Here’s a fascinating article about the sequence of events leading up to Blackberry’s precarious position – the possibility that the entire Blackberry system will be shut down next month. It’s a “twisted tale of bold inventions, hubris, pride, backroom lobbying and one colossal legal blunder.”

Lawyers will shiver at one story from the trial between RIM (Blackberry’s parent company) and NTP, owners of an arguably prior patent on the Blackberry technology. The lawyers for RIM put on a demonstration of “prior art,” purportedly wireless messaging technology that predated the patent granted to NTP. They were caught faking the demonstration, secretly swapping in newer software to make the demonstration work.

Even at this late date, there’s likely to be a settlement that will prevent a Blackberry shutdown – but watch for hundreds of millions of dollars to change hands.

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