12.18.16

IAM is Shedding a Tear (and Spinning) for Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Patents at 5:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And it blocked critics like yours truly (among others)

IAM blocking

Summary: A glimpse at the latest news about patent trolls (bad news for them), especially as viewed through the lens of IAM, a network funded in part by patent trolls

THE US patent system, the USPTO, keeps tightening patent scope. It does so begrudgingly as it has no choice following a series of important (high-level) rulings on patents. Here is IAM, the voice of patent maximalists and trolls, moaning that “patent litigation in the US is on the way down, fuelled in part by the suffering in the NPE [read: troll] sector.” That would typically be a cause for celebration, but among IAM’s funding sources is what it euphemistically calls the “NPE sector”.

Curiously enough, for a change, IAM actually used the word “troll” in this article at the end of the week. That’s a big improvement. To quote: “The concept at the centre of the LOT Agreement is a fairly simple one; the network seeks to reduce patent risk by requiring its members to grant all other members a licence to any patents they transfer to “a patent troll, or a patent assertion entity (PAE)”. The LOT Agreement defines an entity as a patent troll or PAE if: “The entity (including its parent and any subsidiaries) generates more than half its total revenue from patent assertion in a 12-month period, or if the entity has a plan approved by senior management to do so.””

One noteworthy new article, published a few days ago, was titled “Why Tech Giants Should Be Wary of Patent Trolls” and here is the core part:

Patent troll companies research on new technologies, license them, then sell them to tech giants to use in their products for a royalty fee. Ceding the rights to use a given technology to develop various products can be tricky especially when it comes to interpreting the details of the agreement. The slightest deviation from agreed upon details of the contract can result in major patent infringements thereby leading to lawsuits.

As per this intellectual property lawyer, one of the main reasons why many tech giants end up infringing patents is down to misinterpretation of the contents of a patent. Just like the law, patents are subject to different interpretations (in terms of application and concept), and this is what often leads to lawsuits.

This is what patent trolls prey on. With lawsuits, they often receive more than what is worth the patent that has been infringed. In intellectual property, every piece of technology can have its own patent, which makes the situation even tougher for giant tech companies. This is because a single product could be composed of several technologies thereby requiring the permission to use an array of patents.

[...]

Tech giants should be wary of patent trolls because some of these companies are formed for one purpose – to extort money from companies that use their technologies as much as possible through different channels. A lawsuit is one of the most common after royalties.

Thankfully, as we noted here the other day, patent trolls are losing it all (new SCOTUS case imminent), so IAM, the trolls’ mouthpiece which they pay, spins it like this: “SCOTUS agrees to hear key venue case, but it may not lead to the result most expect” (IAM as contrarian for the trolls).

Compare to that Mike Masnick’s “Supreme Court Will Hear A Case That Could Finally Shut Down East Texas As The Patent Troll Mecca” and several more articles like that. IAM is the only site which at the moment takes the side of the trolls.

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