The U.S. government is moving in the right direction with its efforts to reform its patent process by making it tougher for companies claiming infringement to get court injunctions, said a top executive at Research In Motion (RIM), which settled its own patent fight in March.The Ontario-based RIM, maker of the popular BlackBerry wireless device, is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court\u2019s ruling this month saying courts need to look at several factors instead of awarding near-automatic injunctions against the sale of products found to infringe patents, said Jim Balsillie, RIM\u2019s chairman and co-chief executive officer, during a speech Wednesday. The court sided with eBay in a patent infringement case brought by online auction company MercExchange.But Balsillie, whose company agreed in March to pay US$612.5 million to NTP to settle a patent infringement claim, also called on the U.S. government to push intellectual property protections worldwide. Asked by an audience member how small software vendors could protect their products in countries with high software piracy rates, Balsillie said the U.S. government needs to push for intellectual property protections while it\u2019s at its "pinnacle of influence.""You have a great opportunity to lead, and there\u2019s a great need for leading these issues globally," said Balsillie, who spoke before the Potomac Officers Club, a networking organization for Washington, D.C., area business executives. However, it\u2019s too easy for people in the United States\u00a0to blame governments in China and Russia for software piracy, Balsillie added. Piracy is as much a "human condition" as a government-driven condition, he said, and many residents of other countries face harsher economic conditions than people in the United States. "This is not the same kind of wealth," he said.Talking of U.S. patent reform efforts, Balsillie praised the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for looking at ways to speed up the patent re-examination process and the U.S. Congress for considering bills to improve the process for granting patents. The U.S. government is making "tremendous progress" in improving its patent system, Balsillie said. "It\u2019s got much, much more to go," he added.Critics of patent reform efforts, including independent inventors, have questioned the need for patent reform. Efforts to take away patent injunctions and limit the scope of patents allow large companies to steal the patents of small inventors without fear of punishment, some small inventors have said.After his speech, an audience member asked him to predict the future of video over wireless devices, and he said it will have some uses, but it also faces a number of limitations. Wireless data applications are just at the beginning of their potential, but wireless spectrum has limited capacity, and wireless devices have limited power supplies and storage, he said. He predicted some wireless services will soon begin to charge extra for large-bandwidth applications such as video. Some video applications will take up the spectrum space of 150 wireless voice calls, he said. "There\u2019s no free lunch in physics," he added. "You can\u2019t assume away your limitations."-Grant Gross, IDG News ServiceFor CIO.com\u2019s past coverage of the NTP\/RIM patent suit, check out our BlackBerry on the Edge page.For related news coverage, read RIM\u2019s Shares Up on News of BlackBerry\u2019s Move to China.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.