Apple, it seems, is involved in yet another lawsuit. Along with Google, HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola and Microsoft, Apple is facing a lawsuit from the very litigious patent people at NTP Corp. As it turns out, NTP is targeting the world's leading mobile phone makers regarding - you guessed it - patents. NTP alleges that all six companies are willfully and wrongfully infringing on their patent for delivering e-mail messages to mobile devices.
Having previously targeted Research In Motion, this is NTP's biggest legal endeavor thus far, claiming that eight patents in all are involved in the latest suit. It isn't yet clear, however, if the intellectual property holding company will prove as successful in this endeavor as it was against RIM, when NTP won better than $600 million in damages.
"Use of NTP's intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees," company co-founder Donald E. Stout told the Wall Street Journal in a prepared statement. "We took the necessary action to protect our intellectual property." NTP, a privately owned company, holds a boatload of patents, but it doesn't actually produce any physical products.
If you've noticed these types of lawsuits are becoming commonplace, you're correct in your observation. As the Journal noted:
Legal tactics increasingly have become common among technology players looking to defend their turf, intimidate competitors or extract an additional revenue stream through a forced licensing agreement.