Court Clears Way for Wireless Users
Topic Introduction to Marketing
Key Words Marketing environment, legal environment, PDAs, Wi-fi,
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News Story 

Another courtroom drama has ended as Canadian wireless company Research In Motion (RIM) has agreed to pay $612 million in a patent infringement case that nearly shut down its BlackBerry e-mail service. The settlement with NTP, Inc.--a U.S.-based patent-holding firm whose lawsuit with RIM kept BlackBerry users on edge for months--eliminates the need for any further court proceedings.

Although shareholders seemed pleased that the deal never reached the $1 billion sum bandied about in the financial press, some commentators wondered how NTP, a company that has no products or factories, was able to use disputed patents to bilk the BlackBerry maker out of hard earned revenues--especially when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeared ready to reject NTP's patent claims.

As of March 2006, all terms of the agreement have been finalized and the courts have dismissed the litigation against RIM. As a result, the Canadian wireless company will be granted a license to continue its BlackBerry mobile e-mail service. Over 3 million American customers currently use the BlackBerry handheld device for their wireless e-mail communications.

Questions
1.

What are the major dimensions of the marketing environment?

2.

Why is it important for wireless communications marketers to be aware of the legal environment in which they plan to do business?

Source "BlackBerry Won't Get Squashed; At long last, RIM and NTP have reached a deal that will keep the wireless e-mail devices running," Business Week Online, March 6, 2006 pNA
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