More on RIM-NTP

17 Dec ’05

Lots of activity in this case over the last few days. RIM has requested that the U.S. Supreme Court hear its appeal from the Federal Circuit’s decision against it on the relay server jurisdiction issue, and YANPHBTO (yet another NTP patent has been tossed out – OK, call it a ‘non-final rejection’ that the USPTO has said is very likely final – a ‘very probably final non-final rejection’?). Sander Gelsing has the details.

As well, dates have now been set for the next round of the infringement hearing – from Patent Prospector:

Meanwhile, on Friday, infringement litigation presiding district court Judge Spencer, following his word of not waiting for re-exam results, ordered NTP & RIM to submit briefs by January 17 regarding damages and a possible injunction to shut down infringing Blackberry wireless email service. The parties will then have until February 1 to submit final briefs responding to each other’s first briefs. “I would guess that the hearing would be about a week after (the final briefs are filed),” NTP lawyer James Wallace mused.

“Mused”? He’s certainly not RIM’s muse.

Update: The seemingly accelerated pace of the USPTO’s re-examination is not coincidental. From the WSJ:

The patent office’s move to speed its re-examination of the NTP patents may bolster RIM’s position. Earlier this fall, Judge Spencer refused RIM’s request to halt the case pending the patent office rulings, saying the rulings would take more than a few months and he didn’t want to stall the case for that long.

Now, people close to the company say RIM is encouraged because the patent office appears to be addressing the judge’s concerns about timing. In a ruling this week denying an NTP request for a delay, the patent office said that “given the District Court’s concerns” and “the outstanding public interest in ensuring that these proceedings are handled with special dispatch,” it has assigned a “dedicated examining team” to the re-examination of the NTP patents.

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