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12.09.10

Microsoft’s Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Starts Attacking Companies Directly

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 5:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: The Microsoft-groomed Nathan Myhrvold is attacking companies using patents on ideas he did not at all come up with

THE world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, has been sending out one of its attack dogs each time it needed to make some money or bully some company which did not surrender to racketeering. According to this new report, Intellectual Ventures gave up pretending (or hiding behind 1,000+ proxies) and now it attacks directly:

Intellectual Ventures filed three lawsuits over software security, dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and Flash memory, and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technologies. The targets of the lawsuits are Check Point Software Technologies, McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Altera, Lattice Semiconductor, and Microsemi, according to a press release.

The lawsuits are a strategic change of direction for Intellectual Ventures, which for years did not engage in direct patent litigation (though pointedly did not rule out the possibility). The new legal strategy is bound to give fuel to critics who call the firm a giant “patent troll” that uses patents solely to extract payments from companies.

As Simon Phipps put it last night: “A patent troll that’s made a few inventors rich is still a patent troll.”

Microsoft/clients/lawyers are part of this problem because Intellectual Ventures is funded by Bill Gates and Microsoft. One patent attorney in Seattle, David Sheldon, is citing another while stating:

Have been neglecting Internet, totally missed that #ignitesea was going on. Best of luck to @mypatents on #swpat! Will find video later.

Microsoft is a huge part of the headache known as software patents. It’s not a mere scapegoat which is daemonised.

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5 Comments

  1. gnufreex said,

    December 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Gravatar

    They attacked McAfee? Intel might decide not to play games and go directly against MSFT. That whould be fun.

    (Intel owns McAfee.)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Intel ought to join OIN, too (I don’t think it has).

    gnufreex Reply:

    They should join, but OIN can’t help against trolls. Nothing to sue about. And I doubt OIN can sue Microsoft as retaliation for something that MSFT’s troll did.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, it’s exactly what I thought just earlier today. I am guessing that as Microsoft fails to sell its operating system it will increasingly turn to trolls other than itself — companies like IV, Acacia, maybe even Searete.

    twitter Reply:

    OIN members can and should complain to the DOJ about Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices.

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