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02.03.16

Angry Trolls: Rovi (of Angry Birds Fame) Helps Microsoft’s Largest Anti-Linux Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures (Corrected)

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Correction: It turns out we got confused as Rovi and Rovio are not the same company. Rovi is actually a patent parasite. Rovio often gets sued by patent trolls. Therefore, some of the statements below are misplaced.]

The birds get even angrier and nastier

A bird

Summary: Once known as a game maker and later made notorious for mass surveillance on gamers, Rovi now liaises with the world’s largest patent troll

BASED on an EPO-funded (yes, the EPO pays the media now) Web site that’s also paid by patent trolls (e.g. sponsors of events it organises for trolls to change/improve their image), Rovi has just agreed to “join forces” with Microsoft’s patent troll which is also the world’s largest patent troll. To quote the EPO-funded ‘news’ site: “Digital entertainment company Rovi and Intellectual Ventures (IV) announced yesterday that they are combining their respective patent portfolios relevant to over-the-top content (OTT) technology and will offer them for licensing as a single package.”

“How is being connected to a patent troll going to be beneficial to a game developer?”It turns out investors have not been happy. As the EPO-funded ‘news’ site put it: “Although investors appear to have reacted badly to news of the link-up, the potential benefits look pretty clear for Rovi. The addition of complementary assets from IV’s wide-ranging patent portfolio could enhance its offering to prospective licensees and give it an even stronger hand in negotiations.”

Complete nonsense. How is being connected to a patent troll going to be beneficial to a game developer? This is hogwash from patent maximalists who refuse to even use the word “trolls”.

The EPO-funded ‘news’ site, incidentally, also puts lipstick on the latest pig (pun intended, reference to Angry Birds) which is the Microsoft-dominated Nokia (now acting more like a giant patent troll inside Europe). Yesterday we wrote about Nokia's patent attacks on Android, which are becoming public only years after Microsoft got involved.

The reason this site exists in the first place (for those who don’t know) is Microsoft’s patent war on Free/Open Source software. This includes Android, which is the platform that companies like Rovi target primarily. Intellectual Ventures has been attacking Android itself with software patents. It’s all part of Microsoft’s patent stacking (legal term) strategy against Linux and Free software. They try to make it less potent if not nonviable a competitor by artificially elevating costs associated with software, using software patents.

“The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a solution.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures

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