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02.25.08

Acacia Buys Google Kryptonite, USPTO Urged to Change

Posted in America, Courtroom, FSF, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Acacia, a litigation firm comprising patent trolls with roots at Microsoft Corp. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], seems to have acquired an interesting patent a couple of weeks ago. [Thanks to Doug Mentohl for spotting this]

Acacia Research Corporation announced today that its subsidiary, Acacia Patent Acquisition Corporation, has acquired rights to a patent relating to online ad tracking technology.

Google is a great threat to Microsoft, which the Redmond-based company appears to be attacking by proxy [1, 2]. Microsoft uses the courtroom against Google, so the press release issued and quoted above is worth keeping in mind and within sight.

Google’s sources of revenue are mainly based on online advertising and Microsoft would love to hit Google where it hurts the most. It’s also one of the reasons for Microsoft’s Yahoo ambitions. We will discuss the Yahoo situation a little later today (another lawsuit by proxy on the face of it).

Elsewhere on the Web, the following publication appeared and it discusses the issue of patents getting used merely as a tool for litigation. [via TrollTracker]

Barfield and Calfee’s Biotechnology and the Patent System is correct about the importance of the patent system to American innovation. But patent litigation is broken, and Congress is every bit as qualified as–and often more qualified than–the courts to fix it. Patent reforms are possible that discourage patent trolls while protecting the rights of both legitimate patent-holders and defendants and satisfying the “do no harm”[46] principle of Barfield and Calfee.

Last but not least, here is a good new talk from Eben Moglen about software patents. [via Digital Majority]

The feature this week is the first half of a lecture given by Professor Eben Moglen on the danger of software patents. This first part is fifty minutes, so no new hacker word of the week this week.

Patents were supposed to be a good thing, not a weapon. How tremendously things have changed since their inception.

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