USPTO Rejects NTP Patent Infringement Claims Against RIM

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Research In Motion confirmed that it received a copy today of an initial ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) in the Director-initiated inter partes reexamination of NTP, Inc. Patent #6,317,592. As previously reported by RIM in its press release on August 2, 2005, this patent contains five claims that are the subject of RIM’s pending appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

All 665 claims in this NTP patent were unanimously rejected by a panel of three senior patent examiners in the initial ruling. The USPTO ruling cited a variety of reasons including the TeleNor prior art submitted recently by RIM, as well as RIM’s own single mailbox integration patent (#6,219,694) which was determined by the USPTO to have been invented prior to the NTP patent filing.

The USPTO has now issued initial rulings in the reexaminations of all eight NTP patents relating to the NTP vs. RIM litigation and has rejected 100% of the 1,921 claims contained in those patents, including the 16 claims asserted against RIM. Final rulings from the USPTO are still pending and NTP is expected to appeal the eight initial rulings.