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 @ 3:39pm

    Re: ridiculous

    "So, because of your lack of creativity we need to stick with a broken system? Seems like an odd solution. Just because the law says obviousness is based on prior art doesn't mean it should be."

    Ah, and now who is resorting to personal attacks? The peer review idea is yours. I was merely asking a question. Touchy are we?

    "Oh, wait, the better solution is to have people who have no idea about the specifics say whether or not something is obvious? I would say that's a much bigger problem."

    Ok, I agree that some Examiners are idiots. That said, there are a lot of very intelligent Examiners with a lot of industry experience at the PTO. Just about everyone in my art unit had a pHd and 5+ years of experience in the area of technology that they Examined. Not only that, but Examiners read about a specific area of technology for 3-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. I'd hardly say that they "don;t know the specifics." I used to Examine magnetic recording media. After doing that for 6 months I knew within 5 minutes of reading the claims of an application what I had not seen before, and then I went searching.

    "Anyway, it's not hard to craft a peer review system that takes what you say into account. Anyone saying that an idea is obvious would need to support it with a clear showing of how the state of the art was clearly leading in the direction of the patent app and explain why no one else had done it yet if there's no prior art."

    Ok, your "peer review" system is basically the current Examination system except it allows industry competitors to quibble over what is obvious without any hard proof? How exactly do you provide "a clear showing of how the state of the art was clearly leading in the direction of the patent app" without prior art? As my mo used to say, "the proof is in the puddin," and Mike, I ain't seein no puddin in your peer review system. Why don't you explain it to me a little better? I know you are just going to say I'm entrenched or attacking you or something. C'mon, for the purposes of a friendly, albeit heated, academic debate. Pretty please????

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