Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Blackberry saga

John's column in the Observer this morning nicely sums up the story of the Blackberry patents dispute between RIM and NTP.

" major terrorist incidents, mobile phone networks rapidly become overloaded and unusable for voice and SMS communications. But the BlackBerry PIN message still gets through (which is why UK government agencies are increasingly enamoured of the technology)...

...the US Patent Office...has now issued non-final rejections on all five of the patents at the centre of the legal tussle. But bizarrely, this is expected to have little impact on the judge's verdict...

...NTP makes nothing, delivers no service, makes no contribution to society other than by paying its taxes. RIM has created a service that apparently offers fantastic benefits to consumers - and may enhance governments' ability to communicate in crisis situations. Yet it's RIM which may go under."

I suspect there are too many crackberry adicts in Washington DC for RIM to go under and therein is the potential solution the intellectual property expansionist problem. The more senators, congress persons and DC staff that get hooked into IP and drm strangling technology, the more they will finally get the restrictions being visited upon the possibilties offered by that technology in the interests of protecting a small number of outdated business models. That's when we'll start heading back towards a more balanced IP landscape.

No comments: