Stories from the IP Law & Business August issue are online (free registration required).
Poor Little Rich Kid: Patent-holding company NTP became famous when Research In Motion (RIM), facing the possibility of a court-ordered shutdown of its BlackBerry service, coughed up $612 million to settle NTP's lawsuit. Now NTP, founded by patent lawyer Donald Stout, wants to repeat that win; it has sued AT&T, Palm, T-Mobile, Sprint-Nextel and Verizon for patent infringement. But getting its next patent paycheck will be more difficult. Its patents are caught up in re-exams at the Patent Office, and NTP says it isn't getting a fair shake there—it has filed FOIA requests to prove what it calls improper meddling by RIM.
Red Hat's New Sheriff: Richard Fontana, a lawyer who was instrumental in crafting the third version of the most popular copyleft license at the Software Freedom Law Center, recently moved to Red Hat, where he got busy fighting off a lawsuit brought by holding companies FireStar and DataTern. Now the company has reached a settlement it says will protect not just downstream customers but upstream developers as well. We talk to him about his roundabout path to Red Hat, what it's like to be Richard Stallman's IP counsel, and how open source companies can tangle with patent trolls.
Not Extinct: The long-predicted demise of the IP boutique just hasn't happened.