NTP's Back, And It's Brought More Lawsuits

from the oh-you-again? dept

Everybody’s favorite patent troll, NTP, is back. It, of course, was the company that managed to wring $612.5 million out of RIM, maker of the BlackBerry, for patent infringement — despite the patents in question being on their way to being rejected by the USPTO after a bunch of prior art came to light. NTP has now sued AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, as well as T-Mobile, for infringing on the same patents. RIM’s settlement with NTP was widely believed to protect its carrier customers from infringement suits, but it’s likely such protection extended only to their use of RIM products, not other mobile email systems. It’s not too surprising that NTP sued, since it’s a patent troll and that’s what they do, though it’s slightly curious since the suits were filed in the same Virginia court, with the same judge, as its previous cases. This includes its earlier suit against Palm, which the judge put on hold until after the validity of NTP’s patents is finally assessed. It’s likely the same thing will happen here, but NTP probably doesn’t care too much — it’s just looking for more leverage to wring undeserved settlements and licensing deals out of anybody it can.

Filed Under:
Companies: at&t, ntp, palm, rim, sprint, t-mobile, verizon

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Comments on “NTP's Back, And It's Brought More Lawsuits”

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9 Comments
Richard Ahlquist (profile) says:

As the guys in the Guiness commercials would say..

….Brilliant!

Get a small nibble from a small company and then take on the death star errr I mean AT&T. I am afraid they have bitten off more than they can chew.

Question is, will the big bells be willing to try to get the patent thrown out using the obviousness ruling that was recently made and suffer the consequences themselves? Hmmmmm……

Vincent Clement says:

Re: As the guys in the Guiness commercials would s

Seeing as some of the Bells are suing Vonzage for patent infringement, I think the Bells will settle this rather then get a ruling that could be used against them. In the end, all this litigation distracts companies from their main businesses and only hurts customers in the long run. But hey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the US patent system.

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

NTP was formed after the failures of companies Tom Campagna had run. It owned the patents of prior companies he had started.

AT&T met with the founder of NTP in 1990 after they learned that he had a way to connect NTPs paging sytem to their email system. AT&T decided to work with someone else after that meeting, then Tom Campana was forced into bankruptcy, walking away with the patents.

Tom Campana didn’t sue RIM until RIM sued competitor Glenayre Electronics Inc for voilating RIMs patents. Wait for it, yes, the exact patent that Tom Campana had filed.

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