NTP Inc., best-known for getting a settlement from Research In Motion over email technology, is shifting its legal sights to a number of smartphone makers Google.
NTP, which holds a number of patents but doesn’t manufacture any products, filed a lawsuit on Thursday in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia against Google, HTC, LG and Motorola over eight patents related to the wireless delivery of email.
Mobile email has become essential for wireless companies whose latest smartphones are more like mini computers and include everything from Web surfing to games.
More on NTP: NTP, Inc. is a Virginia-based patent holding company founded in 1992 by the late inventor Thomas J. Campana Jr. and Donald E. Stout. The company’s primary asset is a portfolio of 50 US patents and additional pending US and international patent applications. These patents and patent applications disclose inventions in the fields of wireless email and RF Antenna design. The named inventors include Andrew Andros and Thomas Campana. About half of the US patents were originally assigned to Telefind Corporation, a Florida-based company (now out of business) partly owned by Campana.
NTP has been characterized as a patent troll because it aggressively enforces its patent rights to the point of getting an injunction to shut down infringers who refuse to take a license, even though they do not, themselves, practice their patents. The most notable case was against Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry mobile email system.
NTP also owns an equity stake in mobile email start up company Visto.