U.S. Court Orders Rehearing on RIM Patent Jurisdictional Issues

A U.S. Appellate court today agreed to a Canadian government request for a re-hearing of the jurisdictional issues that arise from the RIM – NTP patent fight. The Canadian government submitted a rare brief on behalf of RIM in January, arguing that the U.S. court had applied U.S. patent laws in an extra-territorial manner.  Such requests are usually dealt with in a matter of weeks.  In this instance, the court took roughly eight months to grant a rehearing on the jurisdictional issues.  It also issued a revised opinion on the patent fight, concluding that certain claims fell outside U.S. jursidiction, though also upholding the validity of the most of the prior infringement claims.

As I argued last January, it was good to see the Canadian government standing up for the national interest in this dispute since the earlier decision threatened to impact all Canadian companies with ties to the United States.  Perhaps the success in this case will encourage the government to take a similarly pro-Canadian position on other IP issues such as copyright policy.

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