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NTP sues Apple, Google and others over wireless mail patents

updated 09:15 am EDT, Fri July 9, 2010

NTP claims BlackBerry suit validates Apple claims

NTP today said it has sued Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Motorola for allegedly infringing eight patents for wireless e-mail. Filed yesterday in an Eastern District of Virginia court, the lawsuit claims that their creations of smartphones or mobile operating systems with e-mail support, such Android and the iPhone, are violations of wireless e-mail technology it claims to have invented. The plaintiff claimed it was spurred on by its winning a lawsuit against RIM, which it managed only after the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected some, though not all, of its patent claims.

The other rejections are being appealed, NTP said, although it didn't say for certain if it would use these to expand its lawsuits or to sue companies again.

NTP has been informally badged as a "patent troll" as, like other companies with the same label, it characterizes itself as an intellectual property holding firm that doesn't actually use the patents it holds for any shipping product. It instead relies on lawsuits and forcing royalty payments to generate its income and has already pressed for deals not only with RIM but also Nokia, Good Technology and Visto.

Such strategies are currently legal under US law, though both the USPTO and advocates have been pressing for patent reform that would block patents for obvious or inevitable technology, which in the long term could potentially undo NTP's only business model. Also, a lawsuit against Palm has stalled in court and may become difficult now that Palm can rely on HP to help in its legal defense.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ha ha

    this makes me laugh

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Patent Violations?

    I can't see how these phones would be violating any possible patents. They are using already established public protocols to handle their email. It would be like suing these companies because their computers are connected to the Internet using a red Ethernet cable instead of a yellow one.

    RIM was a bit different since they use a centralized email server that gathered individual's email and then pushed it out to the various phones. But, these companies are doing nothing different that a laptop computer connected to a WiFi network or a 3G cellular modem would be doing.

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    all 'mobile mails' come under this patent?? Simply stupid!
    All they are doing, is using the internet just like anyone alse, accessing email via normal protocols like IMAP, ActiveSync and SMTP.

    If they have a patent that blocks this, that's a very broad one!

  1. facebook_Ben Ford

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Patent reform is a fraud on America

    "pressing for patent reform that would block patents for obvious or inevitable technology"

    Without a strong patent system where patents are affordable, timely, and reliably enforceable no technologies will be "inevitable".

    Patent reform is a fraud on America. It is patently un-American.
    Please see for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Patent Violations?

    I can't see how these phones would be violating any possible patents.

    Well, apparently the court in the RIM case thought differently.

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