05.09.18

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Microsoft is Attacking the Competition Through Patent Trolls Based in Texas, Armed by Microsoft’s Former Management

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Patent Trolls Roundup: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), Microsoft Trolls, and the Eastern District of Texas

Hublink, LLC, a Dominion Harbor subsidiary

Summary: Dominion Harbor receives its patents from Microsoft’s patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, then sues via shells (like the above) down south in the trolls-friendly courts; we now know that Intellectual Ventures is a lot closer to Microsoft than previously believed/assumed

TECHRIGHTS has been following Intellectual Ventures for a dozen years, knowing that it had harvested many USPTO patents and that it was closely connected to Microsoft. Just how connected? Even more than we thought.

IAM says: “Filing reveals Microsoft was majority investor in third Intellectual Ventures patent fund; company writes down $136.5 million.”

A former IAM writer added: “Microsoft held a 73% stake in troubled IIF3, Intellectual Ventures’ third (and final?) patent monetisation fund. IV will soon be a very different-looking business to what it was a couple of years ago.’

The report they both rely on was mentioned here over the weekend. Basically, Microsoft is a patent extortion company with a recent (the ‘new’ Microsoft) 73% stake in the troll that feeds many of the other trolls, including Dominion Harbor in Texas. Microsoft is willing to lose a lot of money just to sabotage rivals. This is the kind of behaviour which gave Microsoft its notoriety.

IAM’s corresponding/underlying article is behind paywall, but it has a lot to show Microsoft sponsoring the world’s biggest patent troll (run by former Microsoft management, more so now than ever before). To quote:

Last week details emerged of a corporate filing made by a Microsoft subsidiary with details of a write off that the software giant made in relation to its investment in Intellectual Venture’s Invention Investment Fund III. According to the disclosure, which is for an entity called Microsoft Round Island Three and covers the 12 months ending 30th June 2017 (it was filed with the Irish corporate registry at the end of April), the tech giant took a hit of $136.5 million on its investment. The filing — details of which were reported by The Irish Times last week — also revealed… [paywall]

This isn’t a disclosure Microsoft was willing to make; it serves to show just how closely connected Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft truly are.

Thankfully, their trolling campaign has been curtailed somewhat in Texas after TC Heartland. The patent extremists try to find ‘artistic’ new ways to pretend practising companies actually operate where judges are patent trolls- and software patents-friendly. This is once again failing. Yesterday’s Docket Report said this:

The court granted defendants’ motion to transfer for improper venue because one subsidiary defendant’s contacts with the district were insufficient to establish a regular and established place of business in the district for another subsidiary defendant.

Red Hat seems happy enough to pretend that Microsoft is now a friend, but it might not be long before another Microsoft-connected troll takes on Red Hat in court. Yet again. Or maybe trolls will be kindly instructed not to touch Red Hat because Microsoft and Red Hat agreed on an exclusive “standstill”.

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