NTP Files Patent Lawsuit Against Palm

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Ed Hardy, Nov 6, 2006.

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  1. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    <!-- Generated by XStandard version 1.7.1.0 on 2006-11-06T16:40:27 --><p>NTP has just filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Palm, Inc. This alleges that Palm is infringing on NTP patents related to mobile devices wirelessly exchanging email. </p><p>NTP is perhaps best known as the company that got Research in Motion (RIM) to pay over $600 million to settle a similar lawsuit.</p><p>The company, which makes no products and whose only assets are patents, says it files this suit only after asking Palm to license its patents, and &quot;would still prefer to resolve this issue with Palm in a negotiated license agreement that is fair and reasonable to both parties.'' </p><p>Palm itself has not yet commented on the lawsuit. Its share price has dropped over 7 percent since this news came out.</p><p>Are the Patents Valid?</p><p>One thing that's going to have a major effect on this lawsuit is that the patents in question are under review by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.</p><p>Although the Patent Office has not yet declared invalid the wireless email-related patents held by NTP, it said last December that it is likely to do so.</p><p>&quot;The patent owner's arguments are deemed nonpersuasive,&quot; the Patent Office wrote. &quot;The next office action is expected to be a final rejection of all current claims.&quot;</p><p>Related Articles</p><ul>

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  2. Andrew

    Andrew Mobile Deity

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    Now we see where NTP is going to put that new found wealth from the windfall from the RIM settlement. Sueing more people! I'm sure Palm is excited to be in the jaws of NTP lawyers, they seem to know what they're doing when it comes to winning these battles.
     
  3. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    I take that 'mobile devices' means everything Treo-like ?
     
  4. Antoine Wright

    Antoine Wright Neighborhood Mobilist Super Moderator

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    Actually, NTP will be able to sue companies such as Gateway, Dell, Toshiba as well as Cingular, VZW, Sprint at this rate. Until the patents are deemed invalid, that is NTP's best course of action. Though I fail to see where companies who use other software solutions for push email (like Palm) could be considered guilty.
     
  5. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    But what will happen when the patents are deemed invalid ? Will they have to pay back the money to RIM ?
    After which RIM can sue them for slander and damage to their image ? :rolleyes:

    Where does this stop ?
     
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Mobile Deity

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    But wasn't the $600M RIM gave to NTP a settlement, not an award? If so, all RIM could try would be a counter suit. They basically gave NTP the money to get NTP to stop bothering them with lawyers. Kind of like paying a blackmailer. Does it ever stop? Only when the well runs dry... or you shoot the blackmailer. Seems likely that the USPO is likely to do the latter for all concerned, once they stop dragging their feet and acknowledge the invalidity of these ridiculous concept patents. This 'business' of patent squatting on vaguely defined notions of technology is no more honourable than is domain name squatting. It stinks.
     
  7. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Mobile Deity

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    So NTP is an acronym for No True Products?
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew Mobile Deity

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    The really sad thing is that the guy that started NTP (Tom Campana) and did most of the innovation is now dead and his family didn't get as much as the other co-founder (Donald Stout) from the settlement with RIM. Even if the patents were just (and I believe they are rather broad, in that basically anyone doing push email is at risk) then the family that deserves the money isn't getting it http://www.mobiletracker.net/archives/2006/08/23/rim-ntp-telefind.
     
  9. Andrew

    Andrew Mobile Deity

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    Palm just issued a response:

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov 06, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:pALM) today issued the following statement in response to a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against it by patent-holding company NTP Inc.

    The NTP lawsuit claims that certain Palm products infringe seven NTP patents. All seven of the patents asserted are being re-examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and have been rejected by the re-examiners as invalid. Palm also noted that the NTP patents disclose a pager-based email service that has nothing in common with the mobile-computing devices invented by Palm.

    Palm has been in occasional contact with NTP concerning a license to these patents. When Palm last communicated with NTP many months ago, however, each of the patents already was the subject of re-examination proceedings by the PTO. Palm is disappointed that, after many months of silence and repeated rejections of NTP's claims by the PTO, NTP has chosen to sue on patents of doubtful validity.

    Palm respects legitimate intellectual property rights, but will defend itself vigorously against the attempted misuse of the patent and judicial systems to extract monetary value for rights to patents that may ultimately have no value at all.


    http://investors.palm.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=217480
     
  10. blisterpeanuts

    blisterpeanuts Mobile Deity

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    RIM settled because a hostile judge threatened to shut down their business even though the patents in question were about to be declared invalid by USPTO. Why is NTP suing Palm? Probably because they (correctly) perceive that Palm is run by nitwits.

    There's a silver lining to this. Perhaps NTP will sue Palm into insolvency, at which point Sony will buy the company and start putting out really excellent handhelds.
     

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