NTP sues Apple, Google, and other smartphone makers

The company accuses six companies of infringing its patents related to email delivery over wireless communications systems

Patent holding company NTP, which received a $612.5 million settlement from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion in a patent infringement case, has filed patent lawsuits against six makers of smartphones or related software, including Apple and Google.

NTP, based in Richmond, Va., also filed patent lawsuits Thursday against Microsoft, LG Electronics, HTC, and Motorola in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the company announced Friday.

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NTP accused the six companies of violating eight patents related to the delivery of email over wireless communications systems.

"Use of NTP's intellectual property without a license is just plain unfair to NTP and its licensees," Donald Stout, NTP's co-founder, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, litigation is our only means of ensuring the inventor of the fundamental technology on which wireless email is based, Tom Campana, and NTP shareholders are recognized, and are fairly and reasonably compensated for their innovative work and investment."

In addition to RIM, NTP has licensing agreements with Good Technology, Nokia, and Visto, the company said in a press release.

Representatives of HTC and Motorola had no comment on the lawsuits. Representatives of the other four companies facing lawsuits didn't have immediate comments or didn't immediately respond to a request for comments.

NTP has sued several other companies for patent infringement, including Verizon Communications, AT&T, and Sprint Nextel in 2007.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantusG. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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