Apple, Microsoft Hit with Email Patent Lawsuit

Apple, Microsoft, Google and a few other tech companies were hit with a patent lawsuit on Thursday related to delivering email messages over wireless data connections. NTP claims it owns eight patents covering the wireless delivery of email, and that the companies it is suing are using the technology without paying licensing fees.

Other companies named is the suit include HTC, Motorola and LG Electronics.

“NTP Incorporated, the company founded by Tom Campana, the inventor of wireless email, yesterday filed lawsuits… in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for infringing NTP’s eight patents related to the delivery of electronic mail over wireless communications systems,” the company said in a statement. “Each of the defendants is a manufacturer or developer of either wireless handheld devices or software applications used in the delivery of email across wireless communications systems.”

NTP is a patent holding company that likes to identify itself by stating it “is best known for its long litigation and eventual settlement with Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry wireless devices.” By no small coincidence, NTP also sued RIM over similar circumstances.

Apple has not commented on the pending litigation.