A Patent Holding Company Named Sue
NTP has finally found a good use for the $612.5 million patent settlement it won from BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion last year: underwriting more patent-infringement lawsuits.
Last Friday the patent holding firm sued AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile for infringing on its portfolio of mobile email-services patents and demanded they pay royalties on the sales of BlackBerries and other devices that send and receive email. Apparently NTP feels that because Good Technology, Visto and RIM have licensed the same patents, these big wireless carriers should as well. Said the company in its complaint against Verizon: “Verizon’s continued infringement with its present knowledge of NTP’s patent rights and their relevance to defendant’s operations is reckless and willful.”
NTP’s lawsuit will no doubt again raise questions about the validity of its patents, a number of which are still under re-examination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office–those, that is, that haven’t already been rejected.