backtop


Print 33 comment(s) - last by TimberJon.. on Sep 14 at 4:09 PM

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.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Seriously Absurd
By mcmilljb on 9/13/2007 2:34:53 PM , Rating: 3
NTP shows us why extending patents to 20 years was the wrong decision. If the government wanted to foster inventions and protect their creators, then they should have decreased the length of patent to about 10 years. I do not see how letting someone create a "design" that they are not going to build be useful to Americans or anyone else. This patent was filed in 91 and granted in 95, so they had no idea of the greater use of RF communication at the time, and they should have said cried foul earlier. It is interesting how RIM referenced this patent in their patents. I just have to roll my eyes at them for that move.




"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

Related Articles
NTP Brings Palm to Court
November 8, 2006, 1:23 AM













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki