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Supreme Court won't hear RIM suit

In its fight against patent infringement allegations, RIM finds its popular BlackBerry service could be halted in the U.S. until 2012.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to consider an emergency appeal by Research In Motion to review a long-running patent suit that could shut down RIM's BlackBerry service in the United States.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, who handles last-minute appeals, did not comment on the rejection of RIM's emergency application. The company asked the high court on Monday to halt a decision by a lower court that could enforce a 2-year-old injunction.

Despite the potential threat of having to shutter its service, RIM could avoid a U.S. shutdown if it ultimately wins the case or decides to license the patent from NTP. Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-chief executive officer, has also noted that RIM has a backup plan or software "workaround" for BlackBerry devices and their respective servers should the company fail to convince the courts of its case. Therefore, BlackBerry customers are unlikely to have their service disrupted.

As things now stand, RIM could re-appeal its case to another member of the Supreme Court, although a different ruling is considered a legal long shot by analysts. Roberts' decision mirrors a