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07.21.18

Openet Has Been Intimidated by Amdocs Using Another Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Posted in America, Patents at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Openet

Summary: Amdocs is still engaging in legal intimidation and litigious bullying against its much smaller rivals/competitors; Openet is the latest reminder of it, having paid an undisclosed amount of money to end the dispute

IF PATENTS are still about innovation, as intended at the time of their inception, and if patents on software are not allowed, why is it that when used in bulk (the Microsoft way) monopolists get their way?

Amdocs, a company about 30 times the size of Openet (in terms of the number of employees), was mentioned here many times before, e.g. in [1, 2, 3]. It’s a rather aggressive firm, usually in the sense that it uses patents against its rivals. This de facto telephone surveillance* company has resorted to patent blackmail in recent years, emboldened by patents granted, awarded and sent from the USPTO. They’re an example of monopoly assertion by patents rather than technical merit. According to this new press release, Amdocs and Openet “have settled a patent infringement dispute in the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. As part of the confidential settlement, Amdocs agreed to license certain patents to Openet.”

“Finjan too is listed in the US market even though it makes nothing at all (just patent lawsuits).”In other words (not legalese), Openet shelled out some ‘protection’ money to Amdocs (a secret amount of money so as to aid future cases, filed against litigation targets to come). Openet is one among many. Amdocs is starting to resemble the Israeli patent troll Finjan, which many moons (over a decade) ago actually had a product. Extortion with software patents has since then become the sole business model. Finjan too is listed in the US market even though it makes nothing at all (just patent lawsuits).

Openet is an Irish (Dublin-based) company, so the Irish Times covered this, as did telecom news sites. To quote:

An extremely short announcement from Amdocs said “Amdocs and Openet today announced that they have settled a patent infringement dispute in the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. As part of the confidential settlement, Amdocs agreed to license certain patents to Openet.”

Back in 2010 youthful Light Reading hack Ray Le Maistre spoke to (then and still) Openet CEO Niall Norton in a bid to find out what Amdocs’ problem was. Norton, however, seemed to be as baffled as everyone else by this act of unilateral legal aggression and chose to conclude that it was merely a measure of how intimidated Amdocs was by the plucky Irish BSS upstart.

This is just legal intimidation. It’s commonly practiced by monopolies trying to assert or reassert their monopoly over a ‘turf’, just as Microsoft or IBM habitually do.
____
* As Wikipedia puts it, “Amdocs’ broad access to U.S. telephone transaction records has raised counterintelligence concerns in the U.S. government about the vulnerability of this information to exploitation by Israeli spies. “As early as 1999, the National Security Agency issued a warning that records of U.S. government telephone calls were ending up in foreign hands – Israel’s, in particullar.”

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