NTP, which claims to have founded the technology of which wireless emails are based, has filed lawsuits against Apple, Google, HTC Corp, LG Electronics, Microsoft Corporation, and Motorola, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for allegedly infringing NTP’s eight patents related to the delivery of electronic mail over wireless communications systems.
As you may have noticed, each of the companies who are being sued manufacture or develop wireless handheld devices or software used to deliver email on mobile devices.
NTP has a reputation for being a patent troll. NTP is known for its patent litigation and eventual settlement with Research in Motion over similar wireless email patents. RIM agreed to pay NTP $612 million to settle all pending claims in 2005.
Founded in 1992 by the late inventor Thomas J. Campana Jr. and Donald E. Stout, NTP has a a portfolio of 50 US patents that mainly relate to the areas of wireless email and RF Antenna design. While the company has apparently licensed its mobile email patents to Visto, Nokia, Good Technology and RIM, NTP has also filed filed patent infringement lawsuits against AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, which seem to still be pending.
The lawsuit draws comparisons to Wi-LAN’s suit against every major mobile device manufacturer over blue tooth technology. Of course, NTP’s lawsuit will just be added to the growing stack of patent suits that companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft face from patent trolls.