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
    NOCcer, 30 Dec 2005 @ 6:09am

    Re: ridiculous

    You'd think a lawyer could spell statutory.
    For all the procedure and rhetoric blasted out of this response in troll-like fashion, you supply no additional details to enhance the article.
    "The type of inquiry the Patent Office is giving to the patents at issue is of critical importance here, but you did not report it."
    I ask you, what is it then?
    NTP may be able to use the system to delay PTO ruling, but it seems to me that if they were not given the 3-month variety something is up. Per the NYTimes, the PTO is likely to back RIM and its BlackBerry project which would sink the root of this BILLION DOLLAR law suit brought on by NTP.
    "The patent owner's arguments are deemed nonpersuasive," said the patent office document, which was received last week but dated Nov. 30. "The next office action is expected to be a final rejection of all current claims." --Aforementioned article. (U.S. Patent Office Likely to Back BlackBerry Maker -- Dec 20, 2005 NYTimes)
    As for suing the PTO, this is all tongue-in-cheek, but would serve the PTO right for bungling this debacle in the first place. If it is a judge's discretion to let the PTO handle these matters then shouldn't be dismiss the case and let the PTO do its work? That'd be a monumental waste of time and effort at this point, so why not wait for the PTO to make its ruling and base his decision off of that. Instead he takes matters into his own hands and places himself above the "Industry Expert" that you claim is the PTO. He must be a Democrat. ;)

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