RealTime IT News

Visto Fights Good Wares

By Tim Scannell

Visto Corp. announced today that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Good Technology, which makes mobile messaging solutions.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company's technology is available on both the Palm and Windows Mobile platforms and will soon be unveiled for the Symbian operating environment on Nokia cell phones.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, claims that Good's products and services infringe on multiple patents held by Visto. The company also alleges that Good appropriated key elements of Visto's intellectual property involving its remote e-mail and data access services.

Visto executives could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit. Good Technology declined to comment.

Visto's software is now installed in 75 different mobile phone types and is available through a range of wireless carriers, including most recently Vodaphone.

Good Technology, meanwhile, has its technology footprint within the popular Palm Treo smartphone device.

This isn't the only patent-infringement suit Visto has its hands in.

In December, the company filed suit against Microsoft alleging that its Windows Mobile 5.0 infringes on three Visto-awarded patents.

Both suits came as the courts attend to a similar lawsuit filed by NTP, a patent-holding company based in Virginia, against Research in Motion maker of the popular Blackberry e-mail and electronic messaging device.

On Feb. 24, District Judge James Spencer will hear both sides of the case and decide whether to impose an injunction that might shut down all of RIM's U.S. services.

"There are justifiable marketplace jitters about whether BlackBerry service will be shut down by a federal court next month," said Brian A. Bogosian, Visto chairman, president and CEO in a statement.

Visto has a relationship with NTP, though NTP is not involved in the lawsuit.

Late last year, Visto announced that it had signed a licensing agreement with NTP and that NTP acquired a licensing stake in Visto.

In doing so, Visto essentially added considerable weight to its portfolio of 25 mobile access and e-mail-related patents, as well as guaranteed protection against any NTP legal actions since the agreement also provided access to its patents for their lifetime.