Research in Motion (RIM) vs Motorola

Research in motion vs Motorola

This time Research In Motion (RIM) was “put in trouble” by Motorola for infringing the latter’s patent “Beletic”. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Enterprise solution “BES” and BlackBerry Internet Solution “BIS” are alleged to infringe the Motorola’s patent. This time Research In Motion was well prepared and ready to revocate the patent as a matter of Counterclaim action.

Beletic Invention relates to an improved two-way paging and messaging system. Independent claim 1 relates to a method to operate messaging gateway system that is operable to receive message from a remote messaging system and to construct transmittable messages that includes portions of messages from the remote messaging system. The method further characterized by the messaging gateway system to receive a set of commands from a wireless subscriber device and to transmit the same into a protocol understood by the remote messaging system. The messaging gateway system then transmits the translated commands to the remote messaging system such that a user of the subscriber device can control the operation of the remote messaging system.

The Hon. Mr. Justice Arnold started the case by defining the person skilled in the art for the “Beletic” patent. Mr. Arnold then moved on to identify the portions of the claimed matter that are in Common General Knowledge. However there was strong dispute between the parties when it came to the question of whether the claimed element “application level command protocol translation” by gateways, was a part of Common General Knowledge. Research In Motion laid very strong platform for the case by citing strong evidences to prove the translation indeed a part of common knowledge. Research In Motion successfully established by strongly arguing on the evidences. By this time, Research In Motion almost won the case. Neverthless, Research In Motion wanted to destroy the novelty of the patent so as to thoroughly free. So, Research In Motion cited three prior arts claiming that “Beletic” is not Novel.

The Cited prior art 1 “Radiomail”, briefly relates to a gateway that permits wireless email to be sent to paging systems. The gateway clearly enables internetworking between the wired network on one side and the wireless networks on the other side.

The cited prior art 2 Motorola’s “MNI”, an architecture that has a software gateway to link the LAN with the wireless network.

The Cited prior art 3 “Pepe” relates to a PCI gateway that acts as an intermediary between various wired and wireless networks.

Motorola, as a defendant alleged that the prior art “MNI” does not disclose “Application level command protocol translation” Moreover, it argued that both the prior arts “MNI” and “Pepe”, failed to disclose the translation explicitly. Mr. Arnold carefully examining the cited prior arts held that the Motorola’s patent is novel over both “MNI” and “Pepe”.

Happy moments of Motorola does not cherish for long, as the case now moved onto the obviousness section, section that determines the lack of inventive step. In context to ‘Radiomail” prior art, Motorola accepted that the concept of two way paging was known, but refused to accept that it would have been obvious to use the pager to control the remote messaging system as opposed to simply sending a short reply. To support this point, Motorola added that no-one had conceived the possibility of using a paging device to control a remote email server as claimed in its patent. Mr. Arnold pointed flaw in the Motorola’s submission by noting that the claim in issue is not limited to the case where the remote messaging system is an email server, but it can be a voicemail system. Mr. Arnold commented that it is obvious to use a two way pager to send commands such as save, delete or replay to the voicemail system. He said that if application level command protocol translation is a common general knowledge, then one obvious way to achieve this was to translate commands at the gateway e.g. by converting abbreviated commands into full ones. Mr. Arnold further added that the prior art “MNI” case is as same that of the “Radiomail”.

Mr. Arnold concluded by saying the Research In Motion’s BES and BIS was not infringing the Baletic patent and the patent is invalid as it is obvious in light of “Radiomail”, “MNI” and common general Knowledge.

Case No: HC08C02841

3 February 2010.

Author – Veera Raghavan Rajendran,

Senior Patent Consultant, IIPRD.

The Author of the Blog can be reached: Raghavan@iiprd.com.

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