Ghost of Microsoft, they know where it came from…
Summary: Microsoft, which is the source of many patent trolls in the world of software, is trying to present itself as “against trolls”
TECHRIGHTS has written a lot about Acacia since 2007 (the Wikipedia page looks like a PR masterpiece). 2007 was the year Acacia, a patent troll, launched an attack on Linux. 6 years later Microsoft sues Acacia and just as a reminder of news we covered before: “In 2010, Microsoft agreed to pay an Acacia subsidiary to license a portfolio of patents related to smartphones and tablets ultimately owned by Tokyo-based web browser firm Access Co.”
According to this Microsoft booster (altering the above report from Reuters), “Microsoft sued Acacia Research Corp. today, accusing the company of breaking a contract “to license various smartphone and mobile computing technologies to Microsoft,” Reuters reported.
“The suit was filed in US District Court in New York, but it’s currently under seal, which means that details are thin. The Microsoft accusations come in response to recent suits Acacia subsidiaries filed against Microsoft that allege infringement of more than a dozen patents. Acacia filed these lawsuits despite the fact that “in 2010, Microsoft agreed to pay an Acacia subsidiary to license a portfolio of patents related to smartphones and tablets ultimately owned by Tokyo-based Web browser firm Access Co.,” Reuters wrote.”
‘”Acacia’s lawsuits are the worst kind of abusive litigation behavior, attempting to extract payment based on litigation tactics and not the value of its patents,” Microsoft Deputy General Counsel David Howard told Reuters.”
This claim does not hold water. Acacia has been rather helpful to Microsoft for years and it also absorbed senior staff from Microsoft.
In other news from the same source, Newegg is still going after patent trolls. To quote the writer (who is definitely not a Microsoft booster): “After a five years of legal battles over Jones’ patent, involving hundreds of lawsuits and tens of millions of dollars in payments, that question still has no clear answer.
“Whatever the invention, hundreds of companies have paid tribute to it. Jones’ patent, now wielded through a holding company called TQP Development, has become one of the most widely asserted patents in history. In complaints, TQP lawyers have accused website after website of patent infringement for using one of the most common Web-encryption strategies: combining the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol with the RC4 encryption algorithm.”
Newegg has been very serious when it comes to fighting patent trolls, whereas Microsoft has been openly feeding patent trolls and using them as a weapon against competitors like Android. We must not let Microsoft portray itself as “against trolls”; Microsoft itself it the troll and it’s the source of the world’s biggest patent troll. Heck, its co-founder is a patent troll, too. The other Microsoft co-founder uses patents for huge profits at taxpayers’ expense. █