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
    patentman, 30 Dec 2005 @ 10:22am

    Re: ridiculous

    1) None of the patent lawyers I know are paid on a contingency fee basis, except in rare instances.

    2) I misspoke when I made my point regarding the predictability of the value of an IP asset. What I meant to say is that the value of an IP asset is potentially huge (millions per day) but terribly unpredictable (its not all that unlike a lottery in some ways). Most of the patents that are litigated have value that has either been realized in some way (i.e. a patented pharmaceutical composition gets FDA approval) or it is percieved to be of substantial value. The rest of my point flows from there. You don't hire the guy working the McDonalds counter to protect your potentially valuable assets, just like you wouldn't hand your money to a habitual gambler to invest.

    3) Regarding Patent Attorneys being paid what the market thinks they are worth. From an economic standpoint this is true. However, its just a supply and demand issue realy. I would actually prefer to have more patent attorneys in the field so I could be work less. And while we are speaking in economics terms, attorneys have to balance their monetary compensation against the opportunity costs of being an attorney. I would rather be asked to do less work for less money and get to see my family more often then to be paid what I am now.

    4) I agree that teachers and social workers (arguably) are underpaid. I almost became a teacher myself before I decided to become a chemist. Likely I will be a teacher in my second career. But, to paraphrase you, teachers and social workers are paid what the market thinks they are worth.

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