Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Nokia Licenses Controversial NTP Patent

While RIM and NTP are still fighting over NTP's patents, Nokia didn't want to bother with an inevitable lawsuits, and has agreed to just pay off NTP so they can launch the 6820 phone that can connect to RIM's BlackBerry server software. Considering that the patent is still up in the air, this is yet another demonstration of patents being used for extortion rather than patents being used for innovation. Companies feel the need to pay license fees to avoid court fees, and not because any one company has actually created a breakthrough technology. The patent scam continues: patent any semi-obvious idea, wait around until someone else actually does something approximating that idea, and then demand license fees. It's difficult to tell how this promotes innovation in any way. It seems to do the exact opposite.

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