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Cloudflare’s Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

Posted in America, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dark clouds over Cloudflare, but it’s not alone in this

Cloudflare dark logo

Summary: With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide

THE EPO and the USPTO both grant software patents irrespective of the rules that come from the Parliament/EPC and the Supreme Court, respectively. This means that, unless these patents are challenged in the courts system (at very high cost to the defendant), software patents holders can get away with it, extracting ‘protection’ money using bogus patents.

Citing articles such as “Cloudflare trolls patent troll, offers $50k bounty for prior-art invalidation,” iophk quoted the following passage: “Cloudflare has announced that it will award that amount to anyone to support a search for prior art that can be used to invalidate Blackbird’s patents.”

“Invalidating individual patents does not scale,” iophk told us. “The real problem to attack is software patents themselves…”

We have told the EFF the same thing for over a decade now.

We wrote about this Cloudflare case earlier in the week and so did this trolls expert, whom I spoke to on the phone earlier this year. The article focuses on the stance and the views from Cloudflare (notably from Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince). To quote:

Cloudflare, the Internet security company and content delivery network, was founded more than seven years ago but miraculously hadn’t ever been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit from a non-practicing entity (commonly referred to as a “patent troll”) until this March.

Rather than pay a nuisance settlement, Cloudflare is going all-out to fight Blackbird Technologies LLC, a company founded by two former big-firm lawyers that has amassed dozens of patents and filed more than 100 lawsuits. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince says Blackbird is a classic “patent troll,” albeit one with a new, and potentially dangerous, twist on its business model.

Cloudflare offers $50,000 to save its own behind and tackle just one single patent. Why not spend this money investing in patent reform which would collectively help all sorts of companies? Right now the giant corporations which advocate software patents are greasing up politicians in a coordinated effort to spread the breath and reach of software patents (more on that later). The problem at hand is much bigger than this one patent and this one lawsuit.

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