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RIM finds documents suggesting prior art in NTP dispute

Marc Perton

BlackBerry 7280In the latest twist in the ongoing RIM-NTP patent dispute, NTP has informed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that RIM has made a "prior art" claim based on books published in the late 1980s by Norwegian telecom company Telenor. The books, according to the Blackberry-maker's letter to NTP, "described to the public the mobile e-mail system sought to be claimed years later in NTP patents." Since NTP has stated that its first patent concepts were developed in 1990, the Telenor books could be considered prior art, potentially invalidating NTP's patents. Already, the USPTO has invalidated seven NTP patents, though NTP is appealing the decision. Meanwhile, RIM continues to say publicly that it is prepared to hand over the $450 million it agreed to pay NTP in its March settlement. Sounds like NTP should hurry up and take the money already.

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