BREAKING NEWS ~ US judge refuses to cut off BlackBerry service just yet

[JURIST] A US federal judge has refused to grant an immediate injunction against Research in Motion [corporate website], which would have shut down the company's BlackBerry [product website] wireless service in the United States. In 2003, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled [PDF text] that RIM violated a patent held by NTP, Inc. and NTP had asked the judge to issue an injunction shutting down BlackBerry service. That decision was upheld [PDF opinion; JURIST report] on appeal and the US Supreme Court said last month that it would not consider the case [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

Also Friday, the US Patent and Trademark Office [official website] issued a second final rejection of one of the NTP patents at the heart of the dispute. Earlier this week, the USPTO definitively found another of the patents to be invalid [JURIST report]. CNET News has more.

2:07 PM ET - Although US District Judge James Spencer declined to order an immediate injunction against RIM, he was skeptical of RIM's argument that shutting down BlackBerry service would cripple public services and infrastructure. Earlier this week, Spencer had denied a DOJ request for extra hearings [JURIST report] and the DOJ has asked the judge to exempt government workers [JURIST report] from any shutdown of the wireless email network. Spencer noted that "the reality of the jury verdict" that RIM infringed on NTP patents has not changed and said that he would make his ruling "as soon as reasonably possible." Reuters has more.

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