According to the Wall Street Journal NTP’s law firm received $200 million of the $615 million settlement it reached with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP took the case on a contingency basis which usually means payment comes in the form of one-third the settlement. If the case is lost the law firm doesn’t get paid, so while the payment can be higher (in this case, much higher) there is also a risk. Wiley Rein & Fielding has 250 lawyers on staff and 67 of them are partners.
The rest of the settlement has been split up amongst NTP’s other shareholders, aproximately two dozen individuals. There was no clause in the settlement that would cause a payback if the US Patent and Trademark office fully nullifies all of NTP’s infringed patents. Since all of the patents have been preliminarily rejected, it’s likely that after all appeals are finished, the patents that forced RIM’s settlement will no longer exist.