The deal takes a load off the back of RIM as it faces growing competition, but users may still have anxiety about having one company control devices, network operations centers and connections to carriers, according to Bob Egan, an analyst at Tower Group, a market analysis company in Dedham, Massachusetts. A threat to that one company's technology can wreak havoc, he said.
"Proprietary closed-loop systems present some benefits, but they also present a certain atmosphere of risk in the marketplace," Egan said. Emerging competitors such as Microsoft Corp. and Sybase Inc. don't have the same liability, he added.
At the hearing last week, RIM's lawyers, including Henry Bunsow, argued an injunction would hurt the U.S. economy because BlackBerry devices play a "crucial role" in important industries such as hospitals, utilities and banks.
NTP lawyers said RIM had continued to use NTP's technology even though a jury ruled for NTP in its claim for wireless e-mail patents in August 2003.
In August 2003, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favor of NTP, based in Arlington, Virginia, and ordered RIM to pay damages of US$53.7 million.
In December 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected an earlier injunction issued by the Virginia district court. The district court issued the original injunction in August 2003 but stayed the ruling pending appeal.
(Additional reporting by Grant Gross in Washington and Robert McMillan and Elizabeth Montalbano in San Francisco.)