05.28.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

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

Fly

Summary: In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll

Joe Mullin wrote about Patent Troll Tracker quite some time before he became a widely-recognised journalist focusing on patent trolls and some other patent-related matters. Patent Troll Tracker was later ousted with a bounty on his head (coming from a patent troll). Patent Troll Tracker was a patent lawyer from Cisco, which had attracted many trolls to it. Based on this new report from Mullin, Cisco has just lost to a troll at SCOTUS level (the highest possible level, which is also expensive). As Mullin put it: “The Supreme Court issued a ruling (PDF) today in Commil USA v. Cisco Systems, one of two patent cases it heard this term. On one key issue, the opinion favors Commil, a “patent troll” that won a $64 million jury verdict against Cisco. But other findings mean that the non-practicing entity won’t be getting a payday any time soon—and a final section of the opinion is wholly dedicated to reminding judges to sanction misbehaving patent plaintiffs, something that didn’t even come up in this case.

“In the Commil USA v. Cisco Systems case, a 6-2 majority of justices held that defendants in patent cases can’t evade claims of “induced infringement” by arguing they had a “good faith belief” the patent was invalid. That overturns an appeals court decision favoring Cisco. Justice Stephen Breyer was recused from the case.”

This is very bad because only one year after the Alice case we are now seeing SCOTUS leaning in favour of patent trolls, not just rubbish patents. SCOTUS is, in some sense, feeding the trolls here.

“Stop Feeding the Patent Trolls,” says the headline of a new article, explaining: “At AngelList, we’ve spent the last several years creating a platform for startups and founders to connect with their peers, secure seed investments and recruit employees. We’re passionate about what we do, which is why it’s all the more upsetting to see fledgling businesses continue to take unnecessary and costly hits from greedy patent trolls.

“What SCOTUS has just done is only going to further legitimise trolls.”“For years, patent litigation has drained small businesses of resources that would otherwise be used for research, investment and job creation. Specifically, flaws and loopholes in the current law allow patent assertion entities (PAEs), also known as patent trolls, to exploit the system and claim rights to patents without ever having made a product or provided a service to any customers. Congress’ inaction has led to billions of dollars spent on frivolous patent suits, needlessly costing the economy and consumers.”

There is then a reference to the PATENT Act, which only tackles small trolls but not big trolls. “The Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015,” says the author, “is sponsored by both sides of the aisle, including Senators Grassley, Leahy, Cornyn, Schumer, Lee, Hatch and Klobuchar.” It is also sponsored by the large corporations that are funding these politicians.

Let it be clear that patent trolls truly are an issue, but they are not the only issue and they benefit from the vast extent of patents on software. Various sites that focus on patent trolls (and patent trolls only) amplify the claims of those famed academics who focus only on trolls, for example Michael Meurer and Bessen. As Matt Levy put the situation, it was “Bessen that estimated that NPEs cost U.S. businesses at least $29 billion dollars in 2011.” Levy previously related a SCOTUS approval of Form 18 abandonment to patent trolls. 9 days ago he wrote: “In a blog post last year, I wrote about about the prolific patent troll eDekka, which filed well over 100 complaints in 2014. Not one of them gave any useful information to the defendants. Most of the complaints were filed in the Eastern District of Texas.”

Eastern District of Texas is where a lot of patent trolls operate from and the environment sure became fertile for their racketeering. What SCOTUS has just done is only going to further legitimise trolls.

IP Troll Tracker (not to be confused with Patent Troll Tracker) recalls one of the most notorious trolls out there, Erich Spangenberg, saying that there is alarming embellishment of what trolls like him are doing. “In another alarming chapter of the “saved from a troll by a troll” play book,” she writes, “Jump Rope misses the rope itself and jumps straight into bed with Erich Spangenberg. Like Ditto before him, Mr. Braxton of Jump Rope found himself in the unfortunate position of having to take investment money from one of the founders of the business model that put his company in jeopardy to begin with.”

Here is Mike Masnick at TechDirt put it: “The story tries to play this out like a “patent troll done good,” but it’s horrifying. It’s one patent troll beating up on a startup, and then allowing a second one to come in and vulture up the leftovers. It’s certainly not good for innovation in any way.”

One might expect patent trolls to be vilified or cracked down on by now, but even the SCOTUS helps them these days. Some of the media paints them as innovators and some as saviors. Actions are now judged by the actor’s size, not the action.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 07/12/2022: ArcoLinux Beta 23.01 and Cryostat 2.2

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Where Did the Money Go?

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ became a company that cannot even do accounting right; pertinent technical employees had to do a lot of chasing for years just to get the basics rectified



  3. Evidence of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (or Sirius Corporation) Failing to Pay Pensions, Failing to Inform Staff, Not Responding to Staff

    The job my wife and I left this past Friday (after about 21 years combined) had turned sour years ago; hoping that this serves as a cautionary tale to others, we've decided to show pension lapses, lack of payslips, and excuses that accompanied that for years



  4. Links 07/12/2022: Blender 3.4 and Apple GPU Drivers Now in Asahi Linux

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 06, 2022



  6. Links 07/12/2022: Kali Linux 2022.4, GNUnet 0.19.0, and Pgpool-II 4.4.0

    Links for the day



  7. Subsidising the Likes of Rupert Murdoch is Not Supporting Journalism

    There are yet more attempts to tax citations; not only does that make no practical or moral sense, it's being lumped in or joined together with a must-pass "defence" (military) bill in order to suppress opposition



  8. Microsoft Layoffs Again

    The company behind Windows is in a bad state, but it is being propped up by the taxpayers; if rumours are true, Microsoft might get a lot smaller next year



  9. Microsoft is Killing Hospital Patients With Its Insecure-by-design Windows Operating System

    Many people continue to needlessly die because many hospitals still foolishly deploy Windows on mission-critical life-saving machines



  10. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Failing at the Most Basic Employment Regulations

    The company we left behind last week was a repeat violator of employment laws; to make matters worse, it led to its long-term or long(time)-serving staff becoming very baffled, having to contact the pension provider for clarifications



  11. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  12. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  13. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  14. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared





  15. Benoît Battistelli in 2015: EPO is Ready to Start Unified Patent Court (UPC), Expect UPC in 2016

    We’re almost in 2023 and UPC is being delayed again; this is what EPO President Benoît Battistelli said way back in 2015 (official video from the EPO; 3:45-4:34 cropped apart)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 05, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, December 05, 2022



  17. Links 06/12/2022: FreeBSD 12.4 and Inkscape 1.2.2

    Links for the day



  18. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities



  19. [Meme] Guilt by Association

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret



  20. That Time Sirius 'Open Source' Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

    Sirius 'Open Source' was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff's communication server was shut down



  21. Links 05/12/2022: Gnoppix Linux 22.12 and Armbian 22.11

    Links for the day



  22. Unified Patent Court (UPC) is “Real Soon Now!” Since 2014

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is once again forced to admit issues and delays; we've seen this time and time again for nearly a decade already



  23. Unified Patent Court (UPC) 'Delayed' Again, As Usual, as Unitary Patent Boosters Caught Up in Lies and Scandals

    “UPC [is] delayed by 2 months,” a source has told us, dubbing it “good news” and reaffirming what we’ve said this past year; this litigation lobby's 'wishlist' system isn’t legal, it’s not ready, there are yet more scandals, and journalists have been catching up with these scandals



  24. Links 05/12/2022: GStreamer 1.21.3

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 04, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 04, 2022



  26. Links 04/12/2022: Status of the 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  27. When a Company Simply Refuses to Talk to Technical and Exerienced Staff Through Internal Avenues

    When companies behave like monarchies where staff has no role at all in decision-making and decisions are made in violation of those companies’ tenets (or mission statements) it is inevitable that staff will issue concerns, first internally and — failing that — in other channels



  28. [Meme] Kings Instead of Open Consultation Among Peers

    In Sirius there’s no room for debate, even among half a dozen or so technical colleagues; decisions are made in the dark by a tightly-knit cabal (with rather childish superhero cartoons as their avatars) and then imposed on everybody else (hardly democratic, not sane)



  29. Sirius Open Source: The Home of Stress and Bullying by Management

    Part 3 of a report regarding Sirius Open Source, which is imploding after bad judgement and misuse of power against employees



  30. Links 04/12/2022: Fosshost Shudown and OpenIndiana Hipster 2022.10

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts