I love my “crackberry”! As a business owner it allows me to be in touch with my management team at all times, my sales team can be more responsive to clients even when on sales calls and if managed correctly it can bring a certain peace of mind that maybe not being in the office at 6pm every day is OK!
So … what about the RIM versus NTP fight? The Globe and Mail in Canada ran a very interesting, and I think balanced, story last weekend that is worth a read. Here is my take on what is actually a very complicated scenario…
1. Patent law exists to protect innovators and ensure they at least profit from their work. Thomas Campana by all accounts has patents that are relevant.
2. Very few innovators take their work through to execution and actually build large profitable enterprises. Mike Lazaridis and RIM have done just that.
3. The US patent office (due to some nifty lobbying by RIM) is speeding up its review of the patents involved in this case, invalidating several thus far.
4. The judge in the RIM NTP case does not seem willing to wait for the patent office to rule. David Canton (patent lawyer) says in his January 26th blog that he can’t understand that.
5. RIM botched an early attempt to prove the technology was available before Campana’s invention, alienating the court.
So … what is fair? (Fair doesn’t really count in the real world, but let’s pretend that common sense should prevail).
A successful company like RIM, that provides products that are widely adopted and relied upon by many, should not be jeopardized by actions like this!
Inventors such as Thomas Campana should receive recognition for their work, or patents are not worth the paper they are written on.
A negotiated settlement should be imposed that meets both of those criteria. I would have thought a few million bucks would have been plenty … but some $400 plus million has been rejected. Insanity prevails!