Blackberry lawsuit question
January 26, 2006 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Will our business be impacted if RIM loses the blackberry lawsuit?

Our company uses blackberries to acknowledge and work with help desk trouble tickets. We use a BES server to serve some of this content. What would happen to us if they fail this lawsuit? Would some other provider pickup the slack or would our Blackberries become paperweights?
posted by jlstitt to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Likely nothing. The holding company doesn't want RIM out of business, they just want money. They were prepared to take 450M till that got tossed. The only impact of a total win for them would be a better negotiating position.

RIM will not close up shop as a result of this. It would be economically irresponsible to their ownership to close up and not pay out of spite. Similarly it would be economically irresponsible for the holding company to demand a fee so great that RIM is unable to pay it.
posted by phearlez at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2006

Recent news coverage on this topic.
posted by brain_drain at 1:55 PM on January 26, 2006

RIM claims they have "contingency" plans, although no one know what this means. Rest assured, however, they will not fold up and go away overnight. They will find a way for your BlackBerries to work.
posted by deadfather at 1:56 PM on January 26, 2006

There is no way there's going to be even 8 seconds of shutdown. It's all negotiation, even the above linked news stories. There's a number of people with a financial interest in keeping the FUD stirred - RIM competitors benefit from people thinking contingency plan thoughts, newscritters get reader/viewership from scared crackberry addicts, NTP benefits from RIM getting kicked around in the press (but only so much!) because it improves their negotiating position.

And they need help with it. Things like this are not helping their cause.

But their big stick in the fight is a possible shutdown, and RIM is unsurprisingly making noises about how they won't have any shutdown. It's unclear whether that's true or not, but you can take to the bank the fact that one of two things is going to happen:

1) RIM has a plan that will keep things working.
1a) or RIM will defy the order if they think that's the cheapest way to keep going
2) RIM will write a check 30 seconds before the shutdown.

What's NEVER going to happen is RIM letting the perception of their product as a reliable service go down the tubes, which even 30 minutes of downtime would accomplish. They're well aware that they're taking some hits over this right now with fear of a shutdown, however that's going to mostly be in people delaying adoption rather than walking away from the product.

They will never countenance people leaving the product in any notable numbers because they're on top less because of innovation than inertia. You can see evidence of this behavior in their dumping the use of blue in their product line; we think it's cute to call it a 'blueberry' but they freaked out - it's a dilution of their brand, in their eyes.
posted by phearlez at 2:46 PM on January 26, 2006

I think a better question is "Could a business severely impacted by loss of RIM service sue NTP for being asshats?"

I know the answer is essentially no, but man, that'd be sweet.

Turnabout is fair play.
posted by disillusioned at 5:19 PM on January 26, 2006

Your profile doesn't mention if you are in the US or Canada - if you are in Canada, this lawsuit doesn't apply. Sounds obvious but many people don't realise this.
posted by jeffmik at 5:20 PM on January 26, 2006

BlackBerry blackout threat terrifies CEOs
Executivess at the World Economic Forum fear freeze on their wireless e-mail device; hope for settlement with NTP.
posted by ericb at 5:52 PM on January 26, 2006

phearlez has it. Please do not contribute to this hysteria. Move along.
posted by intermod at 7:26 PM on January 26, 2006

Disillusioned asks:
"Could a business severely impacted by loss of RIM service sue NTP for being asshats?"

No, but shareholders are already lining up to sue RIMM for not settling this case in a timely and (relatively) cheap manner.

I agree with most folks that we won't see a blackout of the service, but from a corporate stability standpoint, the NTP court case is just round one.
posted by tkolar at 11:48 PM on January 26, 2006

It's clear to anyone who thinks through the situation that NTP only profits from a license and has no incentive to press the injunction except as a bargaining chip to get a better settlement. The media, however, just can't get enough of the scary "Blackberries to disappear" scenario, like the story ericb linked to. What piece of fine journalism that is.
posted by caddis at 3:19 AM on January 27, 2006

RIM will not defy a court order. Literally the court could order U.S. Marshals into the building to pull the plug. Everything else is on target in the thread--the last thing NTP wants is to shoot the goose that lays golden eggs.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:20 AM on January 27, 2006

Ironmouth, not sure that's right since "the buidling" you're talking about is in in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. I'm pretty sure US Marshalls can't come to Canada and do whatever the hell they please.
posted by dontrememberthis at 7:28 AM on January 27, 2006

Waterloo, Ontario.

Oshawa? Where did you get that from? Maybe if they wanted to shut down GM... which GM is doing a fine job of by themselves.
posted by GuyZero at 8:31 AM on January 27, 2006

And RIM doesn't operate any networks - they just ride along on various carriers. I imagine it's unlikely that anyone will attempt to shut down Verizon, T-Mobile, etc to enforce a court order against RIM.

The most likely enforcement would be to fine RIM into deep space if they defy a court order. several million dollar's worth of federal fines will be more than enough to tank the stock, which RIM is obviously eager to avoid.

This whole situation in akin to threatening to kill someone who won't tell you a secret - scary, sure, but ultimately counter-productive.
posted by GuyZero at 8:36 AM on January 27, 2006

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