RIM has proposed paying NTP an undisclosed amount of money to temporarily stay the case to let the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office finish a review of the disputed patents. NTP as expected has turned down that proposal, seeing how the USPTO has already rejected some of the disputed patents.
It’s little wonder that RIM is eager to delay the case to await the Patent Office review. Under RIM’s urging, the feds began reviewing NTP’s patents two years ago. In preliminary reviews, all of the eight NTP patents initially discussed in the trial have been rejected. Given these early findings, it’s clearly in RIM’s interest to delay until patent officials complete their work.
At stake is an ultimate opinion on whether NTP’s patents are valid, and thus whether RIM is liable for infringing them. But the judge hearing the case has shown little inclination to wait for the Patent Office’s determination. It could take the office weeks or even months to issue its final decision. Even then, NTP can appeal any verdict to an appeals panel within the office, and then to federal courts.