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
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2005 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Mike's wishes for

    "You must understand that the people who become patent lawyers and become entrenched in the current PTO belief system are going to resort to mistatements, personal attacks, and misdirection because as a lawyer and advocate of self-serving protectionism they have no choice but to react in such a manner... thus is the root of the problem with our patent system."

    Actually, I became a patent lawyer because I was sick of being stuck in a lab (I was a chemist at the naval research lab at one point) but I wanted to keep using my brain to think about science and technology. Patent Law seemed a perfect career option for me at that time.

    As for resorting to misstatements. HAH! I have spent at least an hour and half today correcting other people's misstatements on this forum. How am I "entrenched in the current PTO belief system" by stating what the law actually is.

    And stating that some of the posts in this forum are ignorant is not a personal attack. I'm just stating a fact.

    The root of the PTO's problem in my opinion has nothing to do with lawyers. Rather, it has to do with the explosive growth of science and technology over the last 100 years which has caused a flood of hundreds of thousands of patent applications to come cascading down about 4000 Patent Examiners. The PTO needs to double or triple their Examination personnel or the law needs to be entirely re-worked. Given the reliance interest already built up in the current system, I am for taking the easier and less painful option of increasing the number of Examiners.

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