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November 07, 2006

NTP - RIMM Down, Palm To Go

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/07/2006 05:10:00 PM
NTP is setting its sights on Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq PALM) now, goes to show that today, patents are more important than ever, after winning against Research in Motion Limited (USA) (Nasdaq RIMM). NTP filed a lawsuit yesterday. RIMM had to shell out $612.5 million to get out of jail. Why sue Palm? It's market cap of $1.5 billion is miniscule compared to RIMM and it has just $527 million in cash. If NTP got a similar settlement from Palm, Palm would be in deep trouble.

NTP is back in lawsuit mode. The company, which forced BlackBerry maker RIM to settle the patent lawsuit between the two earlier this year, said it is suing Palm. It alleges that Palm's products, services, systems and processes violate NTP's wireless email technology. The suit seeks to bar Palm from "continuing to infringe on NTP's patents" and requests monetary damages for the alleged past infringements. Interestingly, the patent infringement centers on seven patents, five of which were part of NTP's lawsuit against RIM.

It's the email patent again.
The Complaint concerns Palm's manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, and/or importation into the U.S. of infringing products, methods, processes, services and systems that are primarily used or primarily adapted for use in electronic mail systems with radio frequency (RF) communications to mobile processors and related services, and methods.
NTP has an interesting history according to Wikipedia. Note the last sentence that NTP owns a stake in Visto. Rather than suing for cash, could this be a ploy to get Palm to buy Visto?
NTP, Inc. is a Virginia-based patent holding company, founded in 1992 by the late inventor Thomas J. Campana Jr. and Donald E. Stout. The company's primary asset is a portfolio of 50 US patents[1] and additional pending US and international patent applications. These patents and patent applications disclose inventions in the fields of wireless email and RF Antenna design. The named inventors include Andrew Andros and Thomas Campana. About one half of the US patents were originally assigned to Telefind Corporation, a Florida-based company (now out of business) partly owned by Campana.[2]

NTP also owns an equity stake in mobile email start up company Visto.

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