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RIM declares another victory in patent spat

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejects patent #6,317,592, which is owned by NTP, thereby dismissing 16 claims against RIM.

BlackBerry handheld maker Research In Motion claimed a small but decisive victory in its ongoing patent litigation with Virginia-based NTP. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday rejected patent #6,317,592, which is owned by NTP. The patent was under re-examination as part of an August request by RIM to discredit NTP's patents relating to radio frequency wireless communications in e-mail systems. RIM's BlackBerry devices and messaging service enable wireless always-on access to e-mail and corporate data on portable devices.

The latest USPTO action completely dismisses all 1,921 claims contained in that patent, including the 16 claims asserted against RIM, the company said. Final rulings from the USPTO are still pending. A representative with NTP was not immediately available to comment, but the company is expected to appeal the eight initial rulings. A federal court is also reviewing appeals of a 2002 court decision finding that RIM infringed NTP patents.