sue others are true trolls and something needs to be done. But let's not go calling legitimate companies defending their own developed products trolls.

    Let's not swing the pendulum to the other side where every idea and invention can be used by anyone because this will only stifle innovation. No one will invest time and money to research something new if they don't have a right to exclusivity to their invention for a period of time and that's just as bad if not worse.
    Reply
  • dontknownotsure
    cracked.com taught me to doubt any article that even the authors are so unsure the title ends with a question mark.
    Reply