Palm faces patent violation lawsuit

NTP, which successfully sued BlackBerry maker RIM for infringement of wireless email patents, said it is suing Palm, maker of the Treo smart phone, according to an Associated Press report.

The Associated Press report said the lawsuit, filed in US District Court, alleges that Palm's products, services, systems and processes have improperly used NTP's wireless email technology.

Palm's shares tumbled $1.17 to $14.24 in Nasdaq trading, the entire 7.6% loss coming after news of the suit broke, the Associated Press report said.

The suit asks the court to bar Palm from 'continuing to infringe on NTP's patents' and seeks monetary damages for the alleged past infringements, the report said.

A telephone message left for a Palm representative was not immediately returned, the report said.

In March, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion agreed to pay NTP $612.5 million to settle a four-year patent dispute. Though it never conceded wrongdoing, RIM acknowledged that customers had delayed placing new orders due to the threat of a court-ordered shutdown of the BlackBerry system.

The Palm complaint also centers on products, services and systems that integrate email systems with wireless communications, including the Treo, Palm VII, Palm i700 and Tungsten products.

At issue are seven patents, dating from 1995 to 2001, according to the lawsuit. Five of the patents were part of NTP's lawsuit against RIM.

NTP co-founder Donald E. Stout said his company has tried to work out a licensing agreement with Palm.