Between the NTP scuffle and this new one with Minerva, RIM might be able to skip all the paperwork simply by filing their patents first, according to some new changes in U.S. legal system. If all goes according to plan, patent litigations could be resolved solely based on who filed the patent first, rather than who was the first to invent the technology in question. The movement’s getting mixed reviews from industry. Big companies like RIM are in a good spot, because each devices has so many associated patents, that should even one be objected to, the entire device is mired in legal trouble. Biotech companies, which rely conversely on single patents, could see their funding diminish since the patent’s worth would only be established by review after the application.
A California company by the name of Minerva Industries is suing RIM for a two patent infringements, relating to voice memo technology, phone cameras, GPS, and video recording. In the same stroke, Minerva is also suing Motorola and slew of others. From RIM, they’re seeking 5% to 7% of wholesale revenue stretching back to 2004. It’s not exactly NTP-scale, but considering this little company is nailing 43 others with this lawsuit, it’ll be interesting to see if it can make any restitutions from the whole thing. The patents in question are here and here.