NTP's Back, And It's Brought More Lawsuits

from the oh-you-again? dept

Everybody's favorite patent troll, NTP, is back. It, of course, was the company that managed to wring $612.5 million out of RIM, maker of the BlackBerry, for patent infringement -- despite the patents in question being on their way to being rejected by the USPTO after a bunch of prior art came to light. NTP has now sued AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, as well as T-Mobile, for infringing on the same patents. RIM's settlement with NTP was widely believed to protect its carrier customers from infringement suits, but it's likely such protection extended only to their use of RIM products, not other mobile email systems. It's not too surprising that NTP sued, since it's a patent troll and that's what they do, though it's slightly curious since the suits were filed in the same Virginia court, with the same judge, as its previous cases. This includes its earlier suit against Palm, which the judge put on hold until after the validity of NTP's patents is finally assessed. It's likely the same thing will happen here, but NTP probably doesn't care too much -- it's just looking for more leverage to wring undeserved settlements and licensing deals out of anybody it can.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 5:45pm

    been said before...

    it's been said before: wireless + common internet service = "revolutionary, patent(troll)able idea"

    Cue angrydude whining and moaning in

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

  2. identicon
    Avatar28, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 6:59pm

    I wonder if they considered that AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have the money and lawyers to completely bury them. Considering the USTPO's direction on those patents, I hope they decide to stand up and fight instead of just rolling over.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Cow, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 7:12pm

    CompTIA Net+

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

  4. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 7:40pm


    what exactly does NTP do? All searches point to them being a patent holding company. Does this mean that they are like those "companies" from the early dotcom days that were nothing but a group of people that would patent something and then look for people infringing on it even though they are not bringing that patent to market?

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

  5. icon
    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Sep 12th, 2007 @ 5:40am

    As the guys in the Guiness commercials would say..


    Get a small nibble from a small company and then take on the death star errr I mean AT&T. I am afraid they have bitten off more than they can chew.

    Question is, will the big bells be willing to try to get the patent thrown out using the obviousness ruling that was recently made and suffer the consequences themselves? Hmmmmm......

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

  6. identicon
    Vincent Clement, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 6:11am

    Re: As the guys in the Guiness commercials would s

    Seeing as some of the Bells are suing Vonzage for patent infringement, I think the Bells will settle this rather then get a ruling that could be used against them. In the end, all this litigation distracts companies from their main businesses and only hurts customers in the long run. But hey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the US patent system.

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

  7. identicon
    Me, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 7:15am

    Whoops! I think I stepped in NTP...

    Whoops! I think I stepped in NTP...

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

  8. identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 9:21am

    NTP was formed after the failures of companies Tom Campagna had run. It owned the patents of prior companies he had started.

    AT&T met with the founder of NTP in 1990 after they learned that he had a way to connect NTPs paging sytem to their email system. AT&T decided to work with someone else after that meeting, then Tom Campana was forced into bankruptcy, walking away with the patents.

    Tom Campana didn't sue RIM until RIM sued competitor Glenayre Electronics Inc for voilating RIMs patents. Wait for it, yes, the exact patent that Tom Campana had filed.

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

  9. identicon
    Jordan, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 8:05am

    This is really interesting. Does this have anything to do with software licensing? My brother wanted to start downloading a ton of stuff so he got a license. It was a really good thing to do.

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

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