NTP Uses Visto To Turn Up The Heat On RIM

from the i'll-pay-you-to-be-my-friend dept

Visto, a smaller rival to Research In Motion in the mobile e-mail market, said today it had licensed the patents of NTP, the company involved in a long-running patent dispute with RIM. Like its deal with Good Technology, NTP has taken an equity stake in Visto. It's not clear if it got the stake in exchange for licensing the patents, but the wording of the Visto press release makes it sound like the stake was acquired separately. If this is the case, NTP would be propping up both Good and Visto, essentially giving them money to license the patents in hopes of turning up the pressure on RIM to settle. The Patent Office continues to move toward rejecting NTP's patents, while things look grim for RIM in the courts. We noted with the Good deal that NTP's investment seemed a little fishy; so does its taking a stake in Visto. Clearly NTP wants to force a settlement with RIM as quickly as it can, before the Patent Office acts definitively. That doesn't engender much faith that its patents are actually valid.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Mousky, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 8:29am

    No Subject Given

    It is very clear that NTP got a stake in Good Technology and Visto in exchange for licensing the patents, regardless of the wording in a press release. I am sure that the deal went something like "buy our license and we will invest in your company". That's a no brainer.

    I can guarantee you the reason that RIM has not reached an agreement with NTP has nothing to do with money (RIM has already set aside $450 million, and setting aside another $550 million would have a minimal impact on the bottom line). It has everything to do with what happens if the patents are invalid. I am certain that RIM would want it's money back in that case and wants wording to that effect in any agreement they sign with NTP. Naturally, NTP would be opposed to any such clause.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Carlo, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 9:03am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Right -- what isn't clear is if the stake in the company was the payment for the license, or if it went down as you suggest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Sv, Dec 15th, 2005 @ 6:35pm

    Good... good... (slowly with evil bug voice)

    This is great news. Every patent suit hurting the large population significantly, or the government is step in the right direction.

    It'll cause change in the patent system sooner than later, so we can be done over with it finally.

    A system that allows people to "register and lock" random casual ideas and extort people and business to pay ransom for using said casual ideas - why is it EVEN not called off yet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Theodore A Andros, Dec 17th, 2005 @ 4:49am

    RIMvsNTP Your Dec. 14th "Very Fishey" Attn: Carlo

    It looks like true to form the investment made by NTP in the patents remains minimally fishey. NTP's investment is "very fishey" from the very begining in that the original company was called Telefind that devloped the ideas covered in the patents and then PAID Campana and Stout handsomly to generate the patents. Campana and Stout had NO INVESTMENT. Quite the opposite, were paid millions of dollars to generate and submit the patents on the behalf of Telefind. Further, the litigation of the patents is on a contingency to the lawyers who will share in the proceeds. Still no investment by Campana and Stout.



    Re your Dec. 14th to wit:
    Contributed by Carlo on Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 @ 06:03PM
    from the i'll-pay-you-to-be-my-friend dept.
    Visto, a smaller rival to Research In Motion in the mobile e-mail market, said today it had licensed the patents of NTP, the company involved in a long-running patent dispute with RIM. Like its deal with Good Technology, NTP has taken an equity stake in Visto. It's not clear if it got the stake in exchange for licensing the patents, but the wording of the Visto press release makes it sound like the stake was acquired separately. If this is the case, NTP would be propping up both Good and Visto, essentially giving them money to license the patents in hopes of turning up the pressure on RIM to settle. The Patent Office continues to move toward rejecting NTP's patents, while things look grim for RIM in the courts. We noted with the Good deal that NTP's investment seemed a little fishy; so does its taking a stake in Visto. Clearly NTP wants to force a settlement with RIM as quickly as it can, before the Patent Office acts definitively. That doesn't engender much faith that its patents are actually valid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Kelley Ritchey, Dec 19th, 2005 @ 1:42am

    No Subject Given

    You seem to have captured some interesting elements of this drama.

    I can't imagine the judge issuing an injunction while the patents' validity is in doubt, though Judge Spencer seems to suggest this is possible (says he won't wait for the patent office.)

    The Patent Office has said they are dedicating more resources to the review, so maybe Judge Spencer will have access to the patent office review findings by February-not sure how fast the patent office can be.

    RIMM's position seems to be to wait for the review, though comments by Gartner and some customers in the press seem to suggest this may harm sales of Blackberries and encourage people to look at other offerings in the interim.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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