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. With Unified Patent Court (UPC) on Its Death Throes, Team UPC Now Resorts to Promoting Pertinent Parts of the Agreement (UPCA)

    The latest writings about the Unitary Patent and agenda related to it, courtesy of the same people, firms and Web sites that spent several years lobbying for the UPC (i.e. for their own wallets)<



  2. Reporting Benoît Battistelli Before He Too 'Pulls a Željko Topić'

    The media is full of EPO-sponsored puff pieces about the EPO (very soon Joff Wild and Battistelli will promote software patents again), so we encourage readers to contact authorities in France and tell them what Battistelli has been doing in (or to) the European Patent Office (EPO)



  3. Links 26/4/2018: KStars 2.9.5, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, NetBSD 8.0 RC1

    Links for the day



  4. Battistelli Misuses EPO Budget to Saturate the European Media With Puff Pieces About His Event

    The latest examples of 'synthetic' coverage or fluff about Battistelli's expensive event that he cryptically and mysteriously chose to have at his other workplace in Saint-Germain-en-Laye



  5. Battistelli's EPO Continues to Promote Software Patents and Even Pays the Media to Play Along, Impacting Other Continents

    With silly new terms such as "4IR" (the EPO used to say "ICT", "CII", "Industry 4.0" etc.) Team Battistelli is hoping to make software patents look/sound acceptable, honourable and inherently innovative or "revolutionary"



  6. Links 25/4/2018: Ubuntu 18.04 Coming Shortly, Fedora 28 Next Month

    Links for the day



  7. Koch Brothers and Big Oil Could Not Buy the Decisions in Oil States, SAS

    In Oil States Energy Services v Greene’s Energy Group, a case which Koch-funded think tanks meddled in (including those whose panel guests send me threatening legal letters), ends up with dissent from a Koch-connected Justice citing or quoting those very same Koch-funded think tanks



  8. The European Patent Office (EPO) Wastes a Lot of Money on External PR Agencies for Battistelli's 'Heist'

    The EPO's management is once again scattering/throwing EPO budget at PR agencies and media companies (publishers/broadcasters) to disseminate a bunch of puff pieces and virtually ignore the very obvious conflict of interest, which should be a scandal on par with that of FIFA (resulting in the arrest of its boss, Mr. Blatter)



  9. Today's EPO is Not Compatible With the Law and It's Grossly Incompatible With Truth and Justice

    Today, once again, the EPO openly advocates software patents while media promotes loopholes (notably hype waves)



  10. Quick Mention: As Expected, the US Supreme Court Cements PTAB's Role With Trump-Appointed Gorsuch Dissenting

    Oil States has been decided and it's very good news for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB); even Conservatives-leaning Justices support PTAB



  11. Links 24/4/2018: Preview of Crostini, Introducing Heptio Gimbal, OPNsense 18.1.6

    Links for the day



  12. Patent Maximalists Step Things Up With Director Andrei Iancu and It's Time for Scientists to Fight Back

    Science and technology don't seem to matter as much as the whims of the patent (litigation) 'industry', at least judging by recent actions taken by Andrei Iancu (following a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee)



  13. Mythology About Patents in the East

    Misconceptions (or deliberate propaganda) about patent policy in the east poison the debate and derail a serious, facts-based discussion about it



  14. Patent Trolls Watch: Red River Innovations, Bradium Technologies/General Patent, and Wordlogic

    A quick look at some patent trolls that made the news this Monday; we are still seeing a powerful response to such trolls, whose momentum is slipping owing to the good work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  15. Holding Benoît Battistelli Accountable After the EPO

    The many abuses and offenses committed by Mr. Battistelli whilst he enjoyed diplomatic immunity can and should be brought up as that immunity expires in two months; a good start would be contacting his colleagues, who might not be aware of the full spectrum of his abuses



  16. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  17. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  18. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  19. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  20. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  21. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  22. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  23. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  24. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  25. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  26. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  27. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  28. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  29. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  30. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form


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