back to article RIM nemesis slaps patent suit on Apple, Google, Microsoft...

NTP, the patent-holding firm that tortured Research in Motion (RIM) throughout the middle of the past decade is at it again. This time, its targets are Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, and Motorola. "Use of NTP's intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees," wrote NTP co-founder …


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  1. Anomalous Cowturd

    This one could run and run.

    I, for one, welcome our patent holding overlords.

    Just as long as they keep their software patents to themselves.

    A vague description of "a means of" by the use of block diagrams of dubious content should not exclude others from doing a similar thing by other methods.

    I am open to sensible offers of employment in the USPTO. Reasonable rates for OAPs. Tuesdays only.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lawsuits in motion

    These guy want to play this game, so they get the downsides of the game too.

    One good thing about the NTP vs RIM is that it seemed to put an end to the days of "Lawsuits in Motion".

  3. alwarming
    Black Helicopters

    Where is New Zealand when you need it most ?

    Amnesiacs, I am referring to the NZ lawyer who decimated the infamous Amazon's single click patent.

    It's quite obvious that B&N hired b-grade lawyers from the land who, while being payed, couldn't do what a guy in NZ trying to kill boredom could. Pretty sure RIM hired guys of the same ilk. Time for Apple, Goo & M$ to hire some kids from NZ.


    disclaimer: I am not from NZ, never been there.

  4. K. Adams

    Don't Make It, Can't Keep It

    Gawd, how I hate patent trolls, and the rife gamesmanship allowed by the USPTO...

    I'm not against patents per se, but I am firmly of the belief that if you own a legitimate patent, you should have a finite period of time to start manufacturing, building, or creating a product based directly on that patent. At the end of that finite "fish-or-cut-bait" period, if you have not exercised your privileges in this regard, the patent is opened to the public domain.

    Note that this "fish-or-cut-bait" period would be much shorter than for the current protection period, which to my mind would still be OK if you, as the patent owner, are actively pursuing manufacture of an item based on the patent.

    I would also like to see a rule in which patents owned by public universities in the US would have to be sold at auction to the highest bidder within 2 to 5 years after the date the patent is officially awarded and assigned its number by the USPTO. The public university could, in the meantime, license the patent to recoup research/development costs, but when the patent is auctioned, the outstanding licenses would also be transferred to the winning bidder. The winning bidder must then commit to manufacturing a product based on the patent within the "fish-or-cut-bait" period outlined above, minus the time the patent was held by the university.

    Private universities would be exempt from the forced-auction rule, if the university enters into a partnership with an outside company to manufacture and market a device based on the patent, and is the majority investor in said partnership.

    General purpose business software (i.e., office applications) would not get invention patent protection. However, it could still qualify for copyright protection, and design patent protection (which covers the overall aesthetics of the software or individual elements of the software). Likewise, software which performs no tangible, physical function other than to manipulate data within the confines of a general purpose computer or computer network (such as email, web portal, or content delivery software) would also not be patentable.

    Software which is used for the direct and native control of a physical device could conceivably be eligible for patent protection, but the nature of the "direct and native control" would have to be something tangible (like controlling a stepper motor which is an integral part of a machine).

    Mathematical algorithms, including crypto algorithms (whether having entered into humanity's knowledge, or still awaiting discovery), being fundamental facts of nature, would not be patentable. Physical devices which use the algorithms as a native part of their functionality would, however, be eligible for patent protection.

    Just my US$0.02...

    1. Rex Alfie Lee

      And it is only worth 2 cents...

      How ridiculous to sell the patent to the highest bidder. That would mean that the second biggest patent troll, M$ would be able to sue more than they can now. Whilst IBM may have the largest holdings they at least use them only to protect themselves, so far anyway, when they themselves get sued. Muckrakingsoft have made in infinitely clear that they will screw everybody, all in the meantime, demolishing progress.

      If the patent is owned by someone who does nothing about it over a set period then the patent with prior art becomes null & open to all to use & none will ever control that patent again.

      As for aesthetics patents, perhaps you'd like to patent stripes as well & don't forget polka dots. As for colour in the menu system & frame lining; all done before.

      As for mathematical algorithms, other than cryptos, most of these have been done before & are just an amalgamation of several to make one big one. This is also prior art.

      You didn't really think this out that well did you?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Lucky MS

    Should prove cheap for them, what's the royalty's off a few hundred Kin's :P

  6. Conrad Longmore


    What the hell is it with these zombie companies that keep coming back? There's SCO which has risen from the dead after an bodged headshot, Phorm which refuses to go down despite having all its limbs blasted off with a shotgun.. and now NTP which appears to have finished feasting on BRAAAAAAINS and is back for some more..

  7. Lance 3

    What did they innovate?

    What did Apple actually innovate with the iPhoney?

  8. David McMahon
    Jobs Horns

    Tut tut

    My invention for a flat disc that spins on the ground to aid movement of cargo and people has been stolen millions of times!

    Still Means I can get a few quid out of companies that blatantly use my design without the correct licence!

    My other invention for a substance that you "chew" with your "mouth" in order to stay alive has been stolen by approx 6-7-8 Billion people!!! When will my ideas be respected???

    Jobs nicked my idea for an antenna too, one of my less successful inventions...

    1. lpopman

      titular blah

      You know what, those patents you have there David seem vague enough to be for real. Maybe you could patent a software method too, for good measure :)

      BTW, I am currently eating a sandwich, so I think I may need a license from you to carry on, or go into a diabetic coma. Your response is most urgently required....

      1. Richard Scratcher

        Look Ma! No wires!

        I''ve not objection to David responding for your request for a licence to eat sandwiches - unless he responds wirelessly.

        I hold a patent on the fundamental technology that allows wireless licence request responses.

        I've no desire to resort to litigation but use of my intellectual property without a licence is just plain unfair.

    2. Rex Alfie Lee

      Not to mention mine...

      but I will. A series of tubes moving a source of fuel & air around the body, connected severally to a pair of air-intake chambers & a 4-chamber pump to move a viscous fluid around the body carrying the said fuel & air. I get no thanks, no money & no endorsement.

  9. Marcus Aurelius


    If I recall, NTP only became alive because RIM were claiming that they were owed royalties for things covered by NTPs patents. Further NTP initially only wanted $6m from RIM.

    It appears that RIM were entirely responsible for digging this up from the dead, and now the zombie is going after the brainzzz and the money.

    That said, I am surprised that NTPs patents didn't fail the obviousness factor.

  10. Jerome 0


    "technology on which wireless email is based"

    Wireless what now? So their "innovation" is based on taking a phone with a connection to the internet, and realising that you could use that internet connection to send emails?

    1. Rex Alfie Lee

      If not RIM, then...

      but if the previous statement blaming RIM for attempting to sue for using this medium when it was first discovered (ridiculously of course) then if you believe in patents then NTP holds the gun. If you don't then M$, IBM, NTP, RIM, Apple, Google etc basically have nothing.

  11. jake Silver badge

    Prior art?

    Look up "ALOHAnet" ... And before that, we had ship-to-shore TELEX capability (I remember TELEXing our catch estimate to the cannery in Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg, CA when I was commercial salmon fishing with my Uncle in the mid-60s ... it helped 'em get ready for out arrival, minimizing the time between ocean & can (tin to you brits) Why TELEX instead of standard ship-to-shore radio? Less room for human error in transcription.).

  12. the bat
    Thumb Down

    NTP - Not That Patent

    What the Apple and others should do is bye NTP out and then close it down with a bar on the current management from starting up similar operations.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    patents are there to protect the inventor. he's dead now. so who is now gaining? not his immediate family I'd guess.

    nope. in this case its another case of people innovating and people trying to leech. if a patent holder is MAKING things, then I'd agree with protection layer....but if they are just idea hoarders waiting until someone else has the same bright idea AND IMPLEMENTS it, then they can just sod off.

  14. Chris Donald

    Stupid troll companies..need disbanding

    Get shot of them. There's no justification in having a company merely to ruin others via the courts. So they should be made illegal, if there's no product of any kind then a judgement against them for "patent trolling" needs to be made viable. Sue THEM for attempting to cause problems for others. If a company exists just to cause court cases then it's not a valid company. Merely a rabid dog.

  15. Rex Alfie Lee

    All have prior art...

    My argument here is that all of this stuff ensues from some prior base engineering development. For it to deserve a true patent there should be a distinct boundary that delineates any prior art therefore most patents would be voic.You build a truck, the prior art comes from a wagon, comes from blocks rolling on timber to build pyramids. The engine is generations of prior art beginning with steam engines. Most patent technology is patently crap.

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