Follow The Bouncing Patent

from the who-owns-what-now? dept

We've written numerous times about NTP's patent infringement lawsuit against RIM for their Blackberry. Well, it looks like that issue may be getting a bit more complicated, as it appears another company is claiming (yeah, get this) that NTP stole the patents away from them. They're not talking about violating patents held by this other company (CLI), but that CLI had leased equipment to another firm that had defaulted on the loan. In exchange, CLI was supposed to get control of these patents, which, instead, were transfered to a third company (ESA) who eventually transfered them again to NTP. Follow that? Probably not, but rest assured it's a big mess, and points to just some of the confusion over the concept that you can own an idea. As Om Malik points out, though, why should CLI care about these patents until NTP can successfully show that RIM (are there any companies here that don't use TLAs?) violated the patents.
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