Skip to main content

NTP Sues Apple, Google, Microsoft and More Over Wireless Email

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Back in 2006 privately-held patent holding company NTP nearly brought Canada’s Research in Motion and it’s popular BlackBerry platform to its knees, suing the company for infringing on patents related to wireless email. RIM played chicken with NTP in court for five years, narrowly avoiding having to shut down BlackBerry service on several occasions…then finally knuckling under and agreeing at the last moment to settle with NTP for over $612 million.

Now, NTP is back, and it’s suing Apple, Google, Microsoft, LG, HTC, and Motorola for violating NTP patents covering delivery of email over wireless communications systems. The lawsuit covers eight patents held by NTP

“Use of NTP’s intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees,” wrote NTP co-founder Donald Stout, in a statement. “Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless email is based, Tom Campana, and NTP shareholders are recognized, and are fairly and reasonably compensated for their innovative work and investment.”

The years since NTP’s court victory over RIM have been spent shoring up its patent portfolio, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office re-examined in the wake of the RIM litigation. Despite what NTP characterizes as a “massive effort” by the USPTO to invalidate the patents, the USPTO Board of Patent Appeals found that 67 of NTP’s patent claims in four patents were valid, including three claims that RIM was found to have infringed during its legal entanglement with NTP. So armed, NTP is now targeting other companies that deliver email to mobile devices.

NTP has broadly been characterized as a patent troll in technology media; however, the company claims it has had no choice but to resort to litigation.

“The filing of suit today is necessary to ensure that those companies who are infringing NTP’s patents will be required to pay a licensing fee,” Stout continued. “In view of the USPTO Board’s ruling, the debate over whether Mr. Campana was an originator in the field of wireless email is over. No patents in U.S. history have received as much scrutiny as NTP’s patents.”

RIM now licenses NTP’s patents.

Perhaps has interesting as the list of companies NTP is suing are the list of companies who are not being sued by NTP—at least not yet. Those include the world’s largest cell phone maker Nokia, as well as other technology giants like Samsung.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
Google is killing your passwords, and security experts are (mostly) happy
Logging into a Google account with passkeys on an iPhone.

Google is inching closer to making passwords obsolete. The solution is called "Passkeys," a unique form of password that is stored locally on your phone or PC, just the way a physical security key works. The passkeys are protected behind a layer of authentication, which can be your fingerprint or face scan — or just an on-screen pattern or PIN.

Passkeys are faster, linked across platforms, and save you the hassle of remembering passwords for websites or services that you have subscribed to. There is a smaller scope for human error, and the risks of 2-factor authentication code interception are also reduced.

Read more
Apple’s new Lightning to USB-C adapter costs more than just buying a USB-C cable
Apple Store listing for an Apple Lightning to USB-C adapter cable.

I don't think the iPhone 15's transition to USB-C is going to be all that painful. Yes, the Lightning plug has found its way to every corner of the world, and you're just as likely to find one to charge up your phone as you are any other cable when you're desperate for some juice, but we can't discount just how many USB-C chargers, cables, and accessories there are out in the world already. This is going to go just fine.

But you can always count on Apple to take advantage of switching standards with some hilariously priced -- and borderline pointless -- adapters to ease the transition for people who don't know any better but to click a few extra buttons and purchase official accessories when they're buying their latest device. Enter Apple's USB-C to Lightning adapter, which is conveniently already available on the Apple Store.

Read more
Apple may face ‘severe’ iPhone 15 shortage over production issue, report says
The Apple logo on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Hoping to get your hands on an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max when the new phones come out in the fall? Well, you may be in for a wait.

Apple is experiencing production issues caused by a new manufacturing process designed to significantly reduce the size of the bezel around the display, according to a report from The Information on Thursday.

Read more