EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.28.17

More Hardware Companies Adopt Software Patents and Become Like Patent Trolls

Posted in Hardware, Patents at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Intel too has been lobbying for software patents (and its employee Peter Detkin co-founded Intellectual Ventures)

“We cannot hope to own it all, so instead we should try to create the largest possible market and insert ourselves as a small tax on that market.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft at the time (now a patent troll at Intellectual Ventures)

Summary: A glance at the ‘trollisation’ of large companies that are tempted by the prospects of patent bullying, even if it’s known to be damaging to one’s brand and a distraction from productive activities

Softbank and Inventergy

Qualcomm’s software patent attacks were the subject of some recent articles of ours, e.g. [1, 2] and so was Softbank, which had just bought ARM from the UK (one of the biggest technology companies here). As we noted earlier this month, Softbank was potentially becoming a Japanese patent troll. It looks like it may be about to happen, primarily as a by-product of inheritance of longtime patent bullies.

As the trolls’ apologist put it earlier today:

It is not clear what role, if any, Fortress played in the decision to file the suit against Apple, but it’s notable that such a high-profile case has been filed so close to the restructuring vote. The investment giant now looks set to become a significant force in the assertion market just as it is in the process of being taken over by Softbank, the Japanese tech and telecoms giant, in a $3.3 billion deal.

Maybe it’s time for Softbank to just abandon negotiations with Inventergy and dump this troll altogether. When firms resort to this kind of behaviour it is often a sign of misery and desperation. Softbank, if it was to allow itself to become another Qualcomm, would tarnish ARM’s powerful and highly valuable brand.

BlackBerry and Nokia

Speaking of large companies that flirt with patent trolling, the Canadian press has belatedly realised that Canadian giant BlackBerry is now effectively (although only in part) a patent troll. Earlier today it wrote, right there in the headline in fact, that “BlackBerry may have a brighter future as patent troll than as a software developer” and to quote the opening sentence: “BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), the former smartphone and software technology developer run by CEO John Chen, may have a brighter future as patent troll than as a software developer with a portfolio of some 44,000 patents worldwide, many of which have been described by Envision IP as high quality based on reverse citations.”

“Speaking of large companies that flirt with patent trolling, the Canadian press has belatedly realised that Canadian giant BlackBerry is now effectively (although only in part) a patent troll.”Several months ago we showed that even corporate media called BlackBerry a "patent troll". Another new article speaks of how one large troll attacks another, as we pointed out a few weeks ago. This new report says that “Blackberry And Nokia ]are] In Court over patent infringement issues. BlackBerry is asking Nokia to obtain license for use of as many as 11 patents” (Nokia will probably demand something similar from BlackBerry, if it still makes any phones by then).

USAA

In other news from today — news that was quite widely spread in fact [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] — in spite of absence of software patents in India USAA managed to get an Indian firm to swallow the bait. As one report put it: “San Antonio-based financial services company USAA inked a deal with a software development firm in India to exclusively license some of its patented technology, which will be used to create new commercial software.

“India is a smart choice for such things because India barely has any patent trolls and it certainly does not tolerate patents lawsuits over software development.”“Persistent Systems plans to use the patents and security algorithms USAA developed to detect fraudulent activity on its customers’ accounts using an authentication system that considers risk and previous activity — beyond passwords and even biometric scanning.”

Whether or not this was patented, in India these patents have no potency, unless the eventual product is to be exported to the US, at which point injunctions can be pursued. But the point of the matter is, did the media need to focus so much on these software patents? It sounds as though USAA just merely contracted/hired some software developers to implement things. India is a smart choice for such things because India barely has any patent trolls and it certainly does not tolerate patents lawsuits over software development. We’ll say more about India in our next post.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  2. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  3. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  4. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  7. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  8. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  9. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  10. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  11. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  13. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  15. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  17. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  18. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  19. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  20. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  22. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  25. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  26. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  27. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  28. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  29. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  30. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts