RIM has a software work-around ready to be implemented to solve its patent battle with NTP, the Blackberry maker has announced.

IT managers and other BlackBerry users are worried that the legal fight with NTP could lead to a shutdown of RIM's popular wireless voice and e-mail service (read What will you do if BlackBerry goes dark?). The company has argued just that point with the US courts, stating that existing RIM customers should be entitled to continued service.

The company said it is "open to a reasonable resolution with NTP".

NTP is seeking a refined injunction against RIM that would include exemptions for federal and other government users and emergency first responders, as well as a 30-day grace period for users to find new products and services. RIM has about four million customers.

If worse comes to worse though, RIM marketing VP Mark Guibert sought to assure users there was a Plan B. "RIM's software work-around designs are ready and will be implemented if necessary. There is, however, no injunction order currently in place, and it is far from clear whether existing customers would even be subject to any potential injunction."

He continued: "In the event of an injunction barring the sale of RIM's current product designs, RIM would preload the new software work-around on devices prior to shipping to customers."

The 30-day grace period would be used to introduce this change, although RIM is obviously keen to avoid forcing its customers to install new software.

As this battle goes on, investigations into the legitimacy at the patents at the heart of the dispute still continue. The US Patent Office has already rejected NTP's patents but NTP appealed and that decision is due in a few weeks.