Patent Office Gives Final Rejection To NTP Patent, With Interesting Timing

from the my-gavel's-bigger-than-yours dept

The US Patent Office has issued a final rejection of one of NTP’s patents — just as it said it would. The USPTO has given “non-final” rejections to all five of the NTP patents in question, but this final rejection comes just two days before the judge in the case is set to hear arguments that could put an injunction on RIM’s business in the US. This is the judge that’s said he won’t wait for the patent office to rule on the patents to issue his decision, but this action by the office (which, of course, NTP can appeal) almost seems designed to put pressure on him to do so. The underlying issue is the legitimacy of the patents, and given the USPTO’s indication that they’ll ultimately be rejected, that should take precendence over the judge’s desire to keep his calendar moving.


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Comments on “Patent Office Gives Final Rejection To NTP Patent, With Interesting Timing”

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11 Comments
Chris says:

Judges Responsibility

The judge’s job is not to guess if the patents issued by the USPTO are valid. The laws assume that the patents issued are good, and the judges job is to enforce existing law. We’re all guarenteed a fair and speedy trial. What is the submitter suggesting, that court cases be put into limbo until participants have the time to get the rules changed to fit their case? The real solution to this issue would be to fix the patent process, a much stickier proposal.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Judges Responsibility

It’s like with a murder case and new evidence that it may not have been the current defendent’s finger prints on the weapon (over simplification I know). This indication of possible rejection should at least give an extension because it has been declared by another government agency and not some 3rd party that wants to hold off the trial.

Mike says:

Re: Judges Responsibility

Not entirely true. The judge must consider precedent along with current law. If the Patent office has all but said they will invalidate the patents AND if they are in the process of issuing said decisions (which they are), the judge must consider that and if he’s smart, he will push the decision date out to allow the patent office top finish or risk having his decision vacated by a higher court. A speedy trial does not really apply to business but more to our personal rights. It’s also wrong to bankrupt a company on data that is known to be incorrect just to “clear his calendar”

And yes, the PO definitely needs fixing, no doubt.

Kirk says:

Re: Judges Responsibility

Nothing here can even remotely be said to be speedy. The most likely issue is that the judge is looking to clear the case from his docket after more then 3 years.

There are other possible reasons including that the judge wants to punish RIM for backing out of the settlement agreement. Or he might be tired of Canadians.

Rob Tyree (user link) says:

Re: Judges Responsibility

The upcoming hearing is not to determine whether NTP has a valid claim that RIM violated their patent – it’s a hearing to grant NTP an injunction against RIM pending the outcome of the trial. If there is evidence to suggest that NTP’s main body of evidence – their patents – will be invalidated, I think the judge is perfectly within his right to deny NTP injunctive relief pending the outcome of the trial itself, especially considering the potential harm to RIM and it’s business. If NTP wins the trial, RIM will be forced to settle anyway, so there is really no downside for NTP either way.

I’m not going to argue that our patent process is badly broken, but until it is fixed, we should do our best to uphold the spirit of the law, not necessarily the letter of the law.

IAAL says:

Judge Should Move Forward

The reason the Judge should move forward is what is called a “Request for Continued Examination” or RCE. No office action rejection is ever “final,” once you get a “final” rejection, you just file an RCE and continue FOR YEARS. So, if we want some form of resolution anytime soon, the Judge should move forward.

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