07.16.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Immersion, FitBit, Jawbone, and Creative Chose to be a Pile of Patents Rather Than Real Companies

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some people out there have already labeled Immersion “patent troll”, but it’s not as simple as that

Immersion logo

Summary: FitBit is the latest company to be slapped by Immersion (having already driven Jawbone out of business) and there’s news about Creative, which uses old patents to shake down Apple and Android OEMs

THERE is definitely such a thing as a “patent troll” (or patent shark as it used to be called, or PAE/NPE as the euphemism); but then there’s that grey area where something or someone is “borderline troll” because one still makes some products (or at least aspires to). Today, we have decided to separate companies that are “real” from those that are obviously trolls. Even “real” companies, such as Microsoft, can oftentimes act like trolls, or at least send their patents (or Nokia’s) trolls’ way in order for the patent trolls to sue on their behalf (indirect trolling). It’s a truly nasty aspect of the industry and sadly enough it’s the reality out there; I often hear from victims of such trolls or “borderline trolls”. They can be utterly destructive to people’s personal lives, not just people’s businesses or pet projects. Bankruptcy is a possibility and there’s also an aspect of threats and blackmail (people literally afraid for their lives).

We’ll break down this post as follows (same for the next post, regarding classic trolls).

Immersion

In past years we wrote dozens of times about high-profile Immersion cases and various other cases of Immersion, a “real” company that’s more interested in “licensing” than actually producing something of its own (it sues almost everybody, except Microsoft, which is historically close to Immersion because of DirectX). Less than a week ago FitBit, which is itself somewhat of a patent bully (we’ll come to that later), found itself on the receiving end of Immersion’s litigation machine. Frankly, no sympathy deserved here because Immersion is now doing to FitBit what FitBit did to its own competitors. Here are the details:

FitBit, which makes wearable technology for fitness, has been sued for patent infringement over use of motion sensing software in its products.

The complaint was filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, July 10.

California-based software company Immersion accused FitBit of wilfully infringing three of its patents, causing “irreparable harm”.

FitBit's own weakness is that its patents may be worthless. We don’t think FitBit can sue Immersion over anything; it would be a lot easier if Immersion actually made something! So there’s no balance of patents here; in effect, only one side can throw patents at the other — the hallmark of patent trolls!

Jawbone

Jawbone got sued by FitBit, but it was at least able to sue FitBit to balance things a little. Both companies actually have products, but as for Jawbone, it seems to be the end of it. The company is becoming just a pile of patents and IAM drools over the possibilities, perhaps expecting these patents to be handed over to trolls:

Jawbone, the consumer electronics business, which was one of the pioneers in fitness oriented wearable devices, started liquidation proceedings earlier this month. Having attracted more than $600 million in venture capital funding and reached a peak valuation of $3 billion, the company suffered in the increasingly competitive wearables market which has seen large tech companies like Apple and Samsung growing their presence. According to reports the company’s founder has set up Jawbone Health Hub which will continue to service Jawbone devices.

What contributed to Jawbone’s collapse was the lawsuit from FitBit, but FitBit too is collapsing and apparently demand for wearable surveillance devices isn’t what they hoped for. We wrote about FitBit’s severe problems (financial) when we also mentioned RPX going headless.

RPX

RPX is not a company but a very major parasite that we wrote about many times before. IAM of course loves such patent parasites, so it recently celebrated this “RPX settlement deal”. Creative settles with another troll (like itself, having run out of ideas and products) and PTAB might serve to thwart this abuse some time soon (we’ll deal with PTAB separately later today). Here is what IAM wrote some days ago:

RPX Corporation yesterday announced a deal with Singapore’s ZiiLabs that will see the Creative Technology subsidiary assign certain patent rights to the defensive aggregator while ending a US litigation campaign with at least seven defendants. The deal appears to end ZiiLabs’ campaign to enforce patents it obtained through a 2002 takeover of 3DLabs. It will not affect Creative’s other major assertion effort, a series of cases based on the so-called ‘Zen patent’ which once compelled a $100 million settlement from Apple and is now awaiting an IPR decision.

Calling RPX a “defensive aggregator” (as IAM does) is misleading; it’s more like an offensive aggressor. It’s full of them anyway. Even Microsoft is a member.

In the next post we’ll syndicate and remark on various patent trolls and what they are up to.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  2. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  3. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  5. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  6. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  7. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  8. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  9. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  10. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  11. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  13. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  14. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  15. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  16. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  17. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  18. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  20. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  22. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  24. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  25. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  26. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  28. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  29. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  30. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day


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