If the name NTP sounds familiar, it's probably because the company sued RIM about ten years back and, after a lengthy legal battle, won a $612 million settlement from the Canadian smartphone company. That little legal melee was the result of RIM's infringement on wireless email patents owned by NTP. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that RIM had willfully infringed on NTP's patents and in the process, had cost the company about $30 million. Things went back and forth with appeals and the like for about five or six years until RIM and NTP settled the matter themselves.
Now, the smartphone market is a lot more than RIM these days, and with every Joe and Jane accessing wireless email, NTP has found reason to complain. The company this week filed suit against six major players in the smartphone market for patent infringement relating to wireless email.
Filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the lawsuit involves some really huge names, so you can imagine how messy it's going to get. Engadget's Nilay Patel points out the fact that Apple and Microsoft are completely fine with cross licensing and cooperating in the patent space. Throw in Google, HTC, Motorola and LG and you've got a mighty fine legal battle on your hands.