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
    Rikko, 30 Dec 2005 @ 9:53am

    Re: ridiculous

    Ok. I see your point. My point is that all you are doing is pointing out flaws in the system. Lots of other people do this, but no one ever comes up with a suggestion that is any better then the current system. Why don't you stretch your brain cells a bit and come up with a solution rather then just criticize a system that, while imperfect, actually performs it function pretty well.

    I don't think that's the purpose of Techdirt, nor should it be. It's here to give a synopsis of technical current events and point out anything interesting in the article.
    Adding some opinion into the summary is a much different mandate than solving the world's problems with every post.
    It's easier to point out fault than mend it, but no one here will argue that the patent system as it stands isn't a huge, complex beast. It can't be overhauled in a 20 minute blog post - this needs the kind of attention that overhauling something like the U.N. requires.

    The current system is crap. It has to be - something that large is built iteratively. Classic example is Windows. It began as a cute, graceful little thing. After years of backward-compatibility requirements and new features it's a bogged-down monster that is stunningly effective considering the legacy support that was needed.
    Yes, the patent system sucks (now). The patent office needs to redesign it from the ground up.
    Yes, Windows sucks (now) - Microsoft needs to redesign it from the ground up.
    Hell, most social programs and political entities suck, too - it's human nature to add on to something when it fulfils a similar role rather than revisiting the nature of the beast.
    There's nothing wrong with that - we just need to realize that when you keep throwing furniture onto the pile, there are gaps inside the pile that make the whole heap unstable.

    You said "where the world does not change over time". Bang on, buddy. It does. And we need to perform more drastic changes on our infrastructure (on every level - the automobile needs to be scrapped, and soon) to compensate instead of the band-aid fixes we always end up with because we're afraid of change.

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