Do a quick search here on RIMarkable for NTP and you will find now less than 4 dozen posts detailing the biggest patent infringement case in U.S. history. We thought that our days of talking about NTP were behind us when RIM settled with the patent holding firm back in 2006 for $612.5 million, however, as Al Sacco from CIO.com points out, the RIM / NTP patent case has taken a turn.
One of the things that we always said back when RIM was facing an injunction against operating in the U.S. was the no matter what the court ruled, BlackBerry service wasn’t going to be shut down. It was way too important to U.S. business and especially the U.S. government. “Something will get figured out” is what we used to say. What we didn’t know was just how close to the truth that may have been.
NTP wants more information on agreements struck between Research in Motion and the U.S. Government back in 2005 after RIM’s legal team reached out to the DoJ to see if they could convince them that keeping BlackBerry service up and running was of public interest.
In November of 2005, the DoJ did intervene filing a statement of interest in the NTP / RIM case and it is rumored that RIM and the U.S. government actually struck a deal of common interest before they did. NTP didn’t find out about this deal until after the settlement in 2006, and they now want more information on that reported deal.
To make a long story short, NTP feels that if they would have know that they U.S. government was going to keep RIM up and running no matter what, they probably would have been able to get a bigger settlement.
I wonder how many more years this case will stick around?