NTP, Inc., a Virginia-based patent holding company, means business as they filed law suits against six major companies last Thursday. NTP claims that Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, and Motorola owe NTP licensing fees for patent infringement.
The suits were filed last Thursday afternoon in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia. The specific requests of NTP were not revealed. The patents in question involve technology used to e-mail over wireless connections.
Donald Stoudt, a lawyer, and Thomas Campana, the technology inventor, founded NTP in 1992. They filed several patents for Campana’s technologies. Campana died in 2004, but Donald Stoudt is still alive to represent NTP. Stoudt commented on the law suit. He said, “Use of NTP’s intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees. We took the necessary action to protect our intellectual property.”
This is not the first law suit that NTP has filed in recent years. Research in Motion (RIM) , the maker of BlackBerry devices, was also accused of patent infringement in 2001 for the same patents that are currently in question now. The suit process went on for years until finally RIM agreed to settle for three of the ten claims NTP made. The other seven were deemed invalid by the U.S. Patent Office. RIM paid $612.5 million in settlement fees to NTP.
Stoudt said, “No patents in U.S. History have received as much scrutiny as NTP’s patents.” Stoudt commented that he hopes none of the trials with the six companies go to trial.
[Photo courtesy of cmgdaytonseenandoverheard.]