RIM: Work-around ready to avoid service disruption

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) said Wednesday that it has a software work-around design that is ready and can be implemented if necessary to resolve its patent dispute with NTP Inc.

Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing at Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, responded to a question from Computerworld about the status of any work-around in an e-mail Wednesday, and he said that RIM has built software. But he gave few details.

IT managers and other BlackBerry users, worried that the legal fight with NTP could lead to a shutdown of RIM's popular wireless voice and e-mail service, have called for a work-around to avoid any disruptions.

Guibert, in his statement, addressed the prospect of an injunction by a U.S. District Court and argued that existing RIM customers should be entitled to continued service in the event one is issued. He also said RIM is "open to a reasonable resolution with NTP."

James Wallace, an attorney representing Arlington, Va.-based NTP, said on Monday that NTP is seeking a refined injunction against RIM that would include exemptions for federal and other government users and emergency first responders, as well as a 30-day grace period for users to find new products and services.

Guibert Wednesday said RIM, which has about 4 million customers, would offer arguments in court seeking a grace period longer than 30 days.