Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Uh-oh. The folks that almost killed the BlackBerry are suing...Palm.

I do not pretend to know the merits of NTP's celebrated court case against Research in Motion. On the one hand, a tiny company whose only assets were patents granted to a now-deceased inventor, who had by all accounts worked hard and never got much for his ideas. On the other, a hugely successful technology company who'd built a popular product line.

The undisputed facts from that case are these: NTP won a ruling in Circuit Court and subsequently in the US Court of Appeals that RIM had infringed their patents. RIM settled -- The Register says $450 million, the Seattle Times says $612.5 (!) -- and continued in business as a licensor of NTP's patents.

Now Susan Decker of the Bloomberg News, in a story published in the Seattle Times, reports that Palm is next in NTP's sights. NTP says licensing talks with Palm have failed, and that they have filed suit.

According to the story, the patents themselves have actually been rejected by the USPO, and are under appeal. Until the outcome of that appeal, goes the legal theory behind the lawsuit, the patents are valid.


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