Patents

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Patents

You know when I signed up for this job, no one ever said there was going to be so much patent news to cover. Yesterday I wrote about Google vs. RTI and also Yahoo! vs. Forgent Networks. Now there is news in the NTP vs. RIM case. The latest is that the USPTO will give NTP a 30-day extension to file a defense of its patents at the center of the Blackberry case.

The delay comes less than two weeks after the patent office took the unusual move of fast-tracking the NTP re-examination process because of the court case. Last week, RIM told analysts during its quarter-end conference call that the judge would have to consider the sped-up patent-office timetable before imposing the injunction.

NTP shareholder and co-founder Donald Stout said that the company's lawyers aim to get their response filed before the 30-day extension is up. "We're not trying to slow it down," he said. "Our view is, let's get on with it. We want to go as fast as possible." Stout said the company asked for the extra 30 days to allow one of its experts to help craft the response.

Even if NTP's patents are all rejected, NTP still has the right to appeal within the patent office, a process that would take until late 2006, Mr. Stout said. He says that while he expects the patents to be rejected, he believes that NTP will be vindicated when it appeals through the patent office's Board of Appeals and Interferences.
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