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12.10.17

Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Are Increasingly Active and Microsoft is Selling ‘Protection’ (Azure Subscriptions)

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Pay us and they won’t hurt you…”

RacketSummary: There are several indications that Microsoft-connected shells, which produce no products and are threatening a large number of companies, are inadvertently if not intentionally helping Microsoft sell “indemnification” (“Azure IP Advantage,” which echoes the Microsoft/Novell strategy for collecting what they called “patent royalties” one decade ago)

FOLLOWING subjugation and infiltration, as documented here for a number of years, Microsoft has already passed many of Nokia‘s patents to trolls, took many of Novell’s patents, and may be watching Yahoo! patents landing on the laps of trolls.

Here is a pro-trolls site speaking to an RPX person who wants to turn Yahoo’s patents into an extortion racket. This is what IAM wrote some days ago:

Excalibur IP, the entity which owns a large portfolio of former Yahoo! patents, has appointed Paul Reidy as its new president, as its parent company Altaba looks to refocus efforts on monetising the stockpile of almost 4000 assets.

Reidy spent six years at RPX before leaving the defensive aggregator in early 2016 and setting up his own consulting business. Before RPX he worked for a couple of years at Intellectual Ventures and prior to that had stints at Freescale Semiconductor and Motorola. He will report into Altaba general counsel Arthur Chong and will work alongside former Broadcom IP counsel Anthony Dreux, who also recently joined Excalibur as general counsel.

[...]

As this blog recently reported Provenance Asset Group CEO Dan McCurdy suggested at an event in New York last month that the reason why the Yahoo! assets haven’t sold is that not enough companies are scared of them. Reidy conceded there was some truth in what McCurdy had to say: “If there’s no urgency, if there’s no reason for anyone to do anything, people aren’t going to go to their boss and ask them to pay for a licence if they don’t feel like they need it, so it is incumbent on us to show people that they need it.”

Notice that mention of Provenance Asset Group, which is looking to troll (sue/extort) companies using thousands of Nokia’s patents [1, 2]. This can become a marketing tool for Microsoft’s “Azure IP Advantage”, as we explained in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. This patent troll was also mentioned in IAM’s latest issue, in an article that spoke of “[a] record-breaking deal between Nokia and Provenance Asset Group shows just how important multinational patent portfolios now are to the patent buy-side…”

“Notice that mention of Provenance Asset Group, which is looking to troll (sue/extort) companies using thousands of Nokia’s patents. This can become a marketing tool for Microsoft’s “Azure IP Advantage”…”A couple more articles from this issue [1, 2] glorified such strategies and said: “Whisper it softly but the signs first glimpsed in 2016 are becoming stronger – the brokered patent market in the United States may just be in the first stages of a recovery…”

What they mean by “brokered patent market” is more or less akin to trolling. We often find Microsoft in the shadows (former executives and partners) and days ago we saw the serial patent troll that’s connected to Microsoft continuing to attack everyone but Microsoft (they attack almost all of Microsoft’s rivals). That troll is known as Finjan, an Israeli company which does nothing but litigation, and its latest target is Zscaler. Its latest declaration stated: “Finjan filed a Complaint (Case No. 3:17-cv-06946), on December 5, 2017, and alleges that Zscaler’s products and services infringe at least four U.S. Finjan patents.”

“We predict that in the coming years Microsoft will try to make money by causing patent chaos everywhere while offering “indemnification” in exchange for monthly fees (i.e. ‘protection’ money).”Microsoft is meanwhile stockpiling patents on things where they have a minuscule market share and are more likely pursuing ‘protection’ money [1, 2]. We predict that in the coming years Microsoft will try to make money by causing patent chaos everywhere while offering “indemnification” in exchange for monthly fees (i.e. ‘protection’ money). The dissemination of patents to trolls is very much what we should expect for this strategy to work.

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

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