Summary: Now that patent trolls are spreading to Europe and the EPO promotes the trolls-friendly UPC we cannot turn a blind eye to the role played by IAM, a de facto voice not just of patent trolls but also Benoît Battistelli [1, 2]
THE Director of the USPTO, who is under attack from the patent microcosm including IAM (they try to oust her by spreading false rumours and fake scandals), did a decent job curtailing patent trolls — so much so that the world’s largest patent troll (Intellectual Ventures, or IV for short) is collapsing and the firm of the original patent troll is now defunct.
One can be sure that sites like IAM will sob for the trolls and attack those who stop the trolls. IAM exists for this purpose (not just to lie for Battistelli, whose PR firm supplies IAM with money of EPO stakeholders). Here is yet another new puff piece from IAM — a puff piece that happens to reveal that IAM was speaking to the horrible troll Nathan Myhrvold (the world’s most notorious patent troll). That says a lot about IAM. Here are some key parts:
It was making a bet on the long-term importance of innovation and IP, a fair wager in an economy where companies derived more and more value from their intangible assets. In 2006 IV founder Nathan Myhrvold described IP to IAM as “the fate of the US economy”, pointing out that the two were inextricably linked. “In 10 years patents will be even more important than they are now,” he said.
IV is not about to disappear — as this blog pointed out on Tuesday, continuing to focus on its own innovation efforts through its labs and possible spin out companies makes a lot of sense; while from an assertion point of view, it is in many ways becoming a far more potent force, seeding its IP into a wide range of licensing vehicles as well as focusing on its own efforts. If the decision to pull out of the market was driven by investors, you have to wonder just how happy, in the long term, those backers are going to be with the prospect of more IV assets being litigated in court.
As we pointed out here before, IV has literally thousands of satellite firms (for litigation by proxy) and it is passing patents to them. Microsoft, one must remember, holds the strings to IV. Bill Gates is very close to Nathan Myhrvold, who came from Microsoft, and Microsoft supplies money to IV.
Not only Microsoft is operating via trolls like IV. Ericsson too is doing this and as we pointed out last week, Ericsson’s patent trolls officially became a ‘thing’ in Europe (earlier this month). Now it’s done in the US, Germany, and even in the UK, as the following new analysis points out:
This case began in 2014 when Unwired Planet, a U.S.-based patent assertion entity, sued Google, Samsung and Huawei for infringement under six UK patents (corresponding actions were filed in Germany). Unwired Planet claimed that five of the asserted patents, which it acquired from Ericsson in 2013 as part of a portfolio comprising approximately 2000 patents, were essential to the 2G, 3G and 4G wireless telecommunications standards developed under the auspices of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Because Ericsson participated in development of the standards at ETSI, any patents shown to be SEPs would necessarily be encumbered by Ericsson’s FRAND commitment to ETSI.
According to court documents seen by IAM, Polaris Innovations – the WiLAN-controlled entity which holds the Qimonda patents – originally filed suit against Kingston Technology, a US manufacturer of data storage devices, in February 2016. Polaris alleged infringement of six of its patents relating to dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) technology by numerous Kingston products.
Polaris IP (not Polaris Innovations) was mentioned one decade ago by Patent Troll Tracker (who was unmasked by Ray Niro before he died). We don’t know if there is a connection, but the other firms actually produce something.
We are sad but not surprised to see IAM continuing its malicious agenda of promoting patent trolls. For the EPO’s President to brag about IAM, the de facto voice of patent aggression and trolls, says quite a lot about today’s leadership of the EPO with its UPC ambitions. As someone told us just over an hour ago, under the UPC “one kind of applicants who will continue to apply en masse are the patent trolls.” No wonder IAM spreads fake news to promote the UPC. █