Four years after its noteworthy $612 million intellectual property settlement with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, NTP is at it yet again, this time suing six of the industry's top cell phone makers for patent infringement.
According to CNET News, NTP filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Apple, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, HTC and LG Electronics. The suit alleges technology used in the defendants' devices violates eight NTP patents addressing the delivery of e-mail over a wireless network.
Granted, this isn't NTP's first suit since the RIM settlement. The company has also targeted the likes of Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Palm. The behavior has earned NTP a "patent troll' label, writer Marguerite Reardon says.
Not surprisingly, company officials disagree. CNET quotes NTP co-founder Donald Stout this way:
Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless e-mail is based, Tom Campana, and NTP shareholders are recognized, and are fairly and reasonably compensated for their innovative work and investment. We took the necessary action to protect our intellectual property.
The claims asserted in the new lawsuit appear to be the same claims that were validated in the RIM litigation.