US Patent Office Calls RIM And NTP: "Patents Will Be Rejected"

from the in-case-you-were-wondering dept

The U.S. Patent and Trade Office has contacted both RIM and NTP to inform both companies that it will likely overturn all related NTP patents. This move is very unconventional for the Patent Office, but no doubt stems from the very public case which is putting the Patent Office itself in the spotlight of blame. If RIM is forced to pay $1B because they were held for ransom by bad patents, Techdirt has asked, "Can RIM sue the USPTO for a billion or more due to negligence?" The USPTO is worried that NTP is winning the court case based on what they now know to be bad patents, but patents which they mistakenly granted. Not only is this massively unfair to RIM, but the credibility of the entire intellectual property system in the US is in jeopardy. The move to publicly inform both parties of likely decisions is the USPTO's way of trying to force Judge Spencer to either throw out the case on lack of merit, or delay the court proceedings to give the patent rejection process time to follow its slow course. So the USPTO has turned the pressure up on Judge Spencer -- if he forces RIM to shutdown or pay-up based on what he now knows to be bad patents, he will look bad, not the USPTO. Don't you love it when two branches of your government pass the buck while the free market and the incentive to innovate are held hostage to them? Having read the patents, we sided with RIM from the start of this debacle. Isn't it time, now, to let this company get on with business?
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  1. identicon
    Howard Plumley, 21 Dec 2005 @ 8:27am

    Bad Patents, Bad Law, Bad opinions

    Somewhere I missed something. The patents were granted to an engineer who built a business around his intellectual property. The primary implementor of those ideas denied the patents and spent millions avoiding licensing. Now the 'Patent Office' is invalidating the patents under 'fast track duress'. (You don't believe the various departments influence each other's actions?)
    1 - you cry 'bad patents' but they were not 'submarine' they were published and openly marketed.
    2 - you cry 'bad law' against the courts for applying the existing law and valid patents with great restraint. You have no judicial activists here.
    3 - Far too much of time the 'heat of the moment' opinions are worse than bad law or bad patents. They seek a quick fix that doesn't consider if the wall they want removed is carrying a load.
    Be very glad that government and 'the law' are slow to change. For tomorrow it may be your life or livelihood at risk.

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