Legal Issues

by Carlo Longino

Patent Office Gives Final Rejection To NTP Patent, With Interesting Timing

from the my-gavel's-bigger-than-yours dept

The US Patent Office has issued a final rejection of one of NTP's patents -- just as it said it would. The USPTO has given "non-final" rejections to all five of the NTP patents in question, but this final rejection comes just two days before the judge in the case is set to hear arguments that could put an injunction on RIM's business in the US. This is the judge that's said he won't wait for the patent office to rule on the patents to issue his decision, but this action by the office (which, of course, NTP can appeal) almost seems designed to put pressure on him to do so. The underlying issue is the legitimacy of the patents, and given the USPTO's indication that they'll ultimately be rejected, that should take precendence over the judge's desire to keep his calendar moving.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Chris, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Judges Responsibility

    The judge's job is not to guess if the patents issued by the USPTO are valid. The laws assume that the patents issued are good, and the judges job is to enforce existing law. We're all guarenteed a fair and speedy trial. What is the submitter suggesting, that court cases be put into limbo until participants have the time to get the rules changed to fit their case? The real solution to this issue would be to fix the patent process, a much stickier proposal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    anonymous, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    I do not see how it is that unreasonable when there is a third part involved that is basically telling the judge to hold up a bit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    It's like with a murder case and new evidence that it may not have been the current defendent's finger prints on the weapon (over simplification I know). This indication of possible rejection should at least give an extension because it has been declared by another government agency and not some 3rd party that wants to hold off the trial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 2:35pm

    No Subject Given

    ...makes me wonder if the gov. offical's fear of losing their crackberries had anything to do with the impeccable timing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Mike, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    Not entirely true. The judge must consider precedent along with current law. If the Patent office has all but said they will invalidate the patents AND if they are in the process of issuing said decisions (which they are), the judge must consider that and if he's smart, he will push the decision date out to allow the patent office top finish or risk having his decision vacated by a higher court. A speedy trial does not really apply to business but more to our personal rights. It's also wrong to bankrupt a company on data that is known to be incorrect just to "clear his calendar"

    And yes, the PO definitely needs fixing, no doubt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    IAAL, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 3:19pm

    Judge Should Move Forward

    The reason the Judge should move forward is what is called a "Request for Continued Examination" or RCE. No office action rejection is ever "final," once you get a "final" rejection, you just file an RCE and continue FOR YEARS. So, if we want some form of resolution anytime soon, the Judge should move forward.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Andrew Strasser, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    Then again most people in these sort of positions seem to think they are above the law. So really it has ne bearing the Judge obviously doesn't care what's right he is just being a pain toward someone. I don't even see the problem here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mike, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    Who is above the law? The judge or the idiots running the lawsuit? Or the idiots that have not updated the laws to reflect high tech or even better, the idiots who should have updated the PO rules years ago?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Kirk, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    Nothing here can even remotely be said to be speedy. The most likely issue is that the judge is looking to clear the case from his docket after more then 3 years.

    There are other possible reasons including that the judge wants to punish RIM for backing out of the settlement agreement. Or he might be tired of Canadians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Rob Tyree, Feb 22nd, 2006 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Judges Responsibility

    The upcoming hearing is not to determine whether NTP has a valid claim that RIM violated their patent - it's a hearing to grant NTP an injunction against RIM pending the outcome of the trial. If there is evidence to suggest that NTP's main body of evidence - their patents - will be invalidated, I think the judge is perfectly within his right to deny NTP injunctive relief pending the outcome of the trial itself, especially considering the potential harm to RIM and it's business. If NTP wins the trial, RIM will be forced to settle anyway, so there is really no downside for NTP either way.

    I'm not going to argue that our patent process is badly broken, but until it is fixed, we should do our best to uphold the spirit of the law, not necessarily the letter of the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:35am

    What's up with the comments ?
    Not used to seeing it here.

    Every comment has the same avatar, Looks like multiple personality disorder gone wild.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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