NTP Trying To Drag Out The Patent Rejection Process? Wonder Why...

from the hmm dept

Last week the US Patent Office took the surprising step of reaching out and calling both RIM and NTP to let them know that it's very, very likely to reject all of NTP's patents at the heart of the excruciatingly long patent battle with RIM. This was extremely important because the judge in the patent lawsuit had said that he wouldn't wait for the Patent Office's ruling, mainly because he was sick of dealing with the case (who knew that impatience was a reasonable reason for ignoring important evidence and pushing a billion dollar fine?). So, now, the two parallel timelines become much more important. The companies are supposed to file documents with the court by February 1, 2006 -- and the judge is expected to rule soon afterwards. As for the patent review process, NTP was supposed to get its response in by the end of this month, but has managed to squeeze out a 30-day extension meaning it won't have to file the response until the nearly the same date as when the judge will make his decision. While NTP denies it's dragging out the process, it's clearly in the company's interest to do so. Still, we wonder how the judge can, in good conscience, still move forward with the case when the Patent Office has clearly stated that it believes it made a huge mistake in originally granting these patents. Meanwhile, it still seems like a reasonable question as to whether RIM can sue the Patent Office for its admitted negligence in issuing these patents (though, of course, they might want to wait until the patents are really rejected).

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  1. identicon
    Mousky, 30 Dec 2005 @ 9:21am

    Re: ridiculous

    Er, no. I said that the vast majority of patents are not used. That is different from "not litgated/enforced". And your argument that patents provide strong incentive is weak since it is based on the good old "slippery slope" argument: if patents are not allowed, then no one will innovate, because joe blow can come along and steal my idea. Do you really think that if there was no patent system, that we would still be stuck in the middle ages? I don't think so.

    That said, the government has bought into the argument and created a system where a monopoly is granted for an idea for a limited length of time. Fine. But, I don't think the system was created so that every single idea could be patented. You may agree with that, but your clients don't. It seems that USPTO spends lots of time researching patents that end up collecting dust. The system is not efficient.

    Your bias as a law student working in a patent law office is come through loud and clear. Afterall you can't bite the hand that feeds you. If your client believes that his government granted monopoly has been infringed on, you will say and do whatever is necessary to win. Nothing wrong with that, but it is a bias on your part. A good lawyer doesn't blow off opposing comments as ignorant. Rather he tries to understand what is behind those comments and how that understanding can be used to improve his own arguments. But you are still a student, so you still have lots to learn.

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