15 June 2005

RIM Lawsuit (Part 1)

I thought I blogged about this before, but it turns out it was all in a private email to a friend. Here is what I wrote in the email:

April 21, 2005

If you're still interested in RIM's legal battles—please notice computer companies are all about the legal battles. This article in Forbes below is kind of old (Nov '02) but keys you into the sort of fighting that goes on in the PDA business.

RIM sues Good Technology, Inc. over the latter's synchronization technology (GoodLink) software, which it offers as an upgrade for RIM handhelds. Its main difference from the Blackberry software is that it allows over-the-air synchronization of contact lists, appointments and other information in addition to the staple of wireless e-mail.

RIM sues Handspring (now Palm) over its use of BlackBerry keypad on the Treo; then settles for a big payout, causing Handspring stock to soar (just as RIM stock soared when it settled).


(Forbes article follows)

FORBES Mobile Computing, Royalties In Motion
Arik Hesseldahl, 11.07.02, 3:57 PM ET

NEW YORK - What's good for the Palm operating system is now good for the Blackberry.

Against a backdrop of lawsuits targeting competitors, Palm (nasdaq: PALMD - news - people ) today agreed to license a patented keyboard design from Research In Motion (nasdaq: RIMM - news - people ). Financial terms were not disclosed.

RIM's attorneys have been on an aggressive streak lately. First came a series of four lawsuits against Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup Good Technology. Good sells software called Goodlink that allows it to sync up over-the-air with a PC running Microsoft Outlook. Goodlink runs on RIM's Blackberry devices.

Last month, a judge in Orange County, Calif., denied RIM's request for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented Good Technology from selling the software, but the four suits are pending. (The lawsuits, however, have had an unintended effect: They put Good Technology on the map, generating a lot of press that led to new customers. Good Technology says it has sold its software to about 400 companies.)

A lawsuit against Handspring (nasdaq: HAND - news - people ) followed, this one specifically aimed at the keyboard on Handspring's Treo devices, which not only have e-mail capabilities, but double as mobile phones. The Handspring suit was settled in RIM's favor earlier this week for an undisclosed amount, which helped goose Handspring's share price back up above $1 for the first time since late September. The Treos, like Palm's Tungsten-W, do a fair job of resembling a RIM Blackberry, which may have gotten Palm to the negotiating table today.

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