NTP Wants To Take Even More Money Away From Actual Innovators
from the just-great dept
This is a horrible misuse of the patent system, and is simply taking hundreds of millions of dollars away from what should be a developing market and putting it in the hands of a bunch of greedy lawyers who have done nothing to help move the technology forward in the market place. If you don't recall, NTP was a holding company that owned some disputed exceptionally broad patents on a concept that was basically "wireless email." An earlier company had tried to do something with the patents, but failed in the marketplace. RIM came along and successfully innovated in the marketplace (while being a bit of a patent menace itself), and suddenly NTP claimed that no one could do wireless email without paying them for the privilege. The patents were incredibly broad and perfectly obvious and never should have been granted (something the USPTO later would admit in rejecting them). Yet, due to the increasing uncertainty over the lawsuit, and the pressure that put on RIM's stock, the company was forced to settle, taking money away from R&D efforts and sales and handing it over to the lawyers at NTP so they could turn around and sue more companies that were actually successfully innovating and building products and services people wanted.