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Put down the CrackBerry for a moment. This is important. Your PDA may be DOA. Virginia U.S. District Judge James Spencer rejected a settlement in Research in Motion Ltd.’s patent case last week, moving closer to a permanent injunction that would stop sales of BlackBerry mobile e-mail devices and shut down BlackBerry service. The e-mail service is especially valuable in perpetually networking Washington. “We aren’t quite feeling like our practice is going to hell in a hand-basket,” says Paul Devinsky, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery. “But some will be lost at sea.” McDermott, like many firms, doesn’t have a contingency plan, despite overtures from Nokia and Microsoft to switch brands. Some have taken a wait-and-see approach. “You kind of have a sense that this will get worked out,” says David Gelfand, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Otherwise, it’s back to Starbucks.
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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