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 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."