Yawn... There Goes Another NTP Patent (Yes, Another One)

from the oops-they-did-it-again dept

The US Patent Office today issued yet another non-final rejection of an NTP patent, meaning all five at the center of its legal battle with Research In Motion have been given non-final rejections. Of course, even though the Patent Office has indicated it will eventually finally reject all of NTP's patents, the judge in the case is happy to play along with NTP's schedule rather than wait for the patents to be rejected. It's been said before, but bears repeating: to rule in the case before the Patent Office acts seems awfully premature.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 5:03pm

    No Subject Given

    I'm glad RIM is getting shit from this, finally someone with some money can feel the other end of the patent pitchfork. My only complaint is that it's a Canadian company. I'm sorry we have to subject our neighbors to the north to such shameful behaviour.

    The bright side is that eventually the patent system will get a kick in the pants and we can actually have patents that are useful for protecting innovation instead of stifiling them.

    How about a rule that says you have to have an actual working implementation of your idea and you have to show that it's not an obvious step in the next direction.

    "Gee somebody made wired email...AHA! I'll patent wireLESS email!"

    Fucking retarded.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    pooopstainzmcgraw, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 5:24pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Right on brother. Burn NTP to the ground...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Mathew Ingram, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 5:40pm

    Google

    Mike -- I think your post ignores the fact that the patent office's rejections are "non-final." And even when that part of the process is done, the issue won't be completely resolved, since NTP can appeal. For the judge to wait for that entire process to be finished could take years.

     

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  4.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 1st, 2006 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Google

    Matthew,

    Two things:

    One: I didn't write the post, so I'm assuming your comment is addressed to Carlo.

    Two: Carlo does make it clear that these are non-final rejections and also points out that the USPTO has taken the almost unheard of step of saying very clearly to both parties that they don't see any possible way that they won't eventually become final rejections. Also, recognize that these aren't first rejections, but *second* ones. Also, the USPTO has made it clear that they have made this a priority and are aiming to put the final rejections in place as quickly as possible. All that combined make it pretty clear that the judge should absolutely wait.

    So... I'm not sure why you say that we ignored the point, when we've discussed it extensively, even within this post.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 6:32pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I agree, what is the use of having a patent, if you don't intend to produce some useful product with it. All these kind do is cause legal entrapment for someone who does.
    So then the ones who intend to produce a product, have to do tons of patent research, to avoid stepping in the bear traps. This system really encourages innovation, and is a great benefit to society.
    Unfortunately the guy behind NTP actually was an inventor, that may have fallen into the bottom feed lawyer trap that you see advertised. For a fee I'll help you patent your invention, even if it is not really patentable.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Mousky, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Google

    Um, it says "non-final" in Carlo's post. Any posts by Carlo or Mike on this topic have been clear that all USPTO rulings to-date have been non-final. That hardly sounds like either Carlo or Mike are ignoring the fact.

    So what if the judge has to wait the entire process to be finished? How can the judge make an informed and balanced decision if the validity of the patents is in question? We are talking about billions of dollars here. We are talking about the potential shutdown of key telecommunication system. Seems to me that the judge should be 100% certain that the patents are valid or invalid before rendering a decision.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    patent guy, Feb 1st, 2006 @ 7:40pm

    Just got non-final rejection

    Today I received my first office action with a non-final rejection of my patent application from USPTO.
    I took them nearly 4 (!!!!!!!!!!!) years to produce this piece of shit and I couldn’t believe my eyes: the examiner rejected 2/3 of the claims citing obviousness and objected the rest of them.
    My lawyer actually told me that usually they tend to reject 100% of all the claims initially nowadays – everybody and his brother curses USPTO these days so they are being overprotective.
    Concerning my invention, the examiner improperly combined 2 references from 2 complete different fields and ruled that my invention looks obvious.
    Something like (but much worse in my case) combining a previously issued patent on basic windshield wipers with a paper describing a physiology of the human eye to arrive at the conclusion that the patent on intermittent windshield wipers is obvious…
    The hindsight is always 20/20.
    I am going for a personal interview with the examiner next month to look this guy in the eye…
    Just like I thought – USPTO is a big mess these days, they just don’t know how to evaluate inventions properly- they grant shitty patents to big corps all the time and reject truly novel inventions from small guys… Piece of shit, that’s all I can say…

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Simon, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 4:49am

    Natural Justice

    If the judge does rule before the Patent Office's final ruling, RIM would have a case for appeal based on failure to provide natural justice. I'm not to sure that a judge that ignored natural justice would go very far.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Mousky, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 7:12am

    Re: Just got non-final rejection

    Care to post a file number so we could examine your application?

     

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  10.  
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    Larry Borsato, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 9:46am

    Uncommitting a crime.

    I am amazed at the logic I see lately. RIM were found guilty of infringing a patent, because they first lied about researching to determine that they weren't infringing, and then faking a demo. I believe that you linked to The Globe and Mail's article.

    So they don't argue the infringement. They first point out that it doesn't matter because they are Canadian. Then they work to eliminate the patents.

    The crime is willful infringement. They were found guilty.

    Are you now saying it is ok to commit the crime of infringement, as long as at some later time you can invalidate the patents?

    Too bad Microsoft didn't know that every time they crushed a competitor.

     

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  11.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 9:53am

    Re: Uncommitting a crime.

    Are you now saying it is ok to commit the crime of infringement, as long as at some later time you can invalidate the patents?

    Uh. How can you infringe on invalid patents?

    Yes, RIM screwed up with the demo, though if you read the details, it wasn't necessarily malicious, just stupid. And that influenced the jury tremendously. Juries are notoriously bad at understanding patent issues.

    In the meantime, you think it's ok to be fined billions of dollars for infringing on a patent that never should have been granted? Scary.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 10:21am

    Scary indeed...

    Yes, it is scary to live in the world run by
    RIM-like executivs and their greedy laywer-pals with no sense of ethics whatsoevr. Purposely lying in the court of law and faking a demo before the judge and the jury ?
    The judge was very kind to RIM guys, I would
    put them in jail for a few days just for insulting the court.
    And giving free Crackberries to members of US Congress ?
    I don't know about technical side, but on ethical
    side RIM is being run by a bunch of dirtbags.

     

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  13.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 10:43am

    Re: Scary indeed...

    "purposely lying and faking a demo" is a pretty strong slant. They did screw up the demo, but it's not at all clear that it was done on purpose.

    Anyway, if that's their mistake, fine them for contempt of court... but that's a SEPARATE issue from whether or not the patents are valid.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 10:56am

    The points are: wait for the rulling - if invali

    if the patent is invalid - then there is now $ to pay.
    [It would appear that the patent lost likely invalid - how can the judge rule without this
    essential information?]
    if the judge forces payment of cash before the matter is determioned - this sems to be unjust.

    Saying that you can go back to court - woudl be fine
    if the judge were made to pay the legal costs.

    [The problem with the legal system is that they
    force people to fund the system - even though they
    are innocent. where is the justice in that?]

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Larry Borsato, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Uncommitting a crime.

    So let's say that you create and patent some new technology. And then some huge company -IBM perhaps- invents the same thing. You inform the they are infringing and they ignore you. You sue. They are found guilty.
    So you're ok with their strategy of waiting you out while they try to have the patent ruled invalid? It may take years, and it will probably cost you a fortune. It will probably bankrupt you.
    After all, your new technology is probably obvious anyway, and the patent would be ruled invalid. If the PTO looks hard enough anyway.
    Let's see. Didn't the jury find RIM guilty a couple of years ago? They aren't even arguing that they didn't infringe. They're just waiting- for as long as they want.
    And remember, from The Globe and Mail, RIM was planning on doing the exact same thing as NTP to crush their competition. Would they have waited for the patent to be ruled invalid?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Mathew Ingram, Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 5:06pm

    RIM

    Mike:

    As I mentioned in my email, I'm sorry for addressing my comment to you instead of Carlo. I would blame it on posting late at night, but it was the middle of the afternoon :-)

    Anyway, the point I was trying to make (badly) is that the judge can't wait until the patent office rules -- even if it is a ruling the USPTO describes as "final" -- because NTP can then appeal not just to the patent review board, but then to the courts, all the way to the Supreme Court if it wants to.

    In other words, the USPTO's decision won't be the end, in a legal sense, as much as RIM would like it to be. And one of the things NTP might appeal on, it seems to me, is what appears to be the undue pressure that the U.S. government has brought to bear on the patent office. If I was a lawyer, that would be number one on my list.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Uncommitting a crime.

    So you're ok with their strategy of waiting you out while they try to have the patent ruled invalid? It may take years, and it will probably cost you a fortune. It will probably bankrupt you.
    After all, your new technology is probably obvious anyway, and the patent would be ruled invalid. If the PTO looks hard enough anyway.


    Um. If the patent would be found invalid, then YES. You should wait. Why are you okay with people being awarded billions of dollars on a patent that's invalid?

    And remember, from The Globe and Mail, RIM was planning on doing the exact same thing as NTP to crush their competition. Would they have waited for the patent to be ruled invalid?

    Uh. Yeah. We've pointed out in the past that RIM is a just as bad. But who cares? This isn't about the entity, but the case at hand. If the roles were reversed (as they were with RIM suing Glenayre) we'd feel the same way.

    These types of suits go against everything the patent system stands for. They're not encouraging innovation. They're putting hurdles up for innovation. It's wrong and it's hurting our economy.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2006 @ 8:05pm

    Re: RIM

    Anyway, the point I was trying to make (badly) is that the judge can't wait until the patent office rules -- even if it is a ruling the USPTO describes as "final" -- because NTP can then appeal not just to the patent review board, but then to the courts, all the way to the Supreme Court if it wants to.

    Mathew, I think you're missing the forest for the trees. We understand the issues, but the important point is that the USPTO has clearly said that it's made a mistake with these patents. From the standpoing of doing what's right, doesn't it make sense not to proceed on the basis that they're valid?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Feb 3rd, 2006 @ 7:11am

    Re: RIM

    USPTO is just doing some awkward political manuevering these days.
    I believe that some of those patents were defensively filed and they are probably invalid.
    But at least some claims in one (first?)patent are
    most probably valid, despite all the hysteria...
    You know, as they say, US justice is the best justice in the world you can buy for your money...
    Ugly political shit...

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Jan Christiansen, Feb 8th, 2006 @ 12:51pm

    Re: RIM

    Mathew says the judge can't wait. Of Course he can. There are also ways in which he can close the court files without prejudicing the parties. NTP is in the business of licencing these patents for money. They have entered into a number of licencing arrangements with others. What is their standard licencing rate? The Judge should find out what the standard rate is and order RIM to pay that rate into escrow, pending the resolution of the patent review. If the patents are valid, NTP gets the money, if the patents are invalid, RIM gets the money back. NTP will have a lot of influence on how quickly the appeals are concluded so they should be given an incentive to get on with matters. the Judge could even do something like order that RIM make an immediate non-refundable payment of $50 million as part of such an order.

    The Judge should be asking what order would best do justice between the parties. The recent decisions from the USPTO should weigh heavily on his mind in that determination.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Jan Christiansen, Feb 8th, 2006 @ 1:35pm

    Re: RIM

    To Angry Dude Which claims do you think are valid. The USPTO rejections seem pretty comprehensive in their review of the prior art. In any event, RIM was only found to have infringed a handful out of the hundreds of claims so even if some of the NTP claims are valid, RIM does not care so long as none of the infringed claims are valid.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Heather Hill-Dinsfriend, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:10am

    Re: Google

    Hey Mike,
    Is this you?

    Heather Hill
    Clemson drinking/pinball buddy

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    FRIM, Feb 24th, 2006 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Scary indeed...

    I think you are right angry dude. RIM is being run by a bunch of dirtbags. A friend of mine used to be a developer for the BB OS and he quited because of the way these f......dirtbags treat technical people like shit........Bravo NTP and I hope you guys can F...the BB and go with Good Technology, Danger sidekick, etc.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2006 @ 8:30pm

    Re: Scary indeed...

    sounds to me like NTP are the dirtbags

     

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


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