“FYI — It just happened again.” So begins an internal Patent and Trademark Office e-mail released under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by attorneys for NTP, Inc., the patent-holding company that sued BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion Limited. An attorney for RIM “was found wandering around on the eighth floor today,” the e-mail continues. Another PTO e-mail warns “examiners to keep their doors locked,” after reporting how “an elderly gentleman walked into my office inquiring as to the status of the NTP reexams.” The same writer noted, “Seems these third parties are getting a little creative in how they try to access information that should not be made available to them.”
The elderly gentleman was David Stewart — who himself had once served as a PTO examiner as well as a judge at the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), and who was then a lawyer with Orlando-based Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist representing RIM. In fact, Stewart himself had filed RIM’s requests for reexamination that eventually led to the invalidation of some of NTP’s patents on wireless e-mail technology.
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