In news that has to put at least a little bit of a smile on Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis’ faces, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Donald Stout, who co-founded NTP with Tom Campana (now deceased) in 1992, is being sued over the patents used to take $612 million dollars from RIM.
The tale is a sordid one. According to the article, NTP’s patents that made its infringement case against RIM actually came out of a bankruptcy ruling from a company called Telefind. Stout served as Telefind’s patent attorney and thus had an intimate knowledge of the IP.
Telefind’s founder, Andy Andros, worked with Campana and the pair put their IP into the hands of Telefind. But when the company fell into hard times and declared bankruptcy, Andros allegedly schemed with Campana to testify that the potentially valuable patents belonged to Campana and were not Telefind property that could be seized by a creditor.
However only during the latest legal battle with RIM, a decade later, documents to the contrary came to light. Andros is now deceased but his family argues that Stout and Campana effectively stole control of the patents, now worth a staggering $600 million. The family is now involved in a lawsuit to get a cut of the winnings.
Zany stuff isn’t it? Just goes to show that you get what you deserve, eventually.