The Buzz: RIM's BlackBerry Saved
The weekend was abuzz with pundits and bloggers alike wrapping their heads around RIM's $612.5 million settlement with NTP late Friday. Some say RIM caved to the patent holding company, while others feel NTP won in court fair and square -- despite its patents now being rejected by the USPTO. Where do you stand?
"Our wireless enterprise customers are breathing a sigh of relief with this settlement. Many of these companies have invested a fortune in Blackberries to equip their field sales force and now they know their investment is secure. However, the settlement still leaves an open question as to whether patent attorneys are going to control the destiny of emerging technologies."
- Rich Koch, Apresta Marketing VP
"This has been an example of what not to do in an intellectual property dispute. RIM probably cost itself several times what it actually paid out in lost business because of the way they handled this and, had they settled early on, probably could have settled for a fraction of what they paid The mistakes were not understanding the risks up front, falsifying evidence in court, not protecting their customers from harm, and not realizing that things were spiraling out of control."
- Rob Enderle, The Enderle Group
"It's not a shocker since NTP is not RIM's competition. There's no money for them to be made forcing RIM out of business. It was an interesting legal battle but it was never likely RIM would be shut down. Overall, good news for RIM, good news for NTP, really bad news for folks like Visto that has been trying to convince the market that they're a viable solution for Blackberry customers."
- Michael Gartenberg, Jupiter Research
"The overall deal may have made business sense in the end for RIM (whose stock is way up, and whose sales will likely improve without the uncertainty over its head), but it's highlighted in very real terms what a travesty the patent system has become these days. The company that does nothing gets rich and the company that innovated is slowed down."
"We have long believed that a settlement between these parties would be the eventual outcome...Palm's partnerships with Good Technology and Microsoft are attracting a growing number of customers. In the United States, we are gaining share of the smartphone market faster than any other supplier, including RIM. We think our momentum will continue as more and more companies understand and deploy our solutions."
- statement from Palm, Inc.
"The patent case was a whole bunch of noise. Right now, RIM is in danger of relegating itself to becoming a niche e-mail player."
- Ellen Dailey, Forrester Research
"Ironically, the patent review won't stop just because RIM finally agreed to settle the case. That leaves open the possibility that RIM has paid NTP more than $600 million for infringing patents that the small Virginia firm may one day no longer claim."
- John Shinal, MarketWatch