Having already introduced you to the father of all patent trolls, Ray Niro [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], we wish to present one of his siblings or descendants. Those who are not familiar with the malicious nature of patent trolling ought to watch the following video.
Here is a good biography of J. Carl Cooper, the man who attacks GNU/Linux using software patents.
Now I have. In numerous court filings, Technology Licensing Corp. (not to be confused with the totally separate California patent licensing shop, Technology Licensing Company — more on them another day) admits it is a shell for J. Carl Cooper. TLC first started working with TechSearch back in the day, and now Acacia since the big Acacia-TechSearch transaction.
Who is J. Carl Cooper, anyway? For one, he is a registered patent agent. He also sometimes testifies as an expert in patent litigation. He used to be affiliated with the Los Gatos, California company Pixel Instruments Corp., but now has moved to the Lake Tahoe area. Similarly, Technology Licensing, once located at the home offices of Pixel in Los Gatos, has moved to Carson City, Nevada.
This article on Ray Niro (titled, by someone else, “Meet the Original Patent Troll”) states that Cooper came to Niro through an introduction made by Anthony O. Brown of TechSearch. The article claims that Niro has netted over $50 million for Cooper.
In other patent news:
The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it has blocked a company from seeking higher royalties on a patented technology that is included in a widely used computer networking standard.
Ethernet enables computers and other devices to connect over networks and is used in “nearly every computer sold” in the United States, the FTC said in a release. N-Data’s efforts could have led to higher prices for consumers, the FTC said, though it didn’t specify the amount at stake.
The technology, known as Nway, was originally developed by National Semiconductor Corp. and was accepted as part of the ethernet standard in the 1990s by a technology standards group. Technology standards allow different high-tech equipment makers to develop compatible products.
Samsung had accused Sharp of infringing four patents on LCDs, which are often used in computer monitors.
I am proud to have been the proposer of an amendment in July 2005 which scrapped the proposal for an EU software patent. What worried me then, and still does, was the response from an EU Commission official at the time. I quote, “Colleagues, we are disappointed, WE will just have to bring this back before a more acquiescent Parliament”
SimulScribe, a co-defendant with Apple in the patent infringement lawsuit recently filed by Klausner Technologies, has settled the litigation and has licensed the Klausner Technologies visual voicemail patents. Other defendants in the case include AT&T, Comcast and Cablevision Systems.
Some of these have already been passed on to Groklaw (yesterday), in case you sometimes wonder about an overlap. █