After many expressions of concern from its corporate customers, individual users and carriers BlackBerry this morning has revealed details about special software they say they will distribute and enable as a "workaround" in case they get an injunction against providing services in the U.S.
The injunction, which theoretically could occur as early as late March, would be in response to BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's patent infringement dispute against NTP.
Here's what we know:
The workaround will be incorporated into a software update RIM calls BlackBerry Multi-Mode Edition. RIM says that this update has been successfully tested, and has passed independent legal muster.
RIM has also filed new patent applications with the Patent Office to cover the designs contained in this workaround.
These designs, RIM says, make the workaround capable of operating in different modes that can be remotely activated by RIM through its Canada-based Network Operations Center (NOC).
Even if no service suspension is granted, RIM says the software and the underlying message delivery system can continue to run in "Standard Mode" (identical to the manner in which the current BlackBerry software and system operate) while the workaround will remain dormant.
If an injunction occurs, RIM says its NOC Center would remotely activate "US Mode." At that point the workaround would automatically kick in for each BlackBerry equipped with the Multi-Mode Edition software update.
BlackBerry says that for pre-existing customers, the BlackBerry Multi-Mode Edition software update would allow continuing service.
For prospective BlackBerry owners who would wish to buy a BlackBerry even though an injunction would be in effect, RIM says that prior to shipping, it will have pre-loaded new BlackBerry Multi-Mode Edition software on to BlackBerry handsets as well as incorporate this workaround into its BlackBerry Enterprise Server software.
Finally, Research In Motion said this morning it is already performing the network certification process for the workaround. The cert process is required for all software updates.
At some point in the very near future, begin to ship the new software latent on new handsets coming off the assembly line. It will lie dormant on these new sets until an injunction is issued. In that case, the workaround update would be provided via download option at
There already is a detailed workaround description on the BlackBerry site at this link.