EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.26.10

MPEG-LA’s CEO Larry Horn and Bellow Bellows Are Patent Trolls

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: More of the truth about MPEG-LA and how it really operates (through coercion); Apple is becoming more of a legal firm after attacking Linux/Android with a patent lawsuit

ABOUT a month ago, MPEG-LA tried to portray itself as some sort of a cuddly and reasonable entity which is willing to ‘give away’ some ‘rights’ to MPEG; but those who know Sisvel’s army (for example [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]) would possibly associate MPEG-LA with the underworld, maybe with the mafia. ALDI is one of the latest victims despite the fact that it’s a European chain and software patents are invalid in Europe. We have already explained the role Microsoft plays in Europe’s patent law and also the promotion of MPEG-LA. Microsoft cannot simply be ignored.

The president of the FFII has brought to people’s attention this good report from The Prior Art blog, saying that “MPEG-LA’s CEO Larry Horn also heads MobileMedia, a patent troll holding no less than 122 patents bought to Nokia and Sony”; from the original:

This week: A closer at the holding company behind recent suits against smartphone makers Research in Motion, HTC, and, most interestingly, Apple.

[...]

What is unusual is who owns MobileMedia: MPEG-LA, the private company that oversees a total of eight patent pools covering important digital video standards—MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 being the most common—used in DVD players and pretty much every other device that supports digital video. Contributors to those pools, whose contents MPEG-LA has licensed to literally hundreds of companies, include Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Sony, and Cisco subsidiary Scientific Atlanta (see full list). MPEG-LA’s CEO Larry Horn also heads MobileMedia.

Even more unusual is that one of the companies targeted in MobileMedia’s initial batch of suits is Apple (the others were BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and HTC). Apple happens to be among the companies that has contributed patents to MPEG-LA patent pools, including those covering the MPEG-4 and the IEEE 1394 (Firewire) standards. That puts Horn in the position of collecting money for Apple on behalf of MPEG-LA while at the same time trying to wring money out of the company on behalf of MobileMedia. Considering the breadth of MobileMedia’s patent claims—the company claims to hold patents relating to all the central functions of “call handling, speed dial functions, database searches, audio download and playback, and still picture and video processing”—it’s easy to imagine that Apple won’t be the last company to wind up on both sides of Larry Horn.

In an interview, Horn told The Prior Art that said he doesn’t see a problem with his dual roles. “We’ve been threading that needle for 14 years,” he says. “[At MPEG-LA], we’ve run eight patent pools. Some companies are owners of patents in one pool and not in another. Some are users—licensees—in one pool, and not in another. Our mission in each pool is to proactively and vigorously license the patents to the market, on behalf of our licensors.”

[...]

In other words, MPEG-LA is already in a position in which it sees that some companies getting paid because of their patent rights while it “encouages” other companies to pay up in exchange for those rights. It’s always possible, Horn says, for some overlap to occur.

It is safe to say that Larry Horn is a patent troll because he confirmed this to the author, although he did not use the word “troll” (nobody perceives himself/herself that way). The roundup above also mentions Apple and HTC which are fighting over patents. Apple sued without provocation and it is now signing up more litigators rather than engineers.

Steve Jobs doesn’t skimp on lawyers.

Apple Inc. just added another big, expensive name to the growing list of lawyers engaged in the company’s latest round of patent wars.

Matthew Powers, head of litigation at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Redwood City, Calif., filed a countersuit for Apple against Kodak last week. In its dispute with Nokia, Apple has already hired Boston’s William Lee, co-managing partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. And in its patent offensive against HTC Corp.’s Google phones, Apple is using Kirkland & Ellis top patent lawyer Robert Krupka, from Los Angeles.

Apple — like Microsoft — is increasingly focused on litigation and marketing. Neither company respects ethics in operation or truth in advertising.

The president of the FFII has found another new item “on the patent portfolio of Bellow Bellows, LLC,” which is “a patent troll,” according to him and according to the evidence presented.

M·CAM, Inc. released its Patently Obvious(TM) report today on the patent portfolio held by Bellow Bellows, LLC, a non-operating patent licensing entity. Focused on patents regarding multi-antenna Wireless LAN access point data processing technology, this report identifies potential public-domain alternatives that are available for incorporation into products and services without cost or licensing restriction.

The world’s biggest patent troll is still Nathan Myhrvold, who is funded by Microsoft, Bill Gates, and Apple. These people and companies are therefore proponents of patent trolling*, whether they publicly signal this or not. They just prefer the mega-patent trolls to be on their side and they invest billions of dollars in such trolls.

“We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Steve Jobs

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”

Steve Jobs, a hypocrite

___
* Bill Gates created his own patents aggregator, which is like a dormant troll.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    April 26, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Gravatar

    Apple — like Microsoft — is increasingly focused on litigation and marketing. Neither company respects ethics in operation or truth in advertising.
    I know that MS doesn’t, but is Apple that bad? I know that it is obsessed with secrecy, and that can be a problem. I roughly remember in the PowerPC days that Apple made exaggerated speed claims about the processor, but is the iPad hype that bad?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If you look back at the regulated distribution of ‘beta’ units, then you’ll see what they did.

    Microsoft did the same thing with Vista and Vista 7.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  3. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  4. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  5. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  6. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  8. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  9. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  10. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  12. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  13. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  14. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  15. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  17. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  18. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  19. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  20. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  21. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  22. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  23. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  24. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  25. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  26. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  27. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  28. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  29. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  30. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts