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RIM Acknowledges Patent Infringement Claim

Research In Motion Ltd. -- the manufacturer of the popular Blackberry wireless two-way pager -- Wednesday acknowledged the fact that Virginia-based holding firm NTP Inc. has filed a complaint alleging patent infringement in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

RIM indicated in a public statement that they only became aware of NTP on January 27, 2000 upon receiving a letter regarding NTP's interest in licensing certain patents. The company said the "only documentation accompanying the letter was a collection of seemingly random marketing materials" printed from RIM's web site and did not prove any support for potential patent infringement.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM said it responded to NTP with a request for proof of a relationship between NTP's patents to RIM's products but received no response until recently.

RIM said it believes NTP's complaint has no credibility and will "file its legal response in due course." RIM refused to comment any further.

RIM's BlackBerry has quickly became the corporate standard for wireless e-mail in North America. Over 12,000 organizations across that span use BlackBerry, and RIM recently began marketing BlackBerry to customers in Europe. In October, it agreed to allow VoiceStream Wireless Corp. to sell its Blackberry line.