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

03.04.12

World’s Biggest Patent Troll, a Microsoft Offshoot, Takes Extortion Public Again

Posted in Patents at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: An update on Intellectual Ventures and a few other trolling examples

THE biggest patent troll in the world came from Microsoft and it is extorting some more large companies. Then it covers things up. “This article is by Kenneth Lustig, the vice president and head of strategic acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures, an invention and patent firm that helps clients bridge the gap between the rights they own and the rights they need,” says the opening of this piece. What utter nonsense. In this passage, “patent firm” means “patent troll”.

Intellectual Ventures needs some PR because no longer does it operate just behind closed doors and via proxies:

After years of not suing anyone (but always threatening that it might, someday), Intellectual Ventures has become more and more aggressive of late in suing lots of companies. A few weeks ago it sued AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile over a bunch of patents that (of course) involved some of IV’s favorite shell companies. Just as it was preparing this lawsuit, a VP from IV went public with an attempt to argue that all this litigation is a sign of innovation at work. The article is rather shocking in how it presents its argument. It mainly relies on false claims that correlation means causation, concerning historical periods of innovation and lawsuits over patents. Of course, what it ignores is that the patent fights often come right after the innovation, not before. In other words, the patent battles aren’t a sign that innovation is working. Rather it’s a sign of patent holders freaking out that others are innovating. It’s entirely about hindering innovation, not helping move it forward.

Not so long ago it was suggested that the government should look into these activities. “By the way,” adds Masnick in the above piece, “you may have noticed that Verizon is conspicuously absent from the list of mobile operators being sued here. That’s because Verizon paid the entrance fee and is a “member” in the IV club… which apparently only cost the company $350 million. Oh yeah… and it then became an enabler. One of the patents in the new lawsuit… once was owned by Verizon.”

Needless to say, those costs are being passed to the customers, who pay to enrich trolls like the ones from Microsoft and their thuggish friends who work as patent lawyers.

There is this other new report about the impact of troll lawsuits on games and applications:

Over the last few years, wide swathes of the game industry, and the downloadable app industry in general, have been revolutionized by a single idea: letting people play for free while charging some of those players for in-game items. Now, it seems, a shell company is claiming that it has sole ownership of that idea, and is going to court to stop a wide range of game companies from using it.

In more positive news, patent lawyers too are being sued, albeit for other reasons: [via]

John Wiley, Physicists Sue Patent Lawyers Over Journals

In a sign the country’s intellectual property laws may be getting out of hand, copyright lawyers are suing patent lawyers for using scientific journals to prepare patent applications.

In lawsuits filed this week, publisher John Wiley & Sons and the American Institute of Physicists claimed that lawyers and their firms in Chicago and Minnesota wrongfully copied journal articles.

Patent lawyers — so who’s the real “thief”? Many patent applications can be characterised as a plot to “steal” what is already public knowledge, in essence privatising the Commons.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 27/4/2015: Debian 9 Named, Linux 4.1 Reaches RC

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

    Microsoft's entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition's overall message and diluting the competition's focus on Free software



  3. The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

    The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth



  4. Patients' Data at Risk as NHS Reinforces Its Microsoft/Accenture Stockholm Syndrome

    The worst privacy violator in the world and the firm behind LSE failures are pocketing as much as £0.35 billion of British taxpayers' money to acquire access to very sensitive data of British people



  5. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  6. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  7. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  8. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  9. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  10. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  11. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  14. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  15. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  16. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  17. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  18. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  19. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  20. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  21. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  22. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  23. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  24. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  25. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  26. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  27. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  30. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available


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