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

03.19.13

Patent Trolls Come Under Government Scrutiny, Some in the Government Turn Into Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Patents at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bush, Cheney, and Pelosi

Summary: Ambiguous message from the US government, which has so far failed to make progress on patent reform and even contributes to the problems

Some days ago we wrote about how MPEG-LA managed to extort even free codecs. As one site notes:

Last week, MPEG LA and Google announced that they entered into agreements granting Google a license to technologies that “may” be essential to VP8, the video codec fueling WebM. While this agreement may have little impact in the traditional streaming market, it could be very significant in other markets, particularly WebRTC. No financial terms of the agreement were announced, and MPEG LA declined to answer our questions.

These secret deals usually mean payment. Neither party wants the public to know about it as they collude against the public interest. It was only last Thursday that the Committee on the Judiciary in the US House of Representatives spoke about patent abuse. This comes from the US government:

Hearing on: Abusive Patent Litigation: The Impact on American Innovation & Jobs, and Potential Solutions

One notable victim, SAS, issued some feedback. The SAS statement [PDF] says: “In none of the cases where SAS has been sued for patent infringement is the plaintiff an operating company that makes anything, sells anything, produces anything or employs anyone (other than a bunch of lawyers). All of these cases involve what I call “patent trolls” – which others more demurely call Non-Practicing Entities, or Patent Assertion Entities — as plaintiff. It is a problem that is only becoming worse for companies like SAS for one simple reason: it is a business model that is incredibly cheap to pursue, remarkably profitable to the pursuers, and disproportionately damaging to the victims.”

This statement was highlighted by Groklaw, which recently made some suggestions for the debate of the USPTO. Here is more of it:

Here’s Groklaw’s response to the USPTO’s request for suggested topics for discussion in the future by the Software Partnership. We just sent it to the USPTO today.

We are also publishing here on Groklaw a more detailed supplement on those four topics, explaining in depth why we propose them, with references, on the theme, “Using Semiotics to Identify Patent-Eligible Software”. The supplement is referenced in the document sent, if they wish to read more in-depth arguments, based on interest level.

Groklaw shows how, based on the report “Top U.S. lawyer to high court focuses on antitrust, patent cases”, further action is expected to be taken. Lastly, the troll InterDigital [1, 2] is mentioned by patent lawyers. No signs of trolls being impeded by government action just yet. Lots of rhetoric and promises, no actions at all.

Here is a former US prosecutor turning into a troll:

High-profile former U.S. federal prosecutor Andrew Stolper said Tuesday he had teamed up with an ex-FBI agent to form a private equity firm specializing in litigation finance, a growing business in the legal industry.
Stolper, whose career included the ill-fated Broadcom case in 2009, said Crux Capital launched on Monday. He resigned last week from his position with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Santa Ana, where he had worked for 10 years.
The litigation finance boutique, based in Irvine, Calif., will specialize in plaintiff’s commercial litigation and eventually staff up to about five people.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment about Stolper’s move into private practice.

A U.S. District Court judge singled out Stolper for criticism when he dismissed criminal stock fraud charges against Broadcom Corp co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III in 2009, citing a “shameful” prosecution campaign to intimidate witnesses.

And now, having had a career as a ‘servant’, this man simply becomes a patent troll. The government seems to manufacture more trolls than it ever stops (zero). What ever happened to the antitrust complaint against MPEG-LA? Despite Promises™ and Hope® (when it comes to patent policy), President Obama is no better than his predecessors when it comes to tackling patent mess.

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 30/8/2016: Fedora 24 Reviewed, Ubuntu Patched

    Links for the day



  2. Links 29/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC4, Maru OS Source Code

    Links for the day



  3. Let Them Eat Patents

    A reality check regarding software patents and regarding those who truly benefit from an expensive patent system with an even more expensive litigation process/proceedings



  4. Nothing Whatsoever Has Improved at the European Patent Office, It's Just Summer's Recess (and Silence)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has done absolutely nothing to improve the work atmosphere, it just alters the marketing strategy somewhat



  5. Links 28/8/2016: Q4OS 1.6, ConnochaetOS 14.2

    Links for the day



  6. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  7. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  8. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  9. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  10. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  11. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  12. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  13. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  14. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  15. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  16. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  17. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  18. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  19. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  20. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  21. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  23. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  24. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  25. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  26. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  27. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  28. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  30. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day


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