Blackberry Hearing This Morning

NTP v. Research-in-Motion

On November 9, 2005, U.S. District Judge James Spencer in Richmond held the first district court status hearing in the NTP v. RIMM patent case since the the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its revised decision in August 2005.

According to reports, Judge Spencer indicated that he would initially review a disputed settlement agreement but that it was “highly unlikely” that he would stay the case to await the results of the pending reexamination of NTP’s patents at the USPTO.

Reuters reports:

“I intend to move swiftly in this,” Spencer said. “I’ve spent enough of my life and time on NTP and RIM.” . . . Spencer called for briefs from both sides on the settlement issue.

In 2003, Spencer granted an injunction that would have halted U.S. sales of the BlackBerry and shut down its service after NTP successfully sued RIM. But Spencer stayed the injunction pending appeal.

An appeals court later scaled back the infringement ruling against RIM, but upheld some patent infringement claims. Efforts by RIM to get the courts to stay case have failed.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year completed a re-examination of eight NTP patents and issued initial rulings rejecting all of the claims.

RIM has noted the patent office ruling is not final, and NTP has said it plans see the full re-examination process through, which could take years.

D.E. Technologies v. Dell

Also in Virginia (Roanoke), Judge Glen Conrad is scheduled to begin the markman hearing on November 9 in DE’s infringement suit against Dell. DE’s patent (US6460020) is directed to an international transaction system that provides a pre-transactional calculation of all charges involved in any international transaction.