02.17.17

Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents, Samsung at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Technicolor logo

Summary: Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)

THE USPTO has long been a provider of patents that are used against Free software, but in Europe too this has increasingly been the case. Some European companies like Nokia are nowadays attacking Free software (Android, GNU/Linux etc.) while the EPO keeps granting software patents (recall Microsoft v TomTom).

“Some European companies like Nokia are nowadays attacking Free software (Android, GNU/Linux etc.) while the EPO keeps granting software patents (recall Microsoft v TomTom).”Technicolor has become a patent troll and weeks ago its shares were collapsing (it had already shown signs of rot not too long ago), so it now attacks [GNU/]Linux-powered products of Samsung, which may be the first among several more to come. According to this from IP Wire, “Technicolor announced today that it has initiated several patent infringement suits in Germany and France against Samsung Electronics, across a range of Samsung products, including mobile phones and digital televisions.”

These mobile phones and digital televisions run Tizen and Android, which are both Linux-based operating systems.

“These mobile phones and digital televisions run Tizen and Android, which are both Linux-based operating systems.”This is definitely noteworthy and merits a post of its own. In other news, regarding PersonalWeb Tech v Apple, there is this update which suggests that PTAB, characteristically, “found the challenged claims of PersonalWeb’s Patent No. 7,802,310 obvious based upon a combination of two prior art references. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit has vacated the judgment – holding that the Board’s factual findings were not supported by substantial evidence. In particular, the Federal Circuit could not find substantial evidence for the conclusions (1) that the prior art taught each element of the challenged claims or (2) that PHOSITA would have been motivated to combine the references to form the invention as claimed.”

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) rarely interferes and even less frequently disagrees with PTAB (only about 20% of the time in 2016). We hope that in the case of Samsung Electronics, a case which is centered around central Europe (France and Germany, or Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim in the absence of a UPC disaster), pertinent patents will be challenged. If not, then we can expect Technicolor to become more of a serial litigator.

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