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

08.03.17

Trolls Roundup: Buying up the Competition Using Patents and the Post-TC Heartland Figures

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent tax in a new gown/clothing

Equity (finance)
Reference: Equity (finance)

Summary: The latest trends in patent trolling, an activity which relocates and evolves rather than simply vanish

THE USPTO used to be the most patent trolls-friendly office and the US in general the most patent trolls-infested country. The term was obviously coined there.

“Trolls are shrinking or dismantling themselves.”Right now it’s China which is rapidly becoming the cesspool of patent trolls (the US gradually stops being that), so the patent microcosm is envious of China. It can't stop mentioning "China!" all the time (Watchtroll did that again this week) because it’s infested with trolls and lawsuits. But who really benefits from that other than the patent microcosm?

The matter of fact is, under Michelle Lee the system has been cleaning up its act and the Supreme Court contributed to this. Trolls are shrinking or dismantling themselves.

“The matter of fact is, under Michelle Lee the system has been cleaning up its act and the Supreme Court contributed to this.”This optimism should not signal apathy, however, as trolls are evolving in a way.

Consider for example what Dominion Harbor [1, 2] is doing and mind yesterday’s news about this pool (the press is framing it as “for startups”, but the opposite is true).

To quote Bloomberg:

A handful of large patent holders, including telecom giant AT&T Inc., have agreed to pool patents for sale to startups in exchange for equity when the up-and-coming companies raise venture capital funds.

Patent advisory and transaction firm Aqua Licensing said Aug. 2 in a statement that it will launch a program to match startups looking to purchase intellectual property to defend against potential litigation with patent holders interested in selling patents that aren’t essential to their core businesses.

AT&T, Lenovo and Rambus were loathsome enough even before they entered this scheme. Here is how IAM put it:

The new platform has echoes of similar initiatives from the likes of Dominion Harbor and InterTrust who have both looked to create value from patents by offering start-ups defensive cover and providing those businesses advice on patent strategy in exchange for equity. What marks this new initiative out however is the backing of some seriously heavyweight operating businesses that are looking to use IP which might otherwise remain unused and be a drag on their balance sheets.

So this is done “in exchange for equity.” We added the image at the top for the uninitiated or those unfamiliar with accounting terminopoly. How is that beneficial at all? They are using patents for financial leverage over small companies. We expect to hear more about this in the coming days/weeks, but it’s a form of predation. The above blog post compares it to InterTrust, which is a horrible patent bully.

“They’re simply evolving and attempting to make money out of patents without litigating.”What we have here is a bunch of already-controversial companies (for surveillance, patent bullying and hostility towards GNU/Linux) trying to put a happy face on their behaviour. They’re simply evolving and attempting to make money out of patents without litigating. It’s a form of ‘protection’ money. Microsoft too changed its methods.

Incidentally, TC Heartland has had a negative impact on classic trolls, as expected.

Uniloc tops plaintiff ranking,” Managing IP says this week, but much of the attention has moved to whether cases can move out of Texas:

In the first half of 2017, TC Heartland became the talk of the town. Many of the most unsettled questions of patent law moving into the second half stem from the Supreme Court’s May 2017 decision.

Writing behind paywall, IAM “show[s] the share of new patent litigation cases filed in selected federal districts before and after the US Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland LLC v Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. The ruling held that, as applied to domestic corporations, ‘residence’ in the patent venue statute Section 1400(b) refers only to the state of incorporation.”

“We expect the patent aggressors to generally come up with new ways to extract money out of small businesses, with or without lawsuits.”There was another article about this, titled “Does TC Heartland signal the end of East Texas’ dominance?”

We expect the patent aggressors to generally come up with new ways to extract money out of small businesses, with or without lawsuits. The above initiative is a reminder of this threat (akin to MPEG-LA, which also attempts to reinvent itself now that key MPEG patents are expiring/expired).

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 23/1/2018: Castle Game Engine 6.4, Qt 5.9.4, SQLite 3.22.0

    Links for the day



  2. Confidence in European Patents (EPs) is Eroding and Stakeholders Are Already Suffering

    The rush to grant lots and lots of patents at the EPO is already taking its toll; quality is declining, decisions to grant are being overturned, and the already-overburdened appeal boards are unable to catch up



  3. Even More Uncertain a Future for the Independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal as Judge Corcoran Too Gets Sent to 'Exile'

    The attack on supposedly independent judges at the EPO escalates further; the judge whom the EPO was ordered to reinstate (by ILO) is being constantly pushed around, not just legally bullied



  4. The Response to Accusations of Censorship by Team UPC? Yet More Censorship to Shield UPC From Criticism

    The Empire of Lies upon which the Unified Patent Court (UPC) was conceived is being exposed for its lies; The Empire Strikes Back with yet more censorship



  5. Links 22/1/2018: Linux 4.15 Delayed Again, Libinput 1.9.901

    Links for the day



  6. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  7. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  8. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  9. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  10. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  11. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  12. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  13. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  14. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  15. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  16. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  17. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  18. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  19. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  20. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  21. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  22. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  23. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  24. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  26. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)



  27. Press Coverage About the EPO Board Revoking Broad's CRISPR Patent

    Even though there's some decent coverage about yesterday's decision (e.g. from The Scientist), the patent microcosm googlebombs the news with stuff that serves to distract from or distort the outcome



  28. Links 17/1/2018: HHVM 3.24, WordPress 4.9.2

    Links for the day



  29. No Patents on Life (CRISPR), Said EPO Boards of Appeal Just a Few Hours Ago

    Broad spectacularly loses its key case, which may soon mean that any other patents on CRISPR too will be considered invalid



  30. Only Two Weeks on the Job, Judge Patrick Corcoran is Already Being Threatened by EPO Management

    The attack on a technical judge who is accused of relaying information many people had already relayed anyway (it was gossip at the whole Organisation for years) carries on as he is again being pushed around, just as many people predicted


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts