BlackBerry quash: Final rejection for NTP patent

by admin February 23, 2006 at 10:21 am

One of five binned… but appeal on the cards so don’t start cheering yet…

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a final rejection of one of the five patents at issue in NTP’s long-running case against BlackBerry maker RIM.

The final rejection was posted on the USPTO’s website for the NTP-held patent, which covers a system for sending emails over a wireless network to a mobile device. The USPTO has already issued non-final actions rejecting the claims in four out of the five NTP patents in question but a final rejection is required before the appeals process can begin.

Contacted on Wednesday, NTP’s lead counsel, James Wallace of Wiley, Rein & Fielding, said he had not reviewed the final action and therefore could not comment. NTP has the right to appeal any final rejection notice to a three-judge panel at the USPTO, and can file further appeals at the federal-court level.

RIM issued a statement confirming it had received the final action and said it expects the rejections to withstand future NTP appeals.

NTP, a patent-holding company, successfully sued RIM for patent infringement and won an injunction, stayed pending appeal, to halt most sales of RIM’s BlackBerry wireless email device and service in the US.

While the case has worked its way through the court system, the USPTO began re-examining the validity of NTP’s patents.

NTP has said it plans see the full re-examination process through, which could take years, because it has the ability to appeal the decisions through the courts.

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