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05.27.17

Cloudflare Wants to Completely Squash the Patent Troll Blackbird Technologies by Squashing the Only Thing It Has

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 4:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Putting more of its money to good use, for a change, Cloudflare goes for the kill against Blackbird Technologies, which has no technologies, just patents and lawsuits

INTERNET access may be limited here (and Cloudflare greylists IP addresses here), but the other day we wrote about Cloudflare in a positive way, for a change.

The good work by Cloudflare, at least on the patent front (Cloudflare’s negative impact on other fronts notwithstanding), now resembles Newegg’s. They fight back against patent trolls, having belatedly realised just how much of a nuisance these can be. Newegg already neutralised some of the most notorious trolls and it seems as though Cloudflare realised the potential for positive publicly, so now it’s going for the kill. The company would be wise to invest its money in squashing all trolls and all software patents (something which can be done after Alice), but Cloudflare prioritises its own battles and now ups the ante, forcing the troll to either walk away or face destruction of so-called ‘assets’, namely patents. The latest bounty is this:

Blackbird sued Cloudflare in March, claiming infringement of US Patent No. 6,453,335. Two weeks ago, Cloudflare explained the strategy it would use to fight back. The company pledged to not only seek to invalidate the ’335 patent, but it will spend $50,000 on a "bounty" seeking to gather prior art and knock out all Blackbird-owned patents.

As TechDirt put it the other day, “Cloudflare Ups The Ante In Search Of Prior Art To Invalidate ALL Patents From Patent Troll Blackbird Tech” (they don’t have many patents).

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Cloudflare’s decision to punch back hard against a patent troll, Blackbird Technologies, that had sued the company over a questionable patent (US Patent 6,453,335). Beyond just challenging the claim of infringement, the company also filed ethics complaints against the lawyers who run Blackbird, noting that the company appeared to be a law firm masquerading as a company, and breaking a number of local rules about law firms and “buying” a proprietary interest in a lawsuit. At the same time, Cloudflare set up a $50,000 fund to offer prizes to people who could find prior art not just to invalidate the patent that Cloudflare was sued over but also every other patent held by Blackbird Technologies.

Let’s hope that Cloudflare fights this to the end and renders Blackbird as defunct as IPNav (IP Navigation Group, LLC). These are truly malicious and very harmful trolls.

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