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12.21.16

Good Luck to Apple in Exposing the Network of Patent Trolls That is Connected to Microsoft, Nokia, Ericsson, BlackBerry and Other Failed Mobile Players

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 8:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When all else fails, throw patents at the competition (through trolls so as to avert counteraction)?

Nokia trolls
Image from BusinessKorea

Summary: With billions of dollars at stake (maybe over a trillion in the long run), the attempt to claw revenue using patents rather than actual sales has become complicated because of plurality of intermediaries, which Apple is trying to tackle with a new antitrust complaint

“In a major antitrust lawsuit Apple charged that Acacia is illegally breaking terms of patents acquired from Nokia,” according to The Street. This is pretty major news and definitely something that warrants a 2 AM article. Florian Müller has already produced a long blog post about it, accompanied by or coupled with the relevant documents.

“Readers can find details like a detailed history in our Wiki page about Acacia, including the hiring (by Acacia) of people from Microsoft and this troll’s repeated attacks on GNU/Linux.”As a reminder to our readers, Acacia is a Microsoft-connected troll. Readers can find details like a detailed history in our Wiki page about Acacia, including the hiring (by Acacia) of people from Microsoft and this troll’s repeated attacks on GNU/Linux.

“For a long time,” Müller wrote today, “I had hoped someone would finally do this. Last year I called out Nokia and others on their privateering ways, and it turned out that Nokia had industrialized the concept of privateering to a far greater extent than anyone else. My list of PAEs fed by Nokia contained all of the defendants in Apple’s antitrust suit–Acacia and Conversant (technically, Apple is also suing particular subsidiaries of those)–and more. That post prompted attempts by Ericsson and Nokia to explain away their privateering ways.”

Nokia‘s patents have also been passed to another anti-Linux/anti-Google troll called MOSAID (renamed “Conversant” since). These were, for a fact, passed at Microsoft’s instructions, as reported in the mainstream media at the time. There’s more on that in the Korean media. When it comes to patents, Nokia is still enslaved by or subservient to Microsoft.

“What does the future of dying mobile giants have in store then?”The full story isn’t just Apple hitting back at Nokia. “Breaking news,” Müller wrote later, “Nokia sues Apple in US and Europe over alleged patent infringement [] Venues: Eastern District of Texas, three German courts: Düsseldorf Mannheim Munich…”

Europe is a growing and increasingly attractive hub for patent parasites already, I’ve told Müller (who probably agreed). Germany and sometimes the UK (London) are favoured among those parasites (see Ericsson's troll choosing London for legal attacks — quite unprecedented a move for such an entity). “For the troll that Nokia is now,” Müller noted, “suing Apple in the ED of Texas is very appropriate. [] When Nokia was still making mobile devices, it had a predilection for the District of Delaware. Now: Eastern District of Texas. Times change…”

I told him that BlackBerry does the same thing now, having lost the market (to which Müller nodded with a retweet). We wrote about this earlier this week and earlier this year.

What does the future of dying mobile giants have in store then? Passage to trolls (the PAE type) that will tax everyone, everywhere? “Something big always seems to happen at Christmas in the patent market,” IAM wrote. “Remember the RPX Rockstar patents purchase a couple of years ago?”

Remember that IAM is partly funded by MOSAID/Conversant, i.e. part of the same ‘gang’. As for Rockstar, we wrote quite a few articles about it, e.g. [1, 2]. It’s like a front for Microsoft (Rockstar Consortium is a patent troll owned by Microsoft, Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony). As for RPX, it’s also a patent troll, with Microsoft having joined it 6 years ago.

“My list of PAEs fed by Nokia contained all of the defendants in Apple’s antitrust suit–Acacia and Conversant (technically, Apple is also suing particular subsidiaries of those)–and more.”
      –Florian Müller
Nina Milanov, an occasional EPO sceptic, told Müller, “I hope Apple sees it through. Every time you settle, to some extent the troll has won.”

True.

“Last time Nokia sued Apple in Germany,” Müller responded, “it was extremely lucky. Key patents have expired. Will be more interesting this time around.”

If Apple gets to the bottom of all these satellite proxies that are patent trolls, it will be a good service not just to Apple but also to Android/Linux. iOS and Android command the market and all that the losers can do right now is attempt to tax those two. Even Oracle is trying to accomplish that.

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