On Friday, the world was poised to hear the decision from a federal judge as to whether Research in Motion (RIM) would be barred from offering its BlackBerry wireless email service in the United States.
As it turned out, there wasn’t one.
This Canadian company has been locked in a patent-infringement lawsuit with with NTP for many years. Quite a few previous court cases have ruled that the BlackBerry service violates several of NTP’s patents.
But this case isn’t as open and shut as it might seem. In recent months, the U.S. Patent Office has invalidated all the patents in question.
NTP, of course, has the right to appeal the Patent Office’s decision.
Perhaps it was this that caused U.S. District Judge James Spencer, in a hearing just a couple of days ago, to postpone his decision.
This was a somewhat surprising move. Judge Spencer has, in the past, expressed a desire to bring this case to a swift conclusion.
At the same time, he’s faced with intense media and political scrutiny. BlackBerries have become ingrained into American culture. For example, the U.S. Congress has set up a system that uses these cellular-wireless handhelds to update legislators in the case of a national emergency.
Still, at least for the time being, the BlackBerry service will continue.
What’s going to happen next is, honestly, anyone’s guess.