NTP Now The Target Of Get-Rich-Without-Doing-Anything Strategy It Made Famous

from the ah,-money dept

You know how when someone comes into sudden wealth, such as by winning the lottery, you often hear stories about lawsuits from others who claim they're actually owed some of that money for some reason or another? Well, following the RIM/NTP settlement that netted the lawyers involved hundreds of millions of dollars for patents that have been declared invalid, it seems that there's now a bit of a squabble over the money. Donald Stout, a lawyer who was part owner of the patent is now being sued for a part of the winnings by various different people who all want a piece of the pie. The main complaint seems to be from the heirs of the founder and former CEO of Telefind, the company Thomas Campana (who was Stout's partner in NTP) worked for when the patents were filed. However, the battle over ownership of the patents seems to have been hashed out in the past. Telefind went bankrupt and a creditor took over control of the assets. During that period there was some argument over who owned the patents, and the court determined that the main wireless patents in question had been developed outside of Telefind -- using a letter from Telefind's CEO to Campana asking to license the patent as proof. Remember, also, that the creditor who took over Telefind has already sued claiming that the patents should have been included in the assets he got to take over. The courts already ruled against that attempt at taking over the patents, and it seems likely that this new attempt won't go very far either. Still, it seems as though Telefind's CEO's heirs are arguing that Stout was dishonest in his dealings earlier, seeing as he was both Telefind's patent lawyer and Campana's... and also how with all the squabbling over the patents, he was the one who actually ended up owning a piece of them. However, it's quite a situation when you step back and look at things. You have a bunch of people who have absolutely nothing to do with the success of wireless email in the marketplace all fighting over $600 million squeezed out of the company who did the actual innovation for a bunch of patents that have been declared invalid. And people say the patent system doesn't need fixing.
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  1. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 23 Aug 2006 @ 2:21pm

    I knew it!

    I should have sued the creators of One Piece! I wrote a story years ago about a boy that wanted to become the greatest pirate ever. But instead of eating fruit the rendered him unable to swim he was just afraid of water. In all honesty I didn't but I should sue anyway because someone needs to think of the children.

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