Chip giant Intel Corp. urged the Supreme Court to consider Research in Motion Ltd.'s appeal of a patent-infringement finding against its BlackBerry e-mail devices, saying the case "cries out for clarification."
Intel filed court papers Jan. 4, urging the high court to consider the Canadian firm's bid to overturn a finding that the devices and the system for sending wireless e-mail infringe patents owned by NTP Inc., a Virginia licensing company.
"The scope of U.S. patent liability for activities crossing national borders is an issue of great and growing importance," Intel said in court papers. "Of course, NTP and RIM disagree over which construction of the statute is correct, but everyone should agree that the extent to which U.S. patent laws cover international activities is an extremely important issue that merits review by this court."
The Supreme Court will discuss the case Jan. 20.
Intel is supporting Research in Motion in part because Intel chips are used in the BlackBerry, and the Santa Clara, Calif., company was once an investor in Research in Motion. Intel also said it wanted the case heard because it had "been an attractive target for infringement claims, particularly by non-practicing patentees such as NTP."