According to dotnet.sys-con.com, NTP, which has more than 50 technological patents, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against top.net developers, Google, Apple, Microsoft, LG, and Motorola for using their Ur-wireless e-mail patents. RIM’s Blackberry was also sued for the same reason in 2006 for $6.12 million.
TechConnect magazine reports that Richmond-based NTP alleges that the six companies named in the suit are violating its eight patents to deliver email over wireless via software or hardware
With reference to Apple, the litigation cites the iPhone, server software, MobileMe, and iPad as breaching patent infringement regulations. In addition to that, NTP has already filed lawsuits against Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Palm and T-Mobile.
In the case of Research-in-Motion, the maker of Blackberry settled since an injunction would have banned the company from selling the ubiquitous Blackberry. However, analysts say that this predicament is not very likely occur again. A Supreme Court verdict that followed has imposed restrictions on injunctions in cases where the claimant is considered to be a ‘non-practicing entity.’
Hence, NTP has announced that it would rather settle since it is unlikely to acquire hefty settlements from the new lawsuits. These lawsuits were filed in a Virginia federal court, close to where NTP is located.
The bad news is that the talks between concerned parties have gone poorly and it’s unlikely that the dispute would be settled out of court. So, that leaves NTP with the option of jury-determined royalties and damages. This too leaves NTP in a compromising situation, since the royalty rate established in the RIM lawsuit was just 8.5%
NTP co-founder Donald E. Stout said in a statement, "Use of NTP’s intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees.” Adding, "Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless e-mail 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," reports The Wall Street Journal.
NTP was co founded by Thomas Campana and is a privately held firm that holds his technology patents. Campana, who died six years ago, is touted as the ‘inventor of wireless email.’