To quote the BOFH...
"If you're going to kick someone, when they're down is usually the best time..."
Dutch semiconductor firm NXP has filed a patent lawsuit against BlackBerry-maker RIM alleging infringement of six of its patents. NXP claims that RIM used its intellectual property in the development and manufacture of its BlackBerry phones and PlayBook tablets. The Dutch firm wants actual damages of lost profits and royalties …
"...now is a good time to launch an attack on the smartphone firm as its dwindling popularity weakens its position."
Well, either that or they were hanging on in the hope of getting a multi-gazillion dollar payout from a huge, cash-rich company, but have decided to cut their losses and grab what they can before the whole thing goes titsup.com.
RIM always had a problem with producing the kinds of inventions they needed to stay competitive and with dealing equitably with inventors who were producing those inventions.
So they acquired a reputation in the inventor community as a company who should be avoided.
What is the likely fate of such a company? RIM most certainly will go down in history as the mouse that roared and then was stomped and expired with a whimper.
I am sure that Thomas Campana Jr. is looking down upon RIM and smiling.
What kind of nitwitted patents this are going to be...
"Charging your keyboard enabled smartphone with green energy (windmill power in particular)"
"Talking on the phone while eating a 'broodje kroket'"
Or maybe: "Using a smartphone with greasy fingers" (because of the 'kroket').
All fun aside.. I have to wonder; how on earth is a US company going to find out about & use specific ideas from a rather small Dutch firm? I'm getting a little "patent tired" to be honest. If you don't want your ideas to be used, why not keep them more secret in the first place?
However, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. NXP is a company which was founded by Phillips. And guess what; today one of Phillips main sources of income is fully build on patents. As such this shouldn't come as a surprise.
This whole 'patent wars' thing is ridiculous.
At the very least, there needs to be a limit to how long you can sit on some alleged infringement before you pounce, or else I may as well claim that someone slapped me in the face 40 years ago but, oops, their memory is gone by now, oh well, give me a default judgment anyway..
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