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NTP sues Apple, Google, Microsoft, over patents
Category : General 10 Jul 2010 07:09 AM | Industry News
NTP filed a lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia against Apple, Google, HTC Corp. (HTCXF, 2498.TW), LG Electronics Inc. (066570.SE), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Motorola Inc. (MOT) over eight patents related to the wireless delivery of email to cellphones.
NTP was founded by Thomas Campana, an inventor, and Don Stout, a lawyer. Campana worked on wireless e-mail technology in the early 1990s, but never commercialized the technology. He died in 2004.
In the aftermath of the RIM settlement, NTP's patents have been re-examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and many of their claims have been thrown out. But three of the 10 claims that RIM were found to have infringed were upheld, said Stout, NTP's president.
Although NTP holds patents, it does not manufacture any products, but licenses its patents to technology companies and uses aggressive legal tactics to intimidate those that use its patents without paying license fees.
Its biggest success came in 2006 when it managed to get a one time out-of-court settlement of $612.5 million from RIM for infringing the same patents that it is now suing the six smartphone makers.