NTP claims RIM “mischaracterization” of its patents

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Patent holding company NTP Inc. said on Thursday that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. had mischaracterized the validity of its patents, technology that is contested in a lawsuit which could shut down the BlackBerry e-mail service in the United States. With a U.S. court set to consider NTP’s request for an injunction on Friday, NTP said RIM’s assertions that patents have been invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are “flatly wrong.”

It said the review is the first step in a lengthy reexamination process and initial determinations are subject to review by the patent office’s appeals unit and the federal court system.

“Since the federal court system has the final “say” in the matter, RIM’s assertions that the patents have been invalidated are flatly wrong,” NTP said.

The Patent and Trademark Office issued a final rejection of one of the five disputed patents owned by NTP on Wednesday. That is another step in a process that RIM hopes will allow it to keep operating its U.S. service.

NTP also noted several “irregularities” from the patent office. It said the office ignored the Court of Appeals’ legal rulings, for example, and is using an overly broad interpretation for the meaning of NTP claims.

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