Companies should stop or delay mission-critical Blackberry deployments in the US, according to research company Gartner. The announcement comes after the possibility of a court injunction effectively ending RIM's operations in the USA was disclosed.
This latest court decision has caused Gartner to re-evaluate its long-held position on RIM's struggle with NTP.
The District Court ruled that the Term Sheet entered between the parties in March 2005 to settle the litigation was not an enforceable agreement. Other details of the ruling were filed under seal by the District Court.
Gartner says the court appears to be unwilling to wait for the Patent Office to issue a final verdict on NTP's patent claims, a process that, while it might end in RIM's favor, could take years.
While RIM would have to shut down its U.S. operations, public safety, governmental operations and government contractors could be exempt. U.S. BlackBerry users would lose messaging services, and international users would lose message service while traveling in the USA.
Gartner believes RIM and NTP will reach a settlement within three weeks. Such an agreement would be in both companies' interests, and any long-term negative impact on RIM would likely be minimal. If no settlement is reached, RIM will likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The research firms recommendations for current and prospective RIM customers includes stop or delaying all mission-critical BlackBerry deployments and investments in the platform until RIM's legal position is clarified. It also calls for RIM's work-around plans be made available in detail and in public and carefully review their legal and operational impact.
RIM disclosed plans to file a request that the U.S. Supreme Court accept an appeal of the Federal Circuit’s August 2, 2005 decision in relation to its affirmation of infringement on 7 litigated patent claims.