Good Technology Sued Over Patents

The never-ending saga of wireless e-mail patent battles continued on Tuesday, as Visto filed suit against software provider and BlackBerry rival Good Technology. Visto previously sued Microsoft in December claiming Windows Mobile 5.0 infringed on three of its wireless patents.

Visto previously signed a licensing agreement with NTP, which has taken BlackBerry owner Research In Motion to court over alleged patent infringement. RIM has accused NTP of strong-arming the company into paying outlandish royalty fees, but NTP has proved victorious thus far.

In a court filing in the Eastern District of Texas, Visto asserted that Good infringes on four patents granted between 1999 and 2004. The patents involve the sending of data wirelessly over a network. Visto is seeking an injunction against the GoodLink software, preventing its sale and use.

If successful, Visto's case could affect wireless carriers Cingular and Sprint-Nextel, which offer GoodLink to their customers. As of early Tuesday Good had not yet seen the lawsuit and was not prepared to comment.

However, Visto isn't winning any public support despite positioning itself as the underdog fighting corporate behemoths such as Microsoft trying to steal its technology. The company acknowledged to BetaNews in a conference call in December that it did not contact Microsoft before filing its lawsuit.

Visto's patents also arguably cover common processes when it comes to remote access. The company sued Microsoft over methods to securely synchronize copies of a workspace element in a network, to access this data from a computer network, and the system and method to use a data manager to access, manipulate and synchronize this data.

In addition, NTP has taken an equity stake in Visto, aligning the two companies' legal tactics. NTP's wireless patents have been found invalid upon initial review by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and RIM is hoping for a final rejection before the BlackBerry service is ordered to shut down.

Still, Visto is marketing itself as a safe option for those companies potentially affected by RIM's legal woes.

"With Visto, all users, including BlackBerry users have a safe harbor alternative to RIM that offers protection from intellectual property risks. Good Technology, like other late entrants to this market, has no patents directed to wireless e-mail and very clearly infringes on our long-held intellectual property," said company CEO Brian Bogosian in a statement.

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