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12.05.17

Ericsson’s Chief ‘IP’ Officer Kasim Alfalahi Has Become a Parasite and Patent Troll in Avanci

Posted in Asia, Europe, Patents at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Avanci is just one of many

Regulators should stop tech innovators from becoming patent trolls
Reference: Regulators should stop tech innovators from becoming patent trolls (article published September 11th 2017 regarding Avanci and it looks like it has since then been pressured to change the headline)

Summary: Trolls have ridden the latest wave of fronting for large corporations by taking their patents for so-called ‘assertion’ or ‘monetisation’ (trolling like MPEG-LA and many of Microsoft’s patent trolls)

TECHRIGHTS published many articles about Ericsson’s trolling by proxy. Ericsson now does this in Europe as well, even in London.

Last night we became aware that Ericsson’s chief IP [sic] officer, Kasim Alfalahi, had become a parasite and patent troll. He now hides under the name “Avanci” and pressures companies to pay ‘protection’ money. Latest victim? BMW. They got a settlement.

Alfalahi/Avanci then contacted the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) for this puff piece. IAM gives him a platform as follows:

German car giant BMW has become the first automaker to take a licence with Avanci, the patent licensing platform for certain Internet of Things (IoT) industry verticals headed by former Ericsson chief IP officer Kasim Alfalahi.

[...]

Alfalahi, who was speaking to the IAM blog shortly after the deal was announced, admitted that putting the first agreement in place was particularly significant. He then added: “I think BMW decided to do the right thing to put this agreement in place knowing that they get 11 companies’ patent portfolios with just one signature.”

[...]

Despite Avanci’s collection of patents and the licensing expertise of Alfalahi and his team, they have been faced with an auto industry that is unaccustomed to the licensing practices of the mobile world and other tech sectors. Traditionally a complex web of cross-licensing agreements has covered the automakers and their universe of suppliers meaning that patent infringement disputes have been very rare.

Notice how IAM is virtually a tool/messenger for the troll here. This is very typical. On the same day (earlier on) IAM was whitewashing patent trolls again, this time in China. “A fair share of Chinese patent plaintiffs are individuals, but don’t call them trolls,” the headline said. But if these individuals make nothing at all and merely applied for patent, then yes, they are patent trolls. Here is how IAM put it:

Just as interesting as the 35% figure is how the Beijing IP Court contextualised it. The court-affiliated authors of the statistical report declared that the prevalence of assertions by individuals is the embodiment of ‘Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation’, a policy slogan that is supposed to direct the government’s economic and innovation policies. An encouraging sign, in other words.

That policy is horrible; it encouraged the pursuit of many low-quality patents and then, as expected, it resulted in a surge of lawsuits. Only patent law firms/prosecutors will benefit from that in the long run. Meanwhile, Hong Kong would be wise not to imitate China’s patent gold rush. According to this post from several hours ago, changes are afoot, namely:

User testing for new patent system can be expected in early 2018. One implementation challenge will be that there are not enough technical people to do patent examinations in Hong Kong

The creation of an original grant patent (OGP) system is part of Hong Kong’s package of initiatives to turn itself into a technology and innovation hub.

China has made itself particularly attractive to patent trolls, serving as a cautionary tale to Hong Kong. Sites like IAM, fronting for trolls, are obviously not interested in technology but in litigation and shake-downs.

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