Research in Motion, the Canadian makers of BlackBerry, have been having an up and down time recently. Their patent dispute with NTP has created uncertainty and turned some consumers towards their competitors. But things were going well on that front with the patent office tossing out NTP patents and an end was in sight. That optimism took a serious setback today when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the injunction against RIM that was brought by Virginia Judge James Spencer.
The injunction has a deadline of February 1st. There will be a flurry of papers flying all over the place from lawyers for all sides, but the stakes are serious. If Judge Spencer decides to enforce his injunction he could force the shutdown of BlackBerry service in the U.S. The company says that it has a solution to provide continuous service using a new approach, but the uncertainty won’t help their customers feel good about the future and it certainly won’t help them attract new subscribers.