Bloomberg News

Research In Motion Says NTP Offer Would Shut Business

February 23, 2006

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), maker of the Blackberry e-mail device, said NTP Inc. failed to offer a reasonable settlement that would have enabled the company to stay in business.

``They wouldn't give us terms to continue our business,'' co-Chief Executive Officer James Balsillie said today at an RBC Capital Markets conference in Whistler, British Columbia. ``When they took a final position it wasn't about money.''

The two companies may be no closer to an agreement as Research In Motion prepares for a court hearing in Richmond, Virginia, tomorrow on whether its Blackberry service should be shut down in the U.S. because it infringed Arlington, Virginia- based NTP's patents. The last deal between them collapsed in June 2005 over disagreements on final terms.

``NTP has offered RIM a license that fully protects everyone: its customers, carriers, and partners,'' said NTP attorney Kevin Anderson in an e-mailed statement. ``It's RIM's choice not to protect its customers, carriers and partners.''

The shares fell $3.61, or 4.9 percent, to $69.53 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. The stock has gained 5.3 percent this year, signaling investors expect a settlement to avoid a shutdown.

``These patents will go in the garbage,'' said Balsillie from the conference that was broadcast on the Internet. ``They are just playing a timing game. We need something reasonable that gives us scope to run our business.''

Research in Motion, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said it has a ``workaround'' technology that will allow it to continue BlackBerry service to its 3.2 million U.S. clients in case of an injunction. Balsillie said the workaround is ``ready to go.''

NTP earlier accused Research In Motion of misrepresenting the validity of the patents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Barr in New York at rbarr1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma Moody at emoody@bloomberg.net


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