NTP wins extension to defend patents

Dec 30 2005 - 02:25 PM ET | Research In Motion

NTP won a 30-day extension to file a defense to patents disputed by Research In Motion (maker of the BlackBerry) and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). So far all of the allegedly infringed patents held by NTP have not held up to initial review from the USPTO.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the extension:

The delay gives NTP lawyers more time to respond to the patent office's rejection of some of its patent claims, which are key to a court dispute that could lead to the shutdown of BlackBerry wireless email service in the U.S. But a patent-office spokesman said the delay won't slow down the re-examination process, which he said is still expected to be completed within six to 10 weeks.

The US District Court judge overseeing the main lawsuit between NTP and RIM has been trying to speed the case along despite serious doubts that the infringed patents will stay legitimate. A hearing in February will determine if RIM will need to cease BlackBerry sales or begin using alternate technology while the case completes.