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

09.03.18

Apple Suffers From Patent Trolls in the Eastern District of Texas Where Microsoft Uses Its Trolls (Connected to Intellectual Ventures) to Bully Apple, Linux/Android and Other Microsoft Rivals

Posted in America, Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 3:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hublink, LLC, a Dominion Harbor subsidiary

Summary: A quick look at misguided sites which celebrate new patents of infamous patent bullies and the latest actions from patent trolls, including Microsoft’s own (Intellectual Ventures)

The connections between Dominion Harbor and Microsoft aren’t as blurry as Microsoft might have hoped. It’s not hard to see where this patent troll is receiving the lion’s share of its patents from. Microsoft uses trolls such as this to sell its ‘protection’ racket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]. We offered a new example of it only several days ago.

Microsoft’s new patents are being celebrated in Apple and Microsoft advocacy sites [1, 2, 3], where people like Christian de Looper and Apple fans (that celebrate Apple patents) take note of new Apple patents and/or patent applications [1, 2] never mind if Microsoft and Apple are both notorious for their patent aggression. Brand loyalty can blind some people.

To be fair to both, they are also on the receiving end of troll lawsuits. We hope that many such lawsuits can eventually compel them to rethink their stance on patents and their patent strategy.

As the mainstream media noted a few days ago, Apple might need to pay over half a billion dollars to just one patent troll. The Eastern District of Texas supports this particularly notorious patent troll, VirnetX, which targets large companies. Time to appeal for the Federal Circuit (or even SCOTUS perhaps) to step in?

There has been lots of media coverage such as “VirnetX +35.6% after judge denies Apple a new trial”, “VirnetX Receives District Court’s Final Judgment Affirming Jury’s Verdict of $502.6 Million”, and “VirnetX Holding Corporation: VirnetX Receives District Court’s Final Judgment Affirming Jury’s Verdict of $502.6 Million”. Here’s a portion from “Court Sides With VirnetX, Affirms $506 Million Judgment Against Apple” (there’s so much more about this news because it’s about Apple, which means the media can get ‘hits’):

VirnetX Holding Corp. (NYSEAMERICAN: VHC) announced Friday morning that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has affirmed an April 2018 jury verdict granting the company a $506.2 million award in a patent infringement case against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). The court denied Apple’s request for a new trial in the case, and it also includes supplemental damages, a sunset royalty (paid when infringing products are phased out) and interest and costs.

What the media failed to pay as much attention to is a case that does not involve ‘famous’ Apple. It’s about fairly new patent which is abstract and was also asserted in the Eastern District of Texas. As Watchtroll put it:

The ‘748 patent itself is titled “System and Method for Data Management” and, according to the complaints, it “addresses the need to collect location-specific information on a variety of hardware and software platforms without the need to create separate and individualized software for each of the numerous manufacturers of remote computing devices.”

[...]

Additionally, the complaints preemptively make certain allegations regarding the patentability of the ‘748 patent, apparently assuming a validity challenge in this wonderful world of Alice in which we are all forced to live. The patentability allegations list technical problems ostensibly addressed by the ‘748 patent, possibly to frame the ‘748 patent as an improvement to computer functionality for future reliance on the Federal Circuit’s guidance in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016) that such improvements may be found non-abstract at step one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s two-step Alice framework for determining patent eligibility. The allegations regarding patentability found in Fall Line’s complaints also include statements that certain claim elements are not well-understood, routine, or conventional, apparently in case the ‘748 patent is held to be abstract and thus necessitating reliance on step two of the two-step Alice framework.

[...]

It’s also worth noting that even though the terminal disclaimer issue might be a fatal blow to Fall Line’s ability to enforce the ‘748 patent, Fall Line’s problems do not end there. The ‘748 patent has also had an inter partes review (IPR) instituted against it as of April 5, 2018, though the IPR was not instituted against Claim 1. Furthermore, petitioner Unified Patents did not challenge the validity of Claim 1 and so even after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in SAS Institute v. Iancu back in April that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board does not have the authority to partially institute a petition for IPR against some but not all requested claims, Claim 1 looks like it will survive. But that’s not to say any of the defendants accused of infringement by Fall Line will refrain from filing their own IPRs to challenge Claim 1.

The inter partes review (IPR) would likely put this lawsuit to rest, but how much money will have been spent on lawyers by then?

It is meanwhile being reported in an article by Arthur W. Coviello, Richard Goldenberg and William G. McElwain from WilmerHale that Microsoft’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, suffers yet another CAFC setback:

Reyna, J. Vacating and remanding the PTAB’s IPR decision because the PTAB erred in not considering portions of the petitioner’s reply brief. Specifically, the PTAB erred in determining that certain reply arguments were improper new arguments under 37 C.F.R. § 42.23(b). The Court held that the petitioner’s reply arguments should have been considered because they cited “no new evidence and merely expand[ed] on a previously argued rationale as to why the prior art disclosures are insubstantially distinct from the challenged claims.”

Intellectual Ventures was also mentioned by Watchtroll’s Steve Brachmann a few days ago because CAFC was “remanding the case to the PTAB for further proceedings.” It happened last week, but the media mostly ignored it:

On Monday, August 27th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in Ericsson Inc. v. Intellectual Ventures I which vacated a previous decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to uphold patent claims owned by Intellectual Ventures in light of an obviousness challenge from Ericsson.

The case (Ericsson Inc. v Intellectual Ventures) isn’t a new one; we’ve covered it before. It does show that Microsoft’s patent troll is still very much active; it’s a shame that almost no investigative journalists are left out there to properly cover it. All they seem to care about is traffic, so they focus on companies such as Apple.

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. EPO Gradually Becoming the World's Most Permissive (Low Patent Quality) Patent Office by Consciously Violating the EPC

    Today's European Patent Office is making innovation a lot harder for Europeans; it limits what people can freely do, e.g. what computer code they can implement, and only lawyers are loving it



  2. Tweets Are Not Journalism But Succinct Unverified Hearsay; Time to Treat Them Accordingly

    Childish public discourse can be attributed to SMS-sized nonsense posted in a hurry by career provocateurs, not grown-ups (becoming a waste of time for actual reporters who spend hours/days correcting the record after these go 'viral'); this is killing responsible journalism, necessitating a rethink



  3. The Web is Not JavaScript

    Simple sites respect visitors; rather than and instead of exploiting them or passing burdens to user-end browsers we should focus on text and links — the very core components of hypertext as opposed to bells and whistles



  4. Links 21/7/2019: DXVK 1.3.1, GameMode, Mutter 3.33.4

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/7/2019: Weston 7.0 Alpha, Nageru 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  6. Companies That Collapse Because the European Patent Office (EPO) Gave Them Fake Patents in a Hurry

    False hopes and false promises won’t do any favours to European Patents, whose legal certainty suffers because Campinos and Battistelli measure nothing but ‘production’ (quantity) rather than quality of patents



  7. Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

    The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable



  8. Demand for European Patents Will Continue to Decrease If a Lot of European Patents Turn Out to be Invalid, Worthless

    The EPO's abandonment of patent justice and quality (in pursuit of so-called 'production' targets) is likely to doom the Office as the whole or render it vastly less relevant to the rest of the world



  9. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Still in Tact in the United States and Software Patents Rot Away

    The United States, where the number of granted patents decreased last year, becomes more productive; there are more signs that patent maximalism (patent litigation, patent scope etc.) has receded



  10. Links 19/7/2019: Deepin 15.11 and GNU/Linux Back on GPD MicroPC

    Links for the day



  11. Violence is Not Free Speech and Laws Exist Against Violence

    Free speech is certainly under attack and the debate is being framed within the context of Nazism; but this overlooks the fact that there are actual death threats and calls for genocide in the mix



  12. Links 19/7/2019: Oracle Linux 8.0, Latte Dock 0.9 Beta and PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar 2019.07

    Links for the day



  13. Why Does Jim Zemlin Publicly Congratulate Microsoft?

    The signs aren't particularly encouraging when one considers that the leadership of the Linux Foundation is a fan of Microsoft and sometimes connected to Microsoft



  14. 2 Days Later (Case in Progress) and Still Media Silence About G 2/19

    The very legitimacy of years' worth of rulings and the EPO's abusive attacks on judges are under the microscope; but the media isn't paying any attention, perhaps deliberately



  15. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  16. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  18. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  19. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  20. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  21. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  22. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  23. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  24. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  25. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  26. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  28. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  29. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  30. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against 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