Research in Motion (RIM) is a Canadian wireless technology company based in Waterloo, Ontaria, Canada. In April 2001 RIM was granted U.S. Patent # 6,219,694, entitled System and method for pushing information from a host system to a mobile data communication device having a shared electronic address. The complete text of the patent is available locally in the following formats: (PDF) (PS).
Less than a month after the patent was granted, RIM announced that it is suing Glenayre Electronics, Inc. for infringement against the patent.
The Free Protocols Foundation regards the RIM patent assertion as an egregious example of patent-law abuse, and exceedingly detrimental to the mobile e-mail industry. This is because:
For a detailed Free Protocols Foundation position statement on this patent see the paper entitled Position Statement regarding the RIM Mobile E-Mail Patent Assertion.
The processes described in the patent are a basic element of the functioning of various existing mobile e-mail systems, including RIM's own BlackBerry system.
However, the same mobile e-mail functionality as BlackBerry can be implemented in the form of a completely open and patent-free system, based on existing technologies and protocols. This open alternative to BlackBerry is called the WhiteBerry mobile messaging solution. A complete description of the WhiteBerry solution is provided in a white paper entitled Operation WhiteBerry.
We encourage anyone who wishes to avoid the RIM patent issue to read this paper and participate in the WhiteBerry implementation.