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

08.20.14

On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

Posted in Patents at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blackberry

Summary: A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry’s new patents apparatus

The other day we wrote about BlackBerry, which had become — at least in part — a patent troll. The media does not use the “T” word (troll), just as it never uses the other “T” word (terror) when it comes to state terrorism. It’s all about scale and it’s about who controls the media. As one more article puts it:

BlackBerry has created a new business unit to house its most promising assets – cryptographic applications, its QNX embedded software, patent portfolio and Project Ion platform.

The third one is the trolling component and it shows that one need not be a ‘classic’ troll to become a pain in the bum. BlackBerry shows that large companies too can go out of control with patents, especially when they are losing. Microsoft has already done this with Nokia, which fed patent trolls such as MOSAID at Microsoft’s request. Microsoft also collected other patents from defunct companies (Nortel, Novell, etc.) for the purpose of attacking FOSS. Remember this whenever one tries to shift patent debates only to small (‘classic’) trolls. The biggest trolls (like Microsoft) are by far the biggest problem and one way to circumvent their abuses is to tackle the patents themselves, or the patent system (many patents in one fell swoop).

Here in the press is MPHJ Holding again. It is one of the more notorious patent trolls these days and here again is a reminder of its actions, courtesy of TechDirt:

Vermont’s Case Against Notorious Scanner Patent Troll Moves Forward

Last year, there were a few stories concerning a really despicable (more than usual) patent troll called MPHJ Holdings. Joe Mullin, over at Ars Technica, had dug deep into the details, finding a bunch of shell companies all sending demand letters to various small companies demanding around $1,000 per employee for using a network-connected scanner that includes a “scan to email” feature (i.e., pretty much any scanner on the market today). There were all sorts of sketchy things about MPHJ, and it was pretty clear that it and all its shell companies were effectively shaking down small businesses. It was so egregious that Vermont’s Attorney General sued the company, claiming that it was engaged in “unfair and deceptive acts” with its threat letters.

Another notorious patent troll reportedly shakes down another victim. “A few weeks ago,” writes TechDirt, “we noted that Personal Audio, the patent troll that ridiculously pretended to own a patent on “podcasting” had put out a press release saying that it had tried to settle with Adam Carolla, the podcasting giant that the Personal Audio had sued a while ago. But Carolla had refused to settle. If you haven’t been following the case, Personal Audio claims that patent 8,112,504 covers podcasting and went after a few of the “big names” with lawsuits, while sending demand/threat letters to many others. Carolla fought back hard, getting a bunch of other top podcasters to speak up as well, and point people to a crowdfunding campaign for a podcasting legal defense fund.”

The bottom line is, there are large companies that are conducting business just like patent trolls and we must recognise this if we are ever to recognise the true nature of the patent problem. Sadly, the corporate press prefers to only focus and demonise the ‘classic’ trolls, not the corporations that fund the press to call the same practices “cross-licensing”, “patent agreement” or some other euphemisms when large entities are involved.

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. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  2. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  3. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  4. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  5. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  6. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  8. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  9. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  10. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  11. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  12. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  14. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  15. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  16. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  17. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  18. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  19. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  20. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  21. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  22. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  23. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  24. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  25. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  26. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  27. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas



  28. Links 20/8/2015: Fedora 24 Plans, Ubuntu Phones in India

    Links for the day



  29. Blackmail and Lies From the Press and the Government of New Zealand Attempt to Sell to the Public a Deal That Broadens Patent Scope

    Corporate conquest or takeover of New Zealand culminates in empty promises from government officials and blackmail against citizens of New Zealand, especially the country's dairy industry



  30. Vista 10 Turns PCs Into Zombies: Microsoft to Remotely Delete Software From Windows, Like Amazon Deleted Books From Kindle

    Microsoft allows itself to remotely delete software from Vista 10 (not just Microsoft's software), as revealed by the mainstream media not too long after the failed launch (poor adoption so far)


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