Despite the $612.5 million patent infringement settlement between NTP and RIM in 2006, there have remained ongoing reexaminations making their way through the reexamination and appeal process at the USPTO. On November 10, The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) affirmed final rejections relating to two reexaminations of NTP (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,819,172 and 6,317,592).
As brief background, the reexamination of the NTP patents began during the litigation between NTP v. RIM. The reexaminations continued at the USPTO in parallel with the then ongoing, and now infamous, litigation. However, the co-pending litigation continued on to the settlement, narrowly avoiding a disruption of RIM’s business in the U.S via court imposed injunction.
The BPAI decisions are uncharacteristically voluminous, spanning some 300 pages. The BPAI soundly rejected several NTP positions, and was able to affirm the rejection of the claims in both NTP patents on appeal. The remaining patents of the RIM case are also on appeal, with decisions very likely forthcoming in the near term (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,067,451; 5,625,670; and 5,436,960).