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Patent monger NTP targets Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel for patent infringement

Holding company NTP is quickly cementing its reputation as a patent troll. NTP is now suing U.S. wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel -- claiming that each are in breach of eight patents.

The lawsuits accuse the companies of infringing upon patents related to the sending of emails to mobile phones. NTP seeks jury trials, injunctive relief and monetary compensation related to the sales of phones, PDA and other related communication devices.

NTP complained that the big four U.S. wireless companies violate patents related to “electronic mail system with RF communications to mobile processors and method of operation thereof.” NTP then requested for a U.S. District Court “to enjoin infringement and obtain damages resulting from the Defendant’s unauthorized manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and/or importation into the United States for subsequent use of sale of products, methods, processes, services and/or systems that infringe one or more claims of U.S. State Patent No. 5,436,960.”

The new lawsuit carries echoes of NTP’s chase on Blackberry maker Research in Motion. After a legal battle that carried on for years, RIM eventually settled to pay NTP $612.5 million in March 2003. At the time, NTP accused RIM of violating a mobile email patent – not unlike what is NTP is alleging that the U.S. wireless companies are infringing upon.

After the settlement, RIM chief executive Jim Balsillie said, "It's not a good feeling to write this kind of check. It's a lot of money for patents that will not survive for sure … We are caught in an ambiguous time in the patent laws and the courts. No one feels good about this, but we are happy to put it behind us."

Unfortunately for other wireless technology companies, NTP’s patents lived on to haunt Palm, which was sued on not dissimilar grounds as the RIM case. NTP quickly followed-up on its successful legal battle with RIM by suing Palm during November 2006. The lawsuit against Palm was also over handheld products that provide email services through a wireless network.

Palm disputed the validity of the patents with the U.S. Patent Office, made a preliminary decision to rule against NTP in Palm’s – and perhaps the entire wireless industry’s – favor. NTP is currently appealing the decision by the U.S. Patent Office.

NTP was founded in 1992 by the late inventor Thomas J. Campana Jr., and holds around 50 patents as its primary asset. After the passing of Campana, NTP is now run by company attorney Donald E. Stout.

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By marsbound2024 on 9/13/2007 4:27:41 AM , Rating: -1
I actually think this is a pretty funny article. Little ol' NTP scaring Corporate America by bullying them for their lunch money or making them pay for 'hall passes'. "Oh noes!!!!"

All the communication companies need hide in the classrooms and not be caught by NTP else they be shoved into the lockers or given a wedgie.

RE: Humorous
By leidegre on 9/13/2007 7:13:19 AM , Rating: 3
That's not really the point is it? It's a fact that th system as it's now is easly explotied by anyone.

What would happen if the big companies started issuing patents for everything you could possible thing of. You'd be supprised how quick one would endup with a monopoly similar economy.

Everytime I hear about patents and the US, I get upset, becuase it's never novel nor sound.

RE: Humorous
By marsbound2024 on 9/13/2007 9:51:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well to me it was humorous just how it sounded. Sure the situation sucks and it is really dumb and NTP are jackasses, but it just reminds me of childhood bullies and how they are stereotypically portrayed. Obviously your sense of humor is limited or you just aren't as easily amused as I. And yes, the photograph is pretty funny, too, but it is way old.

So despite the fact that I admit that the situation sucks, I like to make light of it. Lighten up dude.

RE: Humorous
By marsbound2024 on 9/13/2007 9:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
Besides, we ALL know the judicial system are pushovers for lawsuits. If that hasn't been able to be made humorous by now, then you are living a sad life. People sue for anything these days and although this suit isn't entirely frivolous, it is obvious that NTP is going out on a limb and is just wanting money. The system is so effed up. The United States is so effed up really... that I find it humorous. Here is Corporate America being bullied around by some patent company. First RIM, then Palm, now Verizon and all of them. It's gettin em all! I suppose some of us (like you sir) just cannot see the humor in my analogy. Oh well, if that's the case, then just ignore it.

RE: Humorous
By joeld on 9/13/2007 8:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
no, what's humorous is the headline photo...

RE: Humorous
By darkpaw on 9/13/2007 9:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
So thats what my cat is doing when I'm at work. I knew the retarded fluffball routine was just a cover for something.

RE: Humorous
By AmbroseAthan on 9/13/2007 9:30:07 AM , Rating: 3
"Kitty has u in his sitez, snipin all ur iPhonz!"

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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