Monday, January 23, 2006

You Aren't Cool Unless Your Patent Shuts Down BlackBerry

Wow, at least for today, patent law is cool. As you may have heard, the Supreme Court has declined to review the Federal Circuit's decision in Research-In-Motion v. NTP (aka the BlackBerry case) which held that Research-In-Motion, maker of the wildly constricting popular leash device known as the BlackBerry infringed NTP's patents. Now the business world is in an uproar because this little company can literally shut down BlackBerry if a district court grants its injunction motion. It's also leading to at least one business "journalist" journalist to spout off like he knows everything about patent policy, when he clearly couldn't find the IP Clause of the Constitution with a map and a flashlight.1

I will continue to bask in the glory of the fees the attorneys are collecting high water mark of patent attorney-dom. Damn, it feels good to be a gansta.

I'll help him out, in full BlueBook format. U.S. CONST. art. I, ยง 8, cl. 8 (granting Congress the power to "promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts . . . by securing for limited Times to . . . Inventors the exclusive Right to their . . . Discoveries").


At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Cathy said...

Did the Court give a reason for refusing to hear it? I thought I heard that the US Patent Office was reviewing some of those patents, in which case it may not be ripe for a Supreme Court hearing since the whole case could go out the window if the patents are invalidated.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Unreasonable Man said...

I haven't read the Denial of Cert opinion... but the Court doesn't usually accept patent cases for cert, so it probably just didn't want to deal with it.

It definitely wasn't ripeness though. The patents in question are going through a process known as "reexamination," and probably inter partes reexamination, so Research-In-Motion can make argumetns as well, but the patents are still presumed to be valid until the patent office rules otherwise, so the issue is still ripe (which is why the Federal Circuit could decide the case at all last summer).


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