I do not know if this is prior art or not, but I haven't heard of anyone on this board mentioning it before. If all of these eyes were not aware, then there is a remote chance the RIMM legal team is not aware.
Better to be safe than sorry so a friend of RIMM has had your message forwarded to them.
I have not seen the N.Y. Times article, but this case should indeed send shivers through Corporate America.
Putting it simply, if the PTO issues a patent even in error, a company using the technology can be sued to the n'th degree and even put out of business. All because of a PTO error. Someone got out of bed on the wrong side one morning or their spouse had a headache and they were pissed off or not thinking clearly.
Not the Judge's place to question that PTO action he says. Patent issued. Period. End of case. Settle or else.
Yes, there should be anxiety in corporate America.
Matters not whether in this particular case the NTP patents are legit. Doesn't matter according to the Judge. They were granted and haven't been cancelled yet, therefore guilty.
Gives the PTO a lot of power and responsibility and even puts them above the law and more powerful than the Judges. Ouch! Wake up call time.
These people (NTP and Telefind before them) were so clusless as to the state of the art that they weren't even able to evaluate it in 1991, much less advance it. If they weren't so incoherent and obscure in their initial filing disclosure it would be a lot easire to show that they were retarding rather than advancing wireless network systems.
Their initial patent disclosure is defective in not disclosing literally thousands of publications detailing methods, systems and devices practicing equivalent or superior art long before their "inventions."
RIM should have and perhaps still could offer a reward for anyone who finds prior art.
Say a million dollars (ten million dollars?, one hundred million dollars?) for the first person to tell them about prior art which invalidates the patents. Then post news of the reward in every newsgroup and advertise in every magazine they can find that is related. They would get lots of cranks but with the amount of money at stake here now they could afford to hire people to screen the wheat from the chaff. They are located in Waterloo and the place is crawling with math, science and engineering students who could be hired to do initial screening. Or you could outsource the screening to some of those thousands of engineering graduates in India we keep hearing about.