04.05.16

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Massive Cases Launched by Patent Trolls in the US Almost Always About Software Patents

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 9:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A roundup of recent news about patents and stories about patent trolls that use software patents against large companies

TECHRIGHTS is not against patents; it is against particular patents, or put another way, there are types of patents that are exceptionally problematic (because of other protections) and scientific fields (or domains) that should not have patents on them because these are inadequate for technical and economic reasons (technical because they retard development or innovation and economic because there’s insufficient evidence that they bring about overall prosperity or increase/improve competitiveness).

“Samsung fights on because Apple too infringes/steps on a lot of Samsung patents (many of them on software).”Dr. Glyn Moody bemoans patents on genes today (he wrote a whole book on the subject), IAM writes about patents on drones today, and an interesting new article by Joe Mullin speaks about a patent troll, SimpleAir, which attacked Google and wanted $85 million for a stupid software patent. He notes that “a SimpleAir expert said that Microsoft had likely paid $5 million to license the ’914 patent.” (to be fair, it’s not just a Microsoft thing because, to quote Mullin, “SimpleAir used its “push notification” patents to file waves of lawsuits in 2008 and 2013 against companies like CBS, eBay, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, and MySpace.”)

“It really ought to be widely accepted (it’s increasingly realised in industry) that a lot of the problems stem from software patenting, not just trolls.”Now consider VirnetX‘s case against Apple, which sees Samsung on the same side as Apple, in spite of the Supreme Court level Apple lawsuit against Samsung and other such cases (the EPO‘s clueless President doesn't seem to know what Apple does in European courts). What we deal with here is a software patent used by a troll to amass money at the expense of companies which actually create something. A new article titled “How the Samsung vs Apple Supreme Court battle affects Android” says that “Apple successfully sued Samsung for iPhone patent infringement in 2012, but now the real battle has begun. Despite Apple’s pleadings, the Supreme Court – the highest court in the United States – is reviewing the case. As this is the first patent case taken up by the court in more than 120 years, the outcome would have a massive effect on smartphone design in the future – the Galaxy S8 included.”

When it comes to Apple and Samsung, both companies have a lot of patents. If Apple was purely a patent troll (or relied on trolls as satellites), then for Samsung to retaliate would be virtually impossible and settlement money would be coughed out faster. Samsung fights on because Apple too infringes/steps on a lot of Samsung patents (many of them on software).

It really ought to be widely accepted (it’s increasingly realised in industry) that a lot of the problems stem from software patenting, not just trolls.

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