After announcing that they would “fast track” the review of NTP patents key to the NTP vs. RIM patent infringement case, the USPTO has announced that they would give NTP a 30 day extension to file a defense.
In 2003 Research in Motion was found guilty on 5 counts of patent infringement and has been entrenched in a length appeals process the may force the BlackBerry maker to pay a settlement to NTP that some analysts estimate to be over $1 billion or face being shutdown in the United States. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reviewing the patents and in an initial review and a second (but still not final) review, the USPTO has claimed the the NTP patents are invalid.
The USPTO has actually told both NTP and RIM that they fully expect the NTP patents to be invalidated on final review which complicates the separate patent infringe proceedings even further. The 30 day extension gives NTP more time to prepare their defense of their patents, however, they say that hey will not take the entire 30 days to respond. The USPTO plans to have the review process completed in the next 10 weeks.