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

06.29.15

Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

Posted in Patents at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well

Lawyers and other patent-centric parasites based in the unofficial home of patent trolls, the state of Texas, are very much upset with Alice — a case which essentially invalidates many of the patents they use for extortion. We covered this before and explained the reasons for it. Their livelihood is in jeopardy because they can’t quite prey on life savings of individuals and modest (at best) bank accounts of various startups around the US. “East Texas Federal Judge Sets Rules for Post-’Alice’ World,” says one article. We recently showed how patent practitioners in Texas were lobbying hard to keep the patent trolls going (antagonising patent reform), with their blackmail (as a ‘business’) flourishing. Using Lex Machina’s figures, Matt Levy very recently shared some statistics about Texas, and the Eastern District of Texas in particular. To quote: “The Eastern District of Texas had over 1,400 patent cases filed last year, and over 1,000 patent cases have been filed there in the first half of 2015. (Source: Lex Machina) Just last month (May), out of the 418 lawsuits filed, 295 were filed in Marshall, Texas, a town with a population of just under 24,000. For comparison, there were only 199 patent lawsuits filed in total in May 2014.”

“Apple sued the biggest Android distributor (Samsung) and Google’s/Android’s favourite child (Motorola), but then again so did Microsoft.”BlackBerry, which is rumoured to be exploring Android as the only route forward (not just one among several routes) was looking like an anti-Android troll in the making until not so long ago, but according to this analysis of “BlackBerry’s Licensing Revenue” (meaning patents): “There was little to no IP licensing done in the recent past.”

Perhaps BlackBerry is no longer a threat like Nokia, which Microsoft definitely turned into an anti-Android patent troll (of the bigger kind).

Speaking of trolls, Joe Mullin, a trolls expert, says that a “[p]atent troll wins $30M verdict against Sprint, has more trials on the way”. This story, for a change, didn’t develop in Texas. To quote Mullin, “Nebraska jury has ordered Sprint to pay $30 million to Prism Technologies, a patent-holding company that has sued the five largest cell phone carriers.

“Tuesday’s verdict (PDF) comes at a time when Congress is debating, for the second time in recent years, a bill to rein in companies like Prism, often referred to as “patent trolls.”

“Prism Technologies was founded as a successor to Prism Resources, an operating company that existed from 1991 to 2001 according to an online biography of co-founder Richard Gregg, who testified at trial. The company is now focused solely on licensing and litigation, and it has continued to get more patents.”

A week ago, citing this article from Ina Fried, BoingBoing asked, “Is patent trolling going out of style?”

That is indeed the case based on the booster of Microsoft and longtime promoter of Microsoft’s attacks (with patents) on GNU/Linux (Ina Fried did a lot of this while still at CNET/CBS). Fried writes: “For a while it seemed the mobile industry was deteriorating into a battle over who had the best patents — and the best patent lawyers.

“Apple was suing Samsung, Motorola was suing Microsoft and Google was in everyone’s cross hairs. And there were a lot more cases that weren’t making headlines.”

Apple sued the biggest Android distributor (Samsung) and Google’s/Android’s favourite child (Motorola), but then again so did Microsoft. The latter aggressor sued both companies and recently pressured the former to become a vassal of Microsoft in exchange for settlement. Microsoft has essentially itself become more like a patent troll, but since it refuses to let its own platform go (despite massive losses), it does not yet qualify, not as per the textbook definition of “patent troll”.

“Unified Patents,” said this one report from the other day, “works to deter nonpracticing entities from asserting weak patents” (whatever “weak” means).

When will Microsoft be recognised for what it really has become? When will European authorities react in lieu with their promise and stop Nokia from essentially becoming a European patent troll? Will BlackBerry ever sell its patents or itself become a patent troll? And in light of Apple‘s latest (over)hyped patent [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], will more people care to realise that Apple is not an innovator but an aggressor (using patents for lawsuits and imtmidation, not highlight any significant breakthroughs)? Also mind Amazon‘s latest Orwellian patent, which hardly comes across as anything that a 5-year-old wouldn’t have managed to ‘invent’.

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

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. EPO Management Looks for New and 'Innovative' Ways to Exploit Scientists and Distract From EPO Corruption

    EPO management is desperate for puff pieces, having just produced some greenwashing nonsense (about a dozen press items about this non-event) and now a bunch of self-promotional videos



  2. Before the New York Times Did a Number on Donald Trump It Changed Bill Gates' Tune

    When you speak strictly through a spokesperson it often means you're lying and/or hiding something; the Gates enigma remains unsolved more than a year later



  3. Links 28/9/2020: Linux 5.9 RC7, Review of Linuxfx 10.6, OpenSSH 8.4

    Links for the day



  4. Speaking Through Spokespeople is a Sign of Weakness, Such as Non-Denying and False Denials (or: Bill Gates Never Denied His Connections to MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein)

    Big liars lie shamelessly; the biggest liars lie through proxies and today we examine the evasive tactics of Bill Gates and his associates (who were closely connected to Jeffrey Epstein but refuse to even talk about that, except indirectly)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 27, 2020



  6. Accounting for Debconf 19 Travel... in 2020

    A deeper look or analysis of Debian expenditures, which grew more than twicefold for travel last year



  7. Don't Let Microsoft Make 'Open Source' Synonymous With Proprietary Monopoly GitHub

    Now that the OSI works for Microsoft instead of Open Source (no, GitHub isn’t Open Source; it’s inherently against Open Source) we need to understand the modus operandi and learn from old mistakes



  8. Links 27/9/2020: Puppy Linux 9.5, Nitrux 1.3.3

    Links for the day



  9. Public Relations and Tolerance Stunts Are Very, Very Cheap

    It's 2020 and people are asked to focus on superficial aspects of corporations rather than anything of substance (like the effects on society at large, notably exploitation and long-term harm)



  10. Open to Everything

    It always starts with good intentions...



  11. The OSI's President Apparently Does Not Know That His Own Employer (Salesforce) Works for ICE

    The hypocrisy (or double standard) of the OSI’s President is astounding; taking salaries paid in part by ICE budget (Salesforce works for ICE and similarly evil agencies) while protesting in a proprietary software platform of Microsoft (GitHub) about ICE (all this whilst actively participating in it regardless)



  12. [Meme] Communist Tactics

    To Microsoft, Linux is communism until Microsoft controls it (and then runs over it to crush it, the typical modus operandi)



  13. OSI President: Most or Half of the OSI's Money (Even Individual Donors' Money) Goes to a Microsoft-Led Initiative

    The OSI has turned from advocate of "Open Source" (a disingenuous attempt to set aside Free/libre software) to advocate of Microsoft and GitHub in just 3 years (since taking Microsoft's money/bribes)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 26, 2020



  15. The 24/7 'Tech' Worker (Babysitter of User-hostile Computing) and 'Expensive' Programmer

    The rights of workers are being reduced to nothing (many in their older years made redundant), even in an occupation that is indirectly responsible for automating and thus deprecating jobs in many other occupations



  16. Why Techrights is Totally Unexcited About the New Owner of Linux Journal

    Linux Journal might soon become an anti-Linux site (veiled hostility) if Slashdot's editorial preferences are anything to go by (Slashdot has just seized control of Linux Journal)



  17. The Cheapening of the Programmer is a Threat to Human Rights of All Computer Users

    From the era of computer experts (down to the low level of computing with transistors), mathematicians, physics gurus and respected technicians we've come to orders-following, user-apathetic engineers who are overworked, grossly underpaid, and way too fearful of raising ethical concerns (voicing disagreement can result in prompt dismissal, followed by perpetual unemployment) and this ensures digital oppression without checks and balances



  18. Links 26/9/2020: Wine 5.18, FreeBSD 12.2-BETA3 and Debian 10.6 Released

    Links for the day



  19. 'Appeal to Novelty' as a Lever for Proprietary Software Monopolies, Bloat (Planned Obsolescence) and More Surveillance

    Novelty is generally fine, but in many cases products are developed iteratively (not cumulatively) not to advance society or to objectively improve services, only to increase control over people (because emergent ‘freemium’-like business models nowadays revolve around addiction and subjugation, e.g. ‘brain-farming’ and manipulation of minds)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 25, 2020



  21. Microsoft Windows is Obsolete

    The so-called 'leak' of old Windows code (almost 20 years old) is rather meaningless and useless; the world is moving past Windows, plus old Windows code cannot be used (due to the licence) and is barely used anymore, even in binary form



  22. [Meme] Conflating Critics of Corporate/Class Abuse With Womanisers and Chauvinists (and Now Doing the Same to Influential Women)

    It's regretful to see real victims of discrimination having their grievances and legitimate causes hijacked by opportunistic corporate media, which rallies a bunch of Internet trolls while oligarchs sponsor the whole thing, emboldening attacks on critics of powerful people (the likes of Jordan Peterson are a distraction; even women are nowadays being targeted using the very same tricks)



  23. Losing the Battle for Rights/Justice, Freedom/Liberty, and Emancipation Potential

    We're losing our most basic rights amid transition to "digital"; too little is being done to push back against this worrisome trend, which necessarily means reduction in both our freedom and our fundamental human rights



  24. Response to Eric Raymond (ESR) on “Last Phase of the Desktop Wars”

    Eric Raymond (ESR) talks about Microsoft's "embrace"; but there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions in his blog post, as we'll explain patiently, based on known facts



  25. Links 25/9/2020: Calibre 5.0, Fedora 33 Beta Days Away, Snap Setback

    Links for the day



  26. Faking 'Progress' to Distract From True Justice or From a Full, Meaningful Reform

    Activism for truly meaningful change doesn't stop at superficialities and cosmetic changes (which merely give a false sense/impression of accomplishment, resulting in inaction); we need to regularly consider how to dismantle injustice, not based on the criteria set by oligarchs-owned media, rallying gullible mobs to appease only big egos



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 24, 2020



  28. Richard Stallman: New Interview About Privacy (Published This Morning)

    “The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement,” RT says



  29. Links 25/9/2020: PostgreSQL 13, DragonFly 5.8.2 and Python 3.8.6

    Links for the day



  30. Code of Ethics Versus Code of Conduct in Action

    Reprinted from Daniel Pocock's Web site


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