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RIM speaking to NTP through mediator

NTP co-founder says his holding company hasn't talked with RIM since June about a possible lawsuit settlement.

TORONTO--Research In Motion has been speaking to patent holding firm NTP through a court-appointed mediator, the maker of the BlackBerry wireless device said late on Wednesday.

"As NTP knows, RIM and NTP had been communicating with each other through the court-appointed mediator during the last several days. We are precluded by law from discussing the substance of that exchange. RIM expects to continue communications through that channel," Mark Guibert, RIM's vice-president of corporate marketing said in an e-mail.

NTP co-founder Don Stout told Reuters on Wednesday the patent holding company had not talked with RIM since June about settling a lawsuit that could shut down RIM's service in the United States.

NTP successfully sued RIM for patent infringement in 2002. It won an injunction the following year to halt U.S. sales of the device and service. The injunction was stayed pending the appeal process, which has largely been exhausted.

RIM and NTP announced a $450 million settlement in March but the deal fell apart in June.

RIM was pushed closer to a possible U.S. shutdown after U.S. District Judge James Spencer ruled on Nov. 30 that there was no "valid and enforceable" settlement agreement. He also denied RIM's request to stay proceedings pending the completion of a review of NTP's patents by the U.S. patent office.