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06.05.10

Trend Micro Still a Patent Bully, John Desmarais is Becoming a Massive Patent Troll

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boycott Trend Micro

Summary: Trend Micro is taking its aggressiveness to yet another company and a wealthy lawyer turns to patent trolling, just like many predecessors

MANY posts of ours mentioned Trend Micro back in 2008 when it attacked Free software [1, 2]. Groklaw reveals more litigation from Trend Micro, this time targeting yet another company using an obvious software patent. [via]

Do you remember a couple of years ago Barracuda Networks asked us to help find prior art to help deal with a Trend Micro patent on, believe it or not, blocking viruses at the gateway, of all obvious things?

You did find some, the ITC then said the patent, #5,623,600, was invalid, and you’d think that would be the end of that.

But no, software patents live in their own illogical alternate universe, and because Trend Micro and Barracuda settled instead of getting a court ruling of invalidity, Trend Micro was free to threaten others and to continue to take in royalties on that patent.

Trend Micro is not a patent troll, but it’s a patent bully and thus a threat to the industry. “I would much rather spend my time and money and energy finding ways to make the Internet safer and better than bickering over patents,” said Dean Drako (Barracuda’s CEO) in response to Trend Micro’s despicable action. The banner at the top comes from a call for a boycott against Trend Micro (resulting from this one particular incident).

In other news, there are some real patent trolls to watch out for. According to Bloomberg, John Desmarais becomes a patent troll:

Billion-Dollar Lawyer Desmarais Quits Firm to Troll for Patents

[...]

Desmarais, 46, in December bought a portfolio of 4,500 patents from Micron Technology Inc., the biggest U.S. maker of computer-memory chips. Today he opens the doors of a new law firm, New York-based Desmarais LLP, which will look for potential infringers of the patents owned by Round Rock Research LLC, his new patent-holding company.

“Big Time Patent Attorney Jumps Into The Patent Trolling Game By Buying 4,500 Patents From Micron” is how TechDirt puts it:

That story is now getting more attention, as Bloomberg has an entire article about Desmarais jumping ship from his big law firm to buy 4,500 patents from Micron and put them into a new firm that will be used to demand money from lots of tech companies.

Microsoft’s unjust enforcement of ‘Linux tax’ is still being done by proxy, using companies like Novell and Tuxera. IDG has just republished the post from Julie (Microsoft Subnet) under an even more daunting headline. It says “Android gets SDXC flash driver, Microsoft gets royalties” (which Julie called “good news”, apparently speaking for Microsoft’s side).

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