Rumors continue to fly regarding reexamination of NTP’s patents and alleged misdeeds at the PTO. Calling it “BlackBerryGate,” professor Hal Wegner notes that the allegations reach both PTO administration and into the Department of Commerce.
Although third-party communications in an ex parte reexamination is strictly forbidden, NTP has accused PTO officials of holding covert meetings with RIM officials, including RIM’s CEO and Canadian counsel. According to the PTO, those meetings had nothing to do with the five ongoing NTP reexaminations. However, it is clear that RIM was hoping to exert political pressure on the PTO, that the NTP reexamination were undertaken with record speed, and that rejections of NTPs patents were issued just before a critical hearing in the litigation between those two companies.
Of course, NTP has an incentive to fight the messenger — it only has weak direct arguments against the asserted prior arts. NTP’s position is also weakened by its odd argument that the cited prior art is not good evidence based on a forensic analysis that asserts document tampering.
Crouch’s Comments — NTP’s filings do not present any hard evidence of PTO wrongdoing. However, we all hope that the Office will come through with clear evidence that there were no improper contacts or pressure.
- NTP’s Allegations (8 MB) Check out pp 74+ and also pp 61 – 74.
- BlackBerryGate by Hal Wegner
- Patent Prospector by Patent Hawk
- Time Article by Daren Fonda.
- IP-360 Article (available through e-mail).
- DowJones Article by Stuart Weinberg.