RIM Gives In To NTP: Live By The Patent, Die By The Patent

from the and-so-it-goes... dept

Last week, patent hoarding company (they don’t make anything, they just patent stuff in as vague a way as possible) NTP paid Good Technology to license their patent (yes, they gave them money, so that Good could turn around and give it back to them for a license). This was obviously done to put some pressure on Good’s main competitor RIM to settle their patent dispute with NTP that had gone on for years, through all sorts of twists and turns. It appears the strategy worked. RIM has given in and paid the fee to keep doing what they were doing. This isn’t about patents for innovation. It’s about the opposite. NTP got a patent on a fairly general idea. It was RIM who actually innovated with their Blackberry offering — yet, now they have to pay out to some company that never did any real innovating at all. Of course, in some ways, it’s only fair for RIM, who has been one of the more aggressive companies in suing others over their own patents. So, now they’re getting a taste of their own medicine. Meanwhile, don’t think this saga is over yet. There’s still yet another company that hasn’t done any innovating at all that claims that NTP’s patents were really stolen from them and that any of the proceeds should go there. Can you keep all of that straight? And you wonder why we refer to the patent system as nuclear stockpiling, rather than as a force for innovation.

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