A software company allied with NTP Inc., the small firm suing the maker of the BlackBerry devices for patent infringement, has opened another front in the tangled battle over wireless e-mail patents.
NTP affiliate Visto Corp., which provides e-mail software to cell-phone companies, said Tuesday that it filed a patent infringement suit against Good Technology Inc., a provider of similar services for smartphones and other handheld devices.
Visto, which is based in Redwood Shores, Calif., claims Good Technology infringes on four patents granted between 1999 and 2004 that cover communication between a device and a larger network. The suit was filed in federal court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Reena Mukamal, a spokeswoman for Good Technology, said the company had not had a chance to look at the complaint and could not comment yet. The company is based in Santa Clara, Calif.
Visto has licensed different patents from NTP Inc., whose suit against Research in Motion Ltd., the Canada-based maker of the BlackBerry, has prompted concerns that RIM's e-mail system could be shut down. NTP has also taken an equity stake in Visto.
In December, Visto sued Microsoft Corp., saying its latest Windows software for handheld devices infringed on three Visto patents. (MSNBC.com is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)
Software from Visto and Good Technology is resold by Cingular Wireless LLC, Sprint Nextel Corp. and some foreign carriers. Both companies are privately held.