Palm hit by patent suit, shares drop

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NEW YORK -- Patent holding company NTP Inc. said Monday it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Palm Inc. , maker of the Treo mobile phone, in a U.S. court, sending Palm shares down more than 7%.

The suit alleges that Palm's products and services infringed NTP's patents and seeks recovery of monetary damages resulting from Palm's direct and indirect infringement, the intellectual property firm said in a statement.

Specifically, NTP said it is targeting services and systems primarily used or adapted for use in e-mail systems with radio frequency communications to mobile processors and related services.

A Palm spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

NTP said it would prefer to resolve the issue via a negotiated license agreement.

NTP is best known for its battle with BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd, which agreed in May to pay $612.5 million to NTP to settle a damaging and drawn-out patent infringement fight.

Shares of Palm fell 8.1%, or $1.24, to $14.17 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq.
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