Would BlackBerry Shutdown Hurt

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2006-02-02 Print this article Print

the Public Good?"> RIM argues that its not that simple.

"Although NTP suggests that such users can easily be excluded from an injunction, in reality it would be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, for the Court to devise, implement and continue to administer any injunction that would not disrupt or diminish the use of BlackBerry devices by the mass of BlackBerry users that NTP concedes should not be exempt," reads a Feb. 1 court filing from RIMs legal team.
RIMs filing goes on to argue that it would be difficult for wireless carriers to maintain a "white list" of excluded BlackBerry users.
"Needless to say, the formidable logistical difficulties presented by having to identify and verify the continuing status of excluded or included users from among the tens of thousands of governmental agencies, government contractors and subcontractors, and other companies and organizations that would be, or should be, exempt are prohibitive," the filing reads. The filing goes on to argue that BlackBerries have become critical tools for customers in both the public and private sector, and customers have filed declarations on RIMs behalf. Click here to get tips on surviving a possible BlackBerry shutdown. John Halamka, CIO of Harvard Medical School and Caregroup Health System hospital group in Boston, maintains that BlackBerries are integral to his emergency response plans. Halamka is also chair of the national HITSP (Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel), appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt. "I have been planning the hospitals response to an outbreak of avian flu," said Halamka, in a filing to the federal court. "In such an emergency, quarantines affecting significant numbers of people are quite possible, and the ability of medical and management personnel to travel could be significantly curtailed. "At present, one of the key aspects of our response is BlackBerry communication. Such communication can continue unabated even if transportation is impossible, or even if the hospital should be quarantined. "Without BlackBerry communications, our emergency planning in this area would be severely hampered. In the event of a pandemic, the health care consequences could be catastrophic." NTP said that RIMs public interest argument is "unseemly." "RIM devotes the bulk of its opening presentation to an effort to invoke so-called public interest reasons to oust NTP from its constitutional/statutory right to protect its intellectual property by exclusion," read NTPs Feb. 1 filing. "This argument, supported by a flood of Chicken Little affidavits from RIMs officers, platform dependent software developers and customers, hardly becomes RIM. "It is RIM, after all, that placed 3 million of its customers in jeopardy by selling them BlackBerry products after being adjudged a willful infringer," read the NTP filing. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.


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