From Mobile Market Maker to Mimicker: RIM Not Too Big To Fail - Page 3
Ultimately, RIM’s downfall can be seen as somewhat inevitable. As a company becomes larger and more confident, it often gets complacent and feels little need to keep abreast of the latest trends. This definitely describes RIM; however, there were signs, even in the initial stages. While RIM may have hit upon a great concept in its BlackBerry product, it was not adept at creating new technology or ideas. For example, as early as 2000, the small company NTP accused RIM of stealing its patent-protected email software that RIM had used to make its BlackBerry devices so effective.
Soon after the accusation, RIM was found guilty of willful patent infringement, and was ordered by a Federal court to pay NTP $53 million. Through a series of appeals and other procedures, however, the case was not resolved until 2006 (during which time RIM continued to use NTP’s patent), at which point, as reported by MSNBC, RIM had to pay $612.5 million in settlement fees.
While the NTP incident does not directly relate to RIM’s downfall, it does point up RIM’s hubris, and its overall attitude that new software and technology don’t need to be developed in-house, nor do users need to be allowed to use software cross-platform and product. This is in contrast to some of the more long-lasting and currently successful companies, such as Apple, which has provided a series of new innovations and provided high-quality, pleasant and intuitive software to accompany each new development. Therefore, it seems as though RIM in mimicker, and not an innovator.
The company may have hit upon a great idea (with the assistance of a stolen patent), but it appears that RIM is destined to be known as nothing more than a one-trick pony.