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Thomas J. Campana Jr.

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Thomas J. Campana Jr.
Born(1947-01-26)January 26, 1947
DiedJune 8, 2004(2004-06-08) (aged 57)
Occupation(s)Inventor, entrepreneur
Spouse(s)Maxine Campana, Joletta Campana

Thomas J. Campana Jr. (January 26, 1947–June 8, 2004) was an inventor. He was awarded about 50 US patents in his 30-year career.

His most significant contributions were in the field of push email. He invented and patented a number of new technologies that were later incorporated into Research in Motion's BlackBerry mobile email devices. In 2006, after a protracted legal battle, Research in Motion paid $612.5 million (equivalent to $926 million in 2023)[1] to NTP Inc. to license the patents.[2]

Early life[edit]

Thomas Campana was the son of a milkman and grew up in the southside of Chicago.[3]

Education and military service[edit]

Thomas had an electrical engineering degree from University of Illinois. He was a staff sergeant for the United States Air Force working with radio.[3]


Push Email[edit]

In 1990 Campana invented a form of wireless push email and filed the first in a series of patent applications on it. The technology was evaluated by AT&T but later dropped.

Research in Motion developed a similar technology which they incorporated into their BlackBerry devices. The Blackberry devices were commercially successful, but when Campana tried to license his patents to Research in Motion, they refused to pay a fee.

In order to enforce his patents, Campana, along with his attorney, formed a patent holding company, NTP Inc. Campana assigned ownership of the patents to NTP and NTP filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Research in Motion.

In 2006, after a long legal battle, Research in Motion settled the case and paid a $615 million license fee to cover not only their infringement, but the infringement of all of their customers and business affiliates.

Campana died from cancer on June 8, 2004, at age 57, before the Research in Motion case was settled.

Campana also invented a wireless location technology that helps parents find their kids. This new technology received first prize at the 1996 Consumer Electronics Show.


The Campana patents are currently undergoing reexamination in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patents have been rejected by the patent examiner based on the discovery of previously unknown prior art. NTP has appealed the examiner's rejection to the patent office's Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The appeal is still pending. By US law, the patents are still presumed valid until all appeals have been exhausted.

NTP has continued to assert the patents against alleged infringers despite the reexamination. On September 12, 2007, they filed patent infringement lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile. Most recently, on June 8, 2010, NTP filed patent infringement lawsuits against several smartphone companies such as Apple, Google, LG, and Microsoft. The suits have not been settled at this time.[as of?]

Campana Push Email Patents[edit]


  1. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  2. ^ "Settlement Reached in Blackberry Patent Case". NBC News. Associated Press. March 3, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Yang, Catherine (December 8, 2005). "The BlackBerry Widow's Tale". Business Week. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013.

Further reading[edit]