NTP scores legal victory in patent case, report says

The technology patent company which won a settlement from Research In Motion notches another win as a court validates seven of its patents. The patents are being used in suits against several smartphone players.

NTP, the patent company that successfully forced a settlement from Research In Motion over wireless e-mail technology, has gotten the nod from an appeals court on the validity of its patents used in lawsuits against several other smartphone players.

RIM was the first to settle with NTP five years ago, but it may not be the last. Research In Motion

Bloomberg reported today that a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that seven of NTP's e-mail-related patents remain valid and enforceable, and ordered the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reconsider a recent ruling that called them invalid. The court upheld the ruling on an eighth patent found to be invalid.

The patents are being used by NTP, which makes its money extracting licensing fees from companies, in patent infringement lawsuits against Apple, Google, Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Yahoo, and T-Mobile USA. The cases have been on hold pending the review of the patent offerings, Bloomberg said.

The patents are defined as a way to send information, such as e-mail, through a radio frequency wireless network, which could be broadly applied.

NTP sued RIM in 2001, and in 2006 the two companies came to a settlement to avoid the shutdown of the BlackBerry e-mail system.

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