August 11, 2008
Business as Usual
The hoary adage "where there's smoke, there's fire" seems to apply. Law.com reported on USPTO favoritism for RIM and against NTP during their lawsuit, with apparent continuing punishment of NTP by malign neglect.
Only five business days after NTP sent in its 128-page reply brief on the re-exam of one key patent, the PTO issued a 121-page final rejection. That happened just hours before the scheduled district court hearing that day on the injunction -- thus allowing RIM to argue in court that no injunction should be issued for invalid claims.
NTP wrestled a $612.5 million settlement from RIM despite the static.
Now, NTP is suing Palm, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, and Sprint-Nextel with the same patents, which are under re-exam.
But this round of suits isn't getting very far. All have been stayed, pending the resolution of the re-exam appeals.
All of the NTP appeals were filed at the BPAI by January 2008, but to date only one of NTP's eight patents has even received a docketing number. "That's what's so pernicious about re-exams," laments NTP president Donald Stout. "The patent life wastes while the PTO does nothing." In July, NTP filed a lawsuit against PTO director Jon Dudas, alleging that the BPAI has exercised a "pocket veto" over the re-exams by its inaction, and asking the district court to force Dudas to take action on the appeals.
The Law.com article, with more eyebrow-raising material, is crucial entertainment for watchers of the USPTO integrity death dance.
Posted by Patent Hawk at August 11, 2008 10:38 PM | The Patent Office
A January appeal and people are surprised that they haven't been docketed yet? Just look at the lag times for reexam appeals. Eight months is nothing. Try four years. http://271patent.blogspot.com/2008/05/another-critical-study-on-inter-partes.html
Posted by: T at August 12, 2008 3:34 AM