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Palm Slapped With Patent Suit

NTP goes after another handheld maker.

NTP has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in a Virginia federal district court against Palm (PALM) .

NTP said Monday it is asserting that Palm's products, services, systems and processes infringe NTP's patents. Its complaint seeks injunctive relief to prevent Palm from continuing to infringe on NTP's patents directly and indirectly.

In addition, the complaint seeks the recovery of monetary damages resulting from Palm's past direct and indirect infringement of these patents.

NTP said the complaint concerns Palm's manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, and/or importation into the U.S. of infringing products, methods, processes, services and systems that are primarily used or primarily adapted for use in electronic mail systems with radio frequency communications to mobile processors and related services, and methods.

Donald E. Stout, NTP's co-founder, said, "We have attempted -- on numerous occasions -- to resolve this issue with Palm without resorting to litigation that is both time consuming and costly. Despite our efforts, Palm has chosen to continue to unlawfully infringe on our patents. Though we would still prefer to resolve this issue with Palm in a negotiated license agreement that is fair and reasonable to both parties, we are filing action today as a last resort to protect our valuable intellectual property."

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Shares of Palm were recently off $1.07, or 6.9%, to $14.34.

NTP is no stranger to patent suits. In March,

Research In Motion


agreed to pay $612 million to NTP to settle a long-running legal face-off.

NTP had said RIM's BlackBerry service infringed on its intellectual property, and federal courts had largely agreed while prodding the companies to settle. NTP and RIM reached a tentative settlement for $450 million last year, but NTP walked away, saying final terms were never reached.