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 3/5/2016: Mozilla Firefox 46.0.1, More Jolla Funding

    Links for the day



  2. New Paper About the UPC Explains Why It is Bad for Small- and Medium-sized European Businesses

    A detailed academic analysis of the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court reveals/concludes/asserts that it is being marketed or promoted using a misleading premise and promise



  3. [ES] Gobiernos en Europa Todavía Activos en Contra de la Gerencia de la EPO

    Todavía hay trabajo político que está siendo hecho — aunque discretamente — contra Battistelli y sus chácales en la alta gerencia de la Oficina Europea de Patentes



  4. Links 3/5/2016: International Day Against DRM, 25th Anniversary of Linux (Kernel) Near

    Links for the day



  5. Interesting Supreme Court Cases About Patents in the United States

    A quick review of some of the latest developments regarding SCOTUS (the US Supreme Court) as far as patents go



  6. Governments in Europe Still Active Against EPO Management

    There is still political work being done -- albeit rather discreetly -- against Battistelli and his goons at the European Patent Office's top-level management



  7. The European Spam Office (EPO)

    EPO budget at 'work', days after doing copy-paste jobs and also working overtime in the weekend for an extravagant and needless/purposeless event (except for Battistelli's own pride)



  8. Not Just Benoît Battistelli and Willy Minnoye (EPO): Željko Topić Too Thinks He is Above the Law, Avoids the Judges and Courts

    The latest developments regarding some of the criminal complaints and civil lawsuits against Topić, who is now a Vice-President at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  9. Nefarious Forces for Patent Abuse and Software Patents in the United States, Australia, India, Korea, and Europe

    A roundup of news from the weekend and today, with emphasis on the elements inside the system (or the media) which push for regressive policies that benefit them financially at the expense of everybody else



  10. [ES] El Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU: Donde Uno Desperdicia Años en Corte y Gasta $8,000,000 en Honorarios de Abogados Peleándo una Patente Falsa

    un sumario de noticias acerca de las patentes de software en los EE.UU. Y ha lo que han llevado, debido en gran manera al decline en calidad de las patentes por parte de la USPTO (dejando que otros se las arreglen limpiando el desórden)



  11. [ES] La Oficina Europea de Patentes Todavía Sigilósamente Abusiva, Pagará $15,000 en Compensasió a Trabajadora Tras un Tardío Fallo de la ILO

    La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (ILO) emite un fallo en un caso de abuso de la EPO y nota “la excesiva duración de los procedimienteos internos de apelación.”



  12. Links 2/5/2016: Linux 4.6 RC6, DragonBox Pyra

    Links for the day



  13. Links 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The US Patent System: Where One Wastes Years in Court and Spends $8,000,000 in Lawyers' Fees Fighting a Bogus Patent

    A roundup of news about software patents in the US and what they have led to, owing in part to the USPTO's declining patent quality (leaving others to clean up its mess)



  15. The European Patent Office Still Silently Abusive, Will Pay $15,000 in Compensation to Female Worker After Belated ILO Judgment

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) issues a judgment on a case of abuse by the EPO and notes "excessive length of the internal appeal proceedings."



  16. [ES] Alice Continúa Quebrando Patentes de Software Asi Que los Abogados de Patentes, Cabilderos de los Monopolistas, Etc. Ahora Atacan a la Corte Suprema por Hacer Esto

    los cabilderos Corpórativos y abogados de patentes están tratándo de poner a Alicia en la tumba, por su impacto en las patentes de software que es muy profundo y así hasta ahora casi indetenible



  17. [ES] ¿Cómo Salvar la Reputación de la EPO?: Crear Más Jurados de Apelaciónes en Europa y Abolir la Malgíada/Malintencionada Fantasía de la UPC

    Una crítica evaluación de lo que ocurre en la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO), la que rápidamente se está yendo para abajo (y degradando sobre todo) a el nivel de los sistemas Chinos, en conjuntamente con corrupción, los abusos, y la bajísima calidad de las patentes



  18. [ES] La Corte de Apelaciónes del Circuito Federal (CAFC) Acaba de Ponerse a Favor de los Trolles de Patentes

    la tristémente célebre CAFC, que manifestó las patentes de software en los EE.UU, acaba de dar un regalo a los trolles de patentes quienes típicamente usan las patentes de software para extorsión enc complicidad con los jueces del Este de Texas



  19. [ES] Análisis de los Últimos Datos de Lex Machina Acerca de la Litigación de Patentes Muestra Como está Declinándo

    el Professor Mark Lemley de Lex Machina resalta las tendencias en litigation al colectar y analizar datos relacionados con patente y concerniéntes a monopolios intelectuales en general; actualmente muestra una sequía de litigaciones (muestran que ha disminuído)



  20. [ES] La India Está Teniendo Otra Prueba de los Peligros de las Patentes Occidentales, Debe Aprender a Rechazar Completamente las Patentes de Software en Medio de Gran Presión

    El gigante de software que es la India continua enfrentándos ea la cruel y agresivo cabildeo de Occidente, haciéndo que este controle a la India por patentes que no deberían de existir en primer lugar



  21. [ES] Microsoft Dice que Continuará Extorsiónando a Compañías Que Distribuyan Linux, Usando Patentes de Software Usuallmente

    La guerra de Microsoft contra Linux, una guerra que es peleada usando patentes de software patents (por ganancias y/o por chantáje con arreglos empaquetados), todavía continúa a pesar de todas las tácticas de relaciónes públicas de Microsoft y sus sócios



  22. Alice Continues to Smash Software Patents So Patent Lawyers, Monopolists' Lobbyists Etc. Now Attack the Supreme Court for Doing This

    Corporate lobbyists and patent lawyers are trying to put Alice in the grave, for its impact on software patents is very profound and thus far almost unstoppable



  23. How to Salvage the EPO's Reputation: Create More Boards of Appeal in Europe and Abolish the Misguided UPC Fantasy

    A critical evaluation of what goes on at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is quickly descending down (and overall degrading) to the level of Chinese systems, along with the corruption, the abuses, and the low quality of patents



  24. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Has Just Sided With Patent Trolls

    The notorious CAFC, which manifested software patents in the United States, has just given a gift to patent trolls that typically use software patents for extortion down in Texas



  25. Analyses of the Latest Data From Lex Machina About Patent Litigation Show Some Litigation Declines

    Professor Mark Lemley's Lex Machina highlights litigation trends by collecting and analysing data related to patents and pertaining to intellectual monopolies in general; now it shows litigation droughts



  26. India is Having Another Taste of the Dangers of Western Patents, Must Learn to Reject Software Patents in the Face of Great Pressure

    The growing software giant which is India continues to face cruel and aggressive lobbying from the West, enabling the West to control India by patents that should not exist in the first place



  27. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  29. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  30. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas


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