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Friday, February 10, 2006
New BlackBerry Service only for the U.S.

Research In Motion (RIM) announced on Thursday that it has developped a new software that would enable it to continue to offer its Blackberry wireless e-mail service in case the court shuts down its e-mail services in the U.S.

This Blackberry work-around, known as Blackberry Multi-Mode Edition, enables underlying changes to the message delivery system that are not visible to users. RIM will activate these changes if necessary if the court orders to shut down its e-mail service.

This software update requires customers to install a software update on BlackBerry devices and BlackBerry Enterprise Server.ustomers in the U.S. will not see any changes from current BlackBerry functionality, said RIM on its press release.

A court ruled in 2003 that RIM had infringed on NTP patents, starting an ongoing legal battle. However, in an unusual turn of events, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has preliminarily ruled that all of the relevant NTP patents are invalid until the PTO makes final judgments on those patents, though, the court battle continues.

That includes a court judgment that could force RIM to shut down its e-mail service in the U.S. Later this month,a judge is expected to decide whether RIM should be ordered to turn off its service based on a request from NTP. For more details see CDRinfo's previous article.

RIM has filed a patent application for the work-around software, which it said offers the same functions and performance as the existing service but doesn't use technology described in NTP's patents.

It will soon begin begin to ship the new software on new devices, which will run on the existing software platform unless RIM is ordered to shut down its service. In that case, RIM can remotely activate the work-around software from its network operations center.

The software will be provided at no charge at a "later date"at workaround and additional information is posted on this site.

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