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

08.05.18

Ericsson’s Wi-Fi Patent Thicket and Patent Trolls Like Sisvel Harm the Smallest Players in the Market

Posted in Patents at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Barrier to entry, with help from their trolls (enforcement by proxy)

Ericsson troll

Summary: Formation of monopolies around what ought to have been commodity/public utility, courtesy of companies that have nothing left but a pile of old patents

“Patent troll APA Electronics is trying to enforce yet another stupid patent on addressable LED,” Benjamin Henrion wrote last week, linking to this new article with many comments about APA Electronics. To quote the introduction:

There are some components which are used within our sphere so often as to become ubiquitous, referred to by their part number without the need for a hasty dig through a data sheet to remind oneself just what we are talking about. You can rattle a few of them off, the 555, the 741, the ESP8266, and so on.

In the world of LEDs, the part that most immediately springs to mind is the Worldsemi WS2812 addressable LED. This part consists of three LEDs in red, green, and blue, all in the same package with a serial interface allowing a chain of individually addressable multicolour lights to be created. We’ve seen them in all sorts of places, and if you don’t recognise the part number then perhaps you will by one of the names they’re sold under: Neopixel.

It is widely known by now that when creating devices one must grapple with patent thickets, which artificially inflate/significantly elevate the costs associated with engineering. It gets a lot worse if these devices are connected, whereupon there are also wireless patent thickets, which are today’s focus.

As is widely understood, Ericsson is not much of a practicing company anymore. Its patent thickets, with almost-expired patents, are what keeps Ericsson floating/afloat (not for long). Richard Vary recently wrote: “Ericsson has a world-class portfolio of cellular SEPs which it is keen to license on FRAND terms, but the long-awaited decision of a California court in a case involving the Swedish company and TCL may not have correctly valued the portfolio…”

The TCL case was covered here before; patent maximalists still obsess over it and a few days ago Watchtroll mentioned these SEPs in relation to a new LG deal. In its own words: “Swedish multinational telecommunications company Ericsson and South Korean consumer electronics firm LG Electronics announced that they had entered into a global licensing agreement to cross-license patent portfolios held by both companies. The patents in these portfolios include standard-essential patents (SEPs) related to various cellular technologies, including those related to second generation (2G), third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) cellular standards.”

Ericsson’s trolls/proxies contribute some more to these patent thickets. There are several such trolls and we’ve named them before. Here is how the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) described the LG deal:

Yesterday brought news that Ericsson and LG Electronics have reached terms on a new global SEP cross-licence. The agreement will end a four-month-old litigation in the United States which might otherwise have set up an important post-TCL test for the Swedish company. Meanwhile, LG Electronics (LGE) is trying to get more licence revenue out of smaller players, as evidenced by a suit of its own filed this month in Germany. According to the press release, the new deal between Ericsson and LG covers 2G, 3G and 4G patents.

Corinne Reichert covered that at CBS as follows:

Networking giant Ericsson has announced signing a global patent licence agreement with LG Electronics for the latter to utilise its cellular standard-essential patents across 2G, 3G, and 4G.

According to Ericsson, this will enable the company to obtain “a fair return” on its research and development (R&D) investments across mobility technologies.

“Ericsson and LG Electronics are two of the leading contributors to the GSM (2G), UMTS (3G), and LTE (4G) cellular communication standards, and both companies are making significant investments in the development of the NR (5G) standard,” the Swedish networking company said.

5G patent tax makes one wonder if it’s worth adopting and to what extent; the subject was brought up in the 91st issue of IAM in relation to China and indirectly again yesterday. Joff Wild did a puff piece for the patent troll Sisvel, alluding to Wi-Fi among other things:

Last week IAM’s North America editor Richard Lloyd wrote a piece about what he and many others believe is a bounce-back in the US licensing market – albeit one that is less than dynamic because of, among other things, uncertainty around eligibility.

To back up his case, Richard cited two recent big wins for patent owners, IBM and WiLAN, in the US courts, as well as comments from Ilka Rahnasto of Nokia and the recent change of guard at the USPTO, with Andrei Iancu showing a very different approach to his predecessor Michelle Lee.

[...]

Recently, I spoke to Mattia Fogliacco, Sisvel’s CEO, and Nick Webb, who manages the firm’s wi-fi programme, and they agreed that things are picking up generally. They also told me a bit more about their relationship with Samsung. This does not involve just a licensing deal, but also a separate agreement which has seen the Korean company transfer patents to Enact IP, a special purpose vehicle set up by Sisvel which will license them out as part of its broader Wi-Fi programme.

The above-mentioned “Wi-Fi programme” is nothing but an extortion racket by a patent troll that thrives in Europe.

As we noted yesterday, trolls nowadays perish in the US and even China starts getting tougher on them. Yesterday Patently-O highlighted this report about Massachusetts and its fight against patent trolls. To quote:

The Massachusetts tech industry may finally have a weapon against patent trolls.

State lawmakers are moving to increase penalties against the so-called trolls: individuals or firms who try to hijack other companies’ intellectual property for a payoff. A measure that would ban “bad faith” assertions of patent infringement, and allow for triple damages in successful defenses, was included in an economic development bill passed by the state Senate on Wednesday. The House version of that bill doesn’t include the patent troll measures.

Formal sessions end for the year on July 31, so lawmakers have only a few days left to resolve their differences.

Wi-Fi patents are not necessarily software patent (only some of them are); but the main point which is worth making about them is that they make up thickets that are being ‘enforced’ (lawsuits) by trolls like MPEG-LA (for multimedia formats).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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. Links 3/7/2020: TrueNAS 12 Beta 1, Librem 13 Product Line

    Links for the day



  2. [Humour] European Patents Only Useful Outside the Legal Framework?

    Patents that aren't valid in the eyes of courts would best serve patent trolls that settle out of courts, en masse



  3. Microsoft's Share in Web Servers Rapidly Falls to Just 4.5% (Falling More Than 5% in a Single Month)

    Microsoft's share as measured at Netcraft (de facto authority in this area) is rapidly declining; expect IIS to go the way of the dodo some time in the coming years



  4. The Lock-downs Are Over and Still Zero Media Coverage About EPO Scandals and Corruption

    The appalling state of journalism in Europe (and to some extent in the world at large) means that the EPO's management can get away with all sorts of horrible crimes and fraud; the silencing of the media is, in its own right, quite scandalous



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 02, 2020



  6. “Microsoft's Deadly Love” by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith)

    Full credit goes to PCLOS Magazine for publishing this good piece, which we’re reproducing



  7. Links 2/7/2020: Microsoft Partner Says GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops at 4% Even After Lock-downs, OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 and Mageia 8 Alpha 1 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo

    DuckDuckGo is another privacy abuser in disguise; the above forum thread enumerates key reasons



  9. After 2 Years and 2 Days António Campinos is a Perfect Leader, Fostering EPO Abuses While Smiling

    EPO corruption persists, but this time the corruption enjoys better marketing/PR and complicit (or at best silent) media



  10. [Humour] As If Monopolies for Life Will Save People's Lives...

    The mentality of monopoly or the mindset of patent maximalism has been quick to exploit the deaths of half a million



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 01, 2020



  12. IBM-Funded FSF Censors Itself on Software Patents

    Donald Robertson’s article bemoaning and openly condemning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over software patents, which it illegally grants in some cases, was modified a week later; and why? One can only guess… (but remember that the FSF’s foremost sponsor is lobbying against 35 U.S.C. § 101 and for software patents)



  13. [Humour/Meme] Remember That As Recently as Last Year Microsoft Was Still Shaking Down and Even Suing Companies Over 'Linux Patent Infringement'

    There's no 'new Microsoft' except a (better at) lying Microsoft; its covert actions tell us a lot about its ongoing hatred of GNU/Linux, which it is assaulting in new and more sophisticated ways



  14. Contrary to Common Misconceptions, Free Software is More 'Corporate' or More 'Enterprise-Grade' Than Proprietary Abandonware (All Proprietary Software Will Die)

    Free software can leverage the superficial and bland boardroom lingo/slang to promote itself; it would definitely harm or dilute/weaken the terms which proprietary software giants like to leverage against us



  15. Social Control Media Will Not Exist One Day

    Digital obsolescence and Internet bitrot — that’s what Social Control Media is really good for; as many Google+ ‘users’ (useds) found out, they’re just being ‘farmed’ for their ‘content’, which is neither valuable nor resilient (definitely of no value to Google)



  16. What Freedom of Software Actually Means to Us

    Liberty or libre (freedom) is about more than brands or personalities, as names or institutions or individuals can change or completely perish; but concepts outlast superficialities



  17. [Humour] Thinking Beyond Just the Linux Brand

    We're supposed to believe that because "Linux" is dominant we finally have freedom; but almost all the very big companies that are using GNU/Linux leverage it for freedom-hostile purposes and keep about 99% of their code secret from us, so the fight for software freedom must go on



  18. Corporate Media Blames 'China' and 'Open Source' for Back Doors in Microsoft's Intentionally Flawed Proprietary Software That's Causing Chaos

    'Red Scare' tactics are being used to divert attention away from Microsoft's incompetence and conspiracy with the NSA (to put back doors in everything, essentially making all software inherently vulnerable, by design)



  19. Microsoft Has Infiltrated Authorities and/or Their Consultation Processes

    In the European Union, the United States and just about everywhere else in the world one can find Microsoft officials replacing public officials, as if the decision-making too has been outsourced to the "Good Folks" from Microsoft



  20. Links 1/7/2020: Tails 4.8, Serpent OS

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 30, 2020



  22. EPO Management Celebrates the Lowering of Patent Quality While Granting Invalid Patents (IPs) Instead of European Patents (EPs)

    Europe's most autocratic institution continues to cheat and lie to everybody; even twice in one day, together with... the Communist Party of China (through CNIPA)



  23. Links 30/6/2020: OpenSUSE Leap 15.2, 4MLinux 34.0 Beta and IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 146

    Links for the day



  24. [Humour] There's Always a Way... (to Grant Patents on Almost Anything)

    The referral from European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos leaves the door open to patents on life, provided one paints those as uniquely clever, e.g. GMO (same tricks for software patents in Europe with “Hey Hi” — an overblown buzz wave)



  25. Crocodiles Can Only Ever Fake Empathy

    Greenwashing, pinkwashing, openwashing and abduction of various authentic civil rights movements (centered around gender, race, and sometimes economic issues) is very easy and cheap relative to the depths of corporate pockets; the problem is, those things help distract the 'masses' from objectively immoral and universally unacceptable acts



  26. [Humour/Meme] History in the Making or History Being Rewritten?

    he idea that history can just totally eliminate particular people and particular views overlooks the very nature of historical studies; banning words impedes the telling of history itself and society cannot tackle the underlying issues without talking about them



  27. A Lot of Things Are Offensive to Someone and Appeasing the Easily Offended is an Endless Adventure That Can Offend Free Speech Ideals

    Free speech may be the main casualty of the recent flamewars, which were initially rationalised as ethics-driven and nowadays boil down to speech police



  28. Feeling Vindicated About the Harms of Social Control Media Being Widely Recognised

    The cleansing of social control media sites reinforces our long-held views about social control media in general



  29. [Humour/Meme] ZDNet Promoting LOT/OIN as a Force for Good. Says a Lot About ZDNet...

    ZDNet has long been a mouthpiece or a parrot for LOT and OIN (overlaps exist); that says so much about the software patents agenda of ZDNet and its parent company, which became defunct 6 months ago, then passed to friends of Bill Gates (privately-owned)



  30. Linus Torvalds Explains Why GNU/Linux Development Speeds Up (Likely Owing to Coronavirus Lock-downs)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has so far boosted not only GNU/Linux market share; it's also speeding up development, leaving proprietary software players in the ashes (it's harder for them to make sales and to pay their developers)


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