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RIM nemesis slaps patent suit on Apple, Google, Microsoft...

NTP. They're baaaack

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NTP, the patent-holding firm that tortured Research in Motion (RIM) throughout the middle of the past decade is at it again. This time, its targets are Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, and Motorola.

"Use of NTP's intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees," wrote NTP co-founder Donald Stout when revealing the suit on Friday. "Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless email is based, Tom Campana, and NTP shareholders are recognized, and are fairly and reasonably compensated for their innovative work and investment."

Apparently, NTP has spent all of that $613m settlement they received from RIM back in 2006, are in need of a new cash infusion. Not that they've been dormant in the ensuing years — NTP sued Palm in 2006 and AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless in 2007.

The Richmond, VirginIa company makes no bones about their reason for existence. The aforementioned announcement of the suit notes that: "NTP is best known for its long litigation and eventual settlement with Research in Motion (RIM), maker of BlackBerry wireless devices." NTP doesn't manufacture anything. It merely holds patents and sues companies.

The eight patents in question relate to wireless email delivery, and are among the 50 granted to NTP co-founder Tom Campana during his career. Unfortunately, The Reg can't ask Campana for his opinion of his company's latest lawsuit. He died in 2004.

Referring to a ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office's Board of Patent Appeals in favor of NTP's patent rights, Stout noted: "In view of the USPTO Board's ruling, the debate over whether Mr. Campana was an originator in the field of wireless email is over. No patents in US history have received as much scrutiny as NTP's patents."

To those scrutinizers will now be added the legal teams of Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, and Motorola. ®

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