NTP Sues Google, Apple, Microsoft And More!

NTP suing half a dozen companies

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Technology]

NTP, the patent holding company best known for developing wireless email, has filed lawsuits against Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Motorola, for infringing on eight of its patents related to the delivery of electronic mail over wireless communications systems.

Donald-Stout-NTP.jpg Donald E. Stout, NTP’s co-founder, said, "Use of NTP’s intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees. Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless email is based, Tom Campana, and NTP shareholders are recognized, and are fairly and reasonably compensated for their innovative work and investment.  We took the necessary action to protect our intellectual property."

NTP is no stranger to litigation, it was involved in a long legal battle with RIM, maker of BlackBerry, which saw the device maker eventually settle with NTP for $612.5 million in 2006. In that case, all claims were found to valid and willfully infringed by RIM, and the verdict was affirmed on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Driven by that litigation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) moved to re-examine NTP’s patents.  In December 2009, in spite of the massive effort by the USPTO to overturn NTP’s patents, the USPTO Board of Patent Appeals (USPTO Board) ruled that 67 of NTP’s patent claims in four patents are valid, including three claims that RIM was found to have infringed.

NTP has also filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to overturn the USPTO’s remaining rejections of NTP’s patent claims.

"The filing of suit today is necessary to ensure that those companies who are infringing NTP’s patents will be required to pay a licensing fee," Mr. Stout continued. 

"In view of the USPTO Board’s ruling, the debate over whether Mr. Campana was an originator in the field of wireless email is over."

NTP Sues Google, Apple, Microsoft And More!
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Daz

    Throw It Out Judge Are NPT Stiil Leading Way In Devlopment And What About Patiant Law?
    This Is Complex Wheres Nut And Bolts Ov Case ?

    Hr Invested In Escrow Wasent That Racked In Scandle ?

    Was A Guy In Uk First Invented Fax Sumwhere In Scotland A Hill Billy A Thinks

    Anyway A Think NPT Could Lose On Grounds Of Abandenment And Up Holding Product Del ” Why” What Product Del Have Thay Made ” Not ” Licance Holders ” NPT ” And Now The Monoply Compitision Commision Would Have To Get Involed As Its Part Of Modern Day Life

    So Think NPT Would Be Very Stuped To Raise ?There Heads @ This Time …. Sould Av Just Had A Little Of A Lot

    USA STACK em HIGH Sell Them Cheap …………………. Think This Escrow Thing Has Made Em Gready

    • Guest

      would you be so kind as to bring a translator to your next comment posting event? thanks! :)

      • Guest

        Yes, I agree…that was painful!

        • Daz

          Yes Would Be To Sumone That Has No Clue On TradeMarks Product Del Copyright Infringments And So On

          • Katt

            Daz – Wrong! And again you are wasting pixels. Your comprehension is as bad as your grammar and spelling. This is a patent case, not a trademark or copyright violation. Merely keeping up with fees will keep it from being abandoned.
            Your retaliatory remarks are just forcing people to see you as totally foolish even if they try not to. You response regarding some “disability” to justify your typing is stupidity at best. If you’re typing with your nose for example, how/why are you using capitalization constantly? No, not everyone is perfect but I talk with people around the world daily who barely speak English and don’t have your “issue.” Learn more and post less. There are plenty of other internet whackjobs who use your same method of posting so even there you’re not very original.

          • Daz

            As Your Posts All Over This Site Demonstrats You Know Nothing About Topics But More About Me

            Wow ?

            Get A Grip And Try To Keep To The First Topic :)

    • James

      I have read and re-read this comment numerous times and still fail to fully realize the points you are trying to make. Your spelling and grammar are atrocious. I sincerely apologize if English is not your native language, but it is extremely difficult to make your point if no one can truly understand you.

      • Daz

        As Google And MSFT Bots Know And Good Seo Spelling And Grammar Online Is Not A Sciance Its A Human Condition And As We Dont Live In A Perfect World For Various Resions

        I.E / I Might Be Using My Nose Or Teeth To Type Or Could Have Fat Fingers Or Be Half Blind Not All Internet Users Are Perfect !

        So Just Becouse Someone Spells Bad Might Be A Number Of Resions

        And On That Point A Would Thatk You Again For Proper Comment ………

    • Guest


      Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.

      Guy: “I just found the coolest ninja pencil in existence.”
      Other Guy: “I just found the most retarded thread in existence.”

      You just did this and disrupted the course of the comments, congrats!

  • Guest

    Because if an invention of yours or mine was STOLEN (and that’s what it is, “piracy”, just like ripping music from the web), we’d be pretty pissed off about it… we just don’t have the money to sue like the big boys do.

    I think it would be only FAIR that the cell co’s pay for the technology, if they choose to use it. They didn’t invent it, they’re stealing it, charging their customers for it while using it ILLEGALLY against US Patent laws.

    I’m sick to death of watching bigger companies squash smaller ones… haven’t we had enugh of that, especially in the last few years?

    Oh and the USPTO overturning previously approved patent claims? Um, yeah, who’s getting paid off there. These so called regulators… hogwash! The only thing their regulating is their retirement fund via bribes!

    GO NTP!!!

  • Guest

    With the US patent law it is possible to patent even vine bottle.

  • http://www.harlananelson.com harlan

    I think the legal action is good because eventually it will force the Patent Laws to be reasonable.

    On a side note, I would like to patent the idea of inserting ads for unrelated products into blog posts. Then I would be paid a usage fee every time someone used blogs for their advertising campaigns. That has already been done, but how about posting ads to blogs using wireless devices. ? I think I have something here.

    Who invented email? Who invented wireless communication. If those two people got together what would you have? A new patent, I don’t think so.

  • Guest

    It should be a requirement for any company that holds a patent to actually USE THE PATENT IN A REAL PRODUCT FOR SALE if they want to sue for infringement. I am a firm believer in patents (seven of my filings have been granted) but NTP is making no practical use of their patents whatsoever. They are leeches that extorted over $600M from Rim (the Blackberry folks).

    If it was Rim that held these patents, then they should be allowed to sue infringers, since infringement would actually impact their business that resulted, in part, from the value of those patents.

    • Guest

      I agree completely.

      This also brings to mind domain squating, which really winds me up.

      If some one is actually losing out on profit from their business, and it’s their idea, then yes, they have the right to sue. But just for thinking something up and sitting on it? come on!!!

  • http://www.armandaudrey.com Armand Audrey

    Where the hell is the article!? I want to read this instead of just reading comments, but the link I got in my email just took me to the comments page.

    How is anyone supposed to form a solid, educated opinion when the full article isn’t even displayed?

    • http://www.armandaudrey.com Armand Audrey

      I know some people are upset about this and coming up with reasons why NPT shouldn’t win, but the same was true with the Napster lawsuit years ago.

      Whether or not NPT is using their patent is irrelevant. We have patent laws to protect inventors and intellectual property. Companies as big as Apple should use the due diligence to check such things as patents before marketing their wireless devices. If they’re not willing to do so, then they’re likely to get sued.

      I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing, honestly. Stealing is stealing, regardless of the excuse.

  • http://www.fbsiphons.com Wanna Fight?

    NTP is no stranger to litigation, it was involved in a long legal battle with RIM, maker of BlackBerry, which saw the device maker eventually settle with NTP for $612.5 million in 2006.

    So I think they can do this time also.

  • Dave Y

    The thing that our Government and everone else’s Governments and Big Business Everywhere won’t tell you is that all cell phones and plans do not need to be more than $50 bucks a month period.Next we WILL be paying $1,000 a year just to breath our planet’s oxygen.All cell phones and their plans are a terrible scam and not unlike residential home utilities it’s just another Big Business Big Government back room deal scam on all us suckers !!!!!!!

  • http://www.westnet.net.au/~ecwa/ gordon451

    It doesn’t matter if a company manufactures directly from its patent or not. That company has put in the hard yards of developing the technology, and deserves the reward.

    There are precedents and laws which disallow the patents after a suitable time — I’m thinking of the famous Crescent Tool Company which lost the sole use of the term “crescent” to describe its tools, when a US Court ruled the word had entered the English language as a generic description of adjustable wrenches, due to the popularity and high quality of Crescent tools…

    NPT roolz!

    • Guest

      So should microsoft own the rights to Windows and you pay royalties that the manufacturers of windows in your house’s walls pass off to you?

      Maybe apple should own the rights to the fruit as well?

      besides, crescent is a word that describes a shape. Plus that would be trademark, not patent.

      just imagine is someone trademarked “Exceeding expectations” I’d laugh my ass off at the number of lawsuits that’d trip off

  • http://www.mlmwatchdog.com Guest

    To All,

    Some of these patents are so loosely written the could pertain to any number of effects and functions of a cell phone. If the patent says, email send via an antenna built into the cell phone, that gets a little silly. The Patent system was started to support inventors not Patent Trolls that jack and jerk words around to fit the phone system manufacturers are building. I can see why the PTO re-examind the patents to make sure that this was not just a patent manipulation. I get a little upset as you can see with some of my rants about Patent Trolls on http://www.mlmwatchdog.com on occassion like the signing up of people wanting to join a company automatically with software. Ouch a whole industry whacked by this!!!!

    Rod Cook

  • Guest

    “It should be a requirement for any company that holds a patent to actually USE THE PATENT IN A REAL PRODUCT FOR SALE if they want to sue for infringement.”

    MANY companies own patents and trademarks that ONLY sell licenses to manufacture products utilizing those products. Many of the major brands we use all the time (in particular fashion and jeans companies have done this for YEARS!). So that statement would put many many many people out of business and take many of our favorite product off the shelves (of be manufactured by non-spcialists of that product).

    TiVo successfully now licenses DVR technology to Dish, DirectTV, and many others who formerly infringed on their patents. Why not Apple, Microsoft, etc.

  • http://peterhallam.com.au Peter

    I agree with NTP suing over infringement of its patents. If it were the bigger companies claiming that they had had their intellectual property infringed and used without a licence fee being paid, there would be P.R. spooks out crying foul, lawyers being employed, cases being raised in court, and no end of crying foul.

    I agree that NTPU should be able to enforce its patent for work that it has done.

    But keep in mind, many patents approved by the U.S. patent office are of dubious nature and deter development in certain fields because the licence fees being asked are too high to justify future development and innovation.

    I just hope that NTP are reasonable about the licensing agreement they will submit, whilst still receiving due compensation for use of their inventions.

    Peter Hallam

    • http://www.baknjak.com Imran Khan

      I am an advocate in India and I have specialization in dealing infringement and passing off actions.
      I am of the opinion that an invention already registered certainly has legal remedies but the burden of proof lies on the shoulder of NTP.
      Second thing it is also required to be established that the use of such invention by some mobile companies were having knowledge that NTP is original inventor.

      If NTP can convince me I am ready to enter into contract with NTP to provide speedy remedy through process of law which is interim relief as the court has already in several other cases granter interim/interlocutory injunctions restraining defendants from passing goods and services.

      Imran Khan (advocate)
      Delhi India

  • http://www.theexpertseocompany.com Andrew

    Sounds like a bit of a money grab to me.

  • http://www.orbportals.com DTSLW

    Aren’t really talking about something hollywood and writers invented in the decades of buck rogers and star trek?

    Now while I’m in favor of upholding patents of inventions and making sure inventors get paid their due, but if NTP isn’t bringing a product to market but merely sitting on a patent to collect money, then that’s not fair to businesses using the technology either.

    As for the USPTO overturning patents, I do think that is something that should happen to a large number of patents. Generic medicines, for example, are kept off of the market because of silly patent updates and modifications. There is one company the holds a patent so broad, it’s on any game that requires two or more players! I recall hearing about a no-name company suing video game makers over remote-control devices. hell, there is a patent for an MP3-like device that looks like an ipod from the 70’s! it never went to market or even prototyping, so should all mp3 makers and apple pay royalties! So there are a huge number of frivolous patents in existence that should either be reduced in scope or withdrawn outright.

    Excessive patents stifle creativity and invention, but too little enforcement of patents have the same effect.

    Also, should any company and ISP also pay royalties to NPT for providing email over an electronic communication system? How about military and governments? maybe NASA should switch to land-lines for the orbital space station? There has to be a line where it becomes unreasonable.

  • Alan

    I am surprised that NTP and Donald Stout have not gone after Wireless email companies in China for Patent Infringement as aggressively as they have in the US and Canada. If he had, I am sure a Chinese diplomat would show up at his house and shoot him dead. At this point, I don’t think these lawsuits have anything to do with the “innovative work and investment of wireless email. It has more to do with greed. Has NTP done anything to wireless email technology to improve on it. I sincerely doubt, since the actual innovator is dead. Stout, why don’t you join him.

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom