Menu
Could a patent kill your favorite gadget?

Could a patent kill your favorite gadget?

Good news for the BlackBerry-addicted among us: Research in Motion has reached a US$612.5 million dollar settlement with NTP, the tiny company whose patents threatened to render RIM's insanely popular e-mail handheld a digital outlaw.

Barring RIM defeating NTP in court, a deal was the only outcome that made sense for anyone involved, so you had to think it'd occur eventually...but it's a relief to see it happen. Even though RIM always said it had a backup plan of some sort.

As I've said before, I'm a Treo 650 user, not a BlackBerrian, so I watched the legal wrangling with a certain detachment. But it got me thinking: Has any popular technology gadget ever run afoul of patent laws in a way that threatened its viability? The only one that comes to mind is Kodak's instant camera of the 1970s, which became a doorstop when Polaroid successfully sued Kodak and both the camera and film for it were discontinued.

But patent tussles are an ugly part of life in corporate America. And some involve gadgets I have trouble remembering life without.

If you're a BlackBerry user, are you breathing easier today? And whether you are or not, do you have any thoughts on whether the patent system is working for or against technology innovation these days?


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments