NTP Inc., has filed lawsuit against six of the biggest players if the industry namely Google, HTC, LG Electronics, Apple, Microsoft and Motorola. NTP has accused these companies for patent infringement of eight of its patents. These patents are related to the delivery of electronic mail over wireless communication. The co-founder of NTP, Donald E Stout says that using NTP’d “intellectual property” without being licensed and recognized from NTP is not only unfair to the company but to the inventor of the technology as well. He adds that litigation is the only way by which the deserving get their recognition and compensation for their contribution to humanity. NTP describes Tom Campana to be the inventor of wireless technology. Tom Campana is also a founder of NTP.
Founded in 1992 by late Thomas J Campana Jr and Donald E Stout, is a patent holding company based in Virginia. The company maintains a portfolio of 50 US patents and is still pending patent applications from US and abroad.
NTP is known for its strict and aggressive attitude towards those who use its patents without license. It has shut down infringers who refused to take license for using the patents in their technology. A very famous case was the one NTP filed again Research In Motion (RIM) for using their patents illegally to create BlackBerry mobile email system. The case was filed in 2001 in which NTP accused Blackberry for infringing nine of its patents for wireless email. It was a long struggle before BlackBerry finally agreed to make a one-time payment of $612.5 million to continue providing its wireless mobile email service.
Right after this case was over the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began a re-examination of NTP’s patents. It approved 67 patents, including three that RIM had infringed. NTP claims that they succeeded despite USPTO’s efforts to overturn NTP’s patents.
At present, in addition to Research In Motion, NTP has a licensed agreement with Nokia, Visto and Good Technology for its wireless email patents. And now after such a long war NTP is in for another battle.
Up until now none of the accused companies have provided the media with any sort of statement. , HTC, LG, Apple, Microsoft and Motorola all have gained a good position for their mobile phones recently. While Apple is high in the market with its iphone, Google has been gaining attention with its Android operating system for mobile phones as well. It has not only introduced its own smart-phones but other smart-phone manufacturers, such as Motorola, HTC and LG, have also introduced phones based on Android operating system.
For Apple this might not be a big issue considering the cases it has been involved in relating patent infringement. One is with HTC that is supposed to be resolved in mid 2012. Another is with a company base in Taiwan known as Elan Microelectronics regarding a patent for multi-touch technology featured in iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, MacBook and magic mouse.
As far as other companies are concerned, nothing much can be said until they comment on the issue.