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

08.05.18

The Post-TC Heartland East Texas Conundrum and the Oddity of Trials by People Who Don’t Understand the Pertinent Patents

Posted in America, Patents at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jurists are watching this, no doubt…

Rodney Gilstrap

Summary: Juries and trials in Texas are still being pursued by those whose cases (and underlying patents) aren’t so impressive; there’s more evidence of the dangers of operating in any form as a company (or with a company) in East Texas

THE US patent system has improved; the patents granted by the USPTO have also apparently improve (the number of granted patents is declining). Patent litigation numbers are down very sharply and some prominent patent trolls have gone out of ‘business’ (they never had a legitimate business).

“Patent litigation numbers are down very sharply and some prominent patent trolls have gone out of ‘business’ (they never had a legitimate business).”In the midst of it all we have sites like IAM constantly marketing patent trolls, as we’ve just demonstrated (about an hour ago). The goals of IAM aren’t hard to decipher and it’s ever more obvious when one looks at IAM’s funding sources (sponsors).

In its latest printed issue IAM published Gautham Bodepudi’s article about patent trolls. To quote the outline:

Patent trolls are generally regarded with disdain and lawsuits designed to extract low-value settlements are treated as nuisance litigations that take advantage of the costs of defence – but in reality, things are not so simple

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 2016 Patent Assertion Entity Activity Study, which tracks early-stage costs for defending a patent case, defines ‘nuisance settlements’ as those that settle below $300,000. The study concludes that “[n]uisance infringement litigation… can tax judicial resources and divert attention away from productive business behavior”.

Then, behind a paywall, starts the spin. Most scholars if not virtually all of them speak out against patent trolls. A literature survey of their studies on this topic is pretty revealing. Some of them appear to be reading Techrights regularly.

Trolls in the United States have long relied on Texas. That’s because Texas (the Eastern District in particular) actively advertised biases; much of that changed a year ago due to TC Heartland. Texas was no longer able to attract as much patent lawsuit activity as it used to. The most ruthless patent trolls try to work around TC Heartland, but that usually fails (they misinterpret a company’s place of business, e.g. by associating it with where a warehouse exists or where some data is warehoused). One such entity, SEVEN Networks, is trying to drag Google down there. Never mind if Google has nothing to do with Texas. Updates on Eastern District of Texas litigation by SEVEN Networks LLC against Google has been published here. Texas isn’t where Google came from or is operating, so this is what happens: “The court denied Google’s renewed motion to dismiss for improper venue because it had a regular and established place of business in the district through its Google Global Cache servers housed by third-party ISPs.”

So basically the district court pretends that Google is a Texan firm because some data of Google is stored in Texas; another reason for companies to start avoiding if not boycotting companies from East Texas?

What about foreign companies? TC Heartland does not say much on the subject, but there have been key cases since (several months ago), so now we see foreign companies going after other foreign companies using patent courts in Texas. This has become fashionable after TC Heartland because that might be the only ‘business’ left in Eastern Texas.

Dealing with KAIST and Hanyang, IAM says that they’re chasing the notorious Rodney Gilstrap because he has a reputation for helping patent trolls. To quote:

One month after the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) won a $400 million jury verdict against Samsung there, another top Korean research university is asserting its patents in the Eastern District of Texas. Hanyang University, a private institution in Seoul known for its engineering school, is accusing Huawei of infringing two patents related to mobile interfaces. Hanyang’s suit (like KAIST’s before it) has been assigned to Judge Rodney Gilstrap. The patents-in-suit cover a feature of smartphones known as ‘one hand mode’ which adjusts a phone’s user interface to make it easier to use with a single hand.

Another new story from the Eastern District of Texas involves Huawei, which was mentioned in this new post the other day along with Qualcomm. Watch what courts in Texas will deal with: a former Huawei patent.

Microsoft and Samsung were both sued earlier this week in the Eastern District of Texas over the alleged infringement of a patent owned by the NPE Altair Logix. The patent in question relates to semiconductor technology and was also asserted last month against Texas Instruments. According to RPX Insight, Altair Logix is an apparent affiliate of IP Edge, one of the most prolific filers of patent disputes in the last few years. What adds an extra level of intrigue to this latest assertion is where the patent in question comes from.

Michael Loney has these new statistics from the Eastern District of Texas:

RPX has revealed data on the fairness of US jury verdicts, with defendants winning in the Eastern District of Texas 50% of the time – a more balanced figure than nationwide

The problem is that jury verdicts on patents are potentially silly because juries rarely understand the inventions at hand. It’s not their professional domain. Not a suitable trial form. We said this many times before. Some juries don’t understand patents as a concept, let alone the the patents at hand. Juries are fine for some kinds of trials, e.g. robbery; Such trials are unsuitable for patent matters, however, as patents tend to be specialised. Many judges who rule on such matters also decide on software patents without actually understanding software (having never written any).

Here is another new example of it: Schwendimann v Arkwright Advanced Coating, Inc.

“Following a jury trial,” the Docket Navigator summarised, “the court denied defendant’s motion for new trial and rejected defendant’s argument that the jury’s damages award was excessive.”

Recently we saw how juries can have a say on huge sums of money, over a tenth of a billion dollars, as noted in this post about IBM. It’s a subject that Watchtroll belatedly covered and IAM’s Richard Lloyd continues to celebrate*. He acts like nothing but an IBM propaganda front for patent troll agenda and still gives only IBM’s side of the story (separately, Lloyd spoke of “IP value creation market”). To quote:

In the aftermath of IBM’s recent $83.5 million patent infringement victory over Groupon, Big Blue’s counsel in the case John Desmarais told IAM that the award was another sign that the market was improving for licensors. He described the tech giant’s win as a “shot in the arm for all licensors” with the jury’s finding of willfulness opening up the possibility of even greater damages and attorneys’ fees. Desmarais is one of the best-known patent litigators in the US and was the driving force behind the creation of Round Rock Research, the licensing business formed in 2009 to monetise a large portfolio…

How about giving Groupon’s side of the story? Well, do not expect that from the patent trolls’ lobby.
________
* His colleague Timothy Au is cheerleading for patent aggression again, “[b]ased on a survey with 165 responses across a range of sectors and a number of separate sectoral analyses…”

Another colleague of his, Jacob Schindler, covers that same old scam again. Something along the lines of, “buy my patents for a high price and then I’ll leave you alone…”

To quote:

According to USPTO assignments recorded yesterday, Xiaomi bought a US patent portfolio from Philips in the run-up to its June initial public offering. It looks as though the assignments, which were executed in March, included around 350 global assets in total. The documentation lists over 130 US patent numbers. There are also rights registered in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and a range of European jurisdictions which include Russia and Turkey. Interestingly, there don’t seem to be any Chinese patents included in the deal.

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. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  2. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  3. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  4. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  5. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  6. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  7. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  8. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  9. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  10. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  11. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  12. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  13. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  14. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  15. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  17. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  18. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  19. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  20. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  21. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  22. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  23. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day



  24. Patent Quality Continues to Slip in Europe and We Know Who Will Profit From That (and Distract From It)

    The corporate media and large companies don't speak about it (like Red Hat did before entering a relationship with IBM), but Europe is being littered and saturated with a lot of bogus software patents -- abstract patents that European courts would almost certainly throw out; this utter failure of the media to do journalism gets exploited by the "big litigation" lobby and EPO management that's granting loads of invalid European Patents (whose invalidation goes underreported or unreported in the media)



  25. Corporate Front Groups Like OIN and the Linux Foundation Need to Combat Software Patents If They Really Care About Linux

    The absurdity of having groups that claim to defend Linux but in practice defend software patents, if not actively then passively (by refusing to comment on this matter)



  26. Links 9/6/2019: Arrest of Microsoft Peter, Linux 5.2 RC4, Ubuntu Touch Update

    Links for the day



  27. Chapter 8: A Foot in the Door -- How to Train Sympathetic Developers and Infiltrate Other Projects

    How to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects



  28. Chapter 7: Patent War -- Use Low-Quality Patents to Prove That All Software Rips Off Your Company

    Patents in the United States last for 20 years from the time of filing. Prior to 1994, the patent term was 17 years from when the patent was issued.



  29. The Linux Foundation in 2019: Over 100 Million Dollars in Income, But Cannot Maintain Linux.com?

    Today’s Linux Foundation gets about 0.1 billion dollars per year (as explained in our previous post), so why can’t it spend about 0.1% of that money on people who write for and maintain a site that actually promotes GNU/Linux?



  30. Microsoft and Proprietary Software Vendors a Financial Boon for the Linux Foundation, But at What Cost?

    The Linux Foundation is thriving financially, but the sources of income are diversified to the point where the Linux Foundation is actually funded by foes of Linux, defeating the very purpose or direction of such a nonprofit foundation (led by self-serving millionaires who don't use GNU/Linux)


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

Recent Posts