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Big Loss For BlackBerry Maker RIM

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the patent infringement case involving Research in Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, and NTP, the patent holding firm. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer set Feb. 24 as the date when he would make a ruling about a possible injunction on BlackBerry's wireless e-mail service. This could block e-mail use among BlackBerry's estimated U.S . user base of 3 million device owners. Analysts think there's little chance U.S. BlackBerry service will be shut down, according to the Associated Press; they expect RIM will either settle the case with patent holder NTP beforehand or introduce a similar software solution to work around the patents. Should Spencer order a blackout, he will likely give BlackBerry users 30 days or more to switch to a device offered by competitors. NTP said government and emergency workers would be exempt from the injunction.

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