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

09.09.18

On Virnetx, Intellectual Ventures, Interval Licensing and Other Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls That Microsoft Leverages to Attack Its Competition

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess board

Summary: Microsoft’s biggest patent troll Intellectual Ventures, as well as smaller patent trolls that it created or has funded, faces a hard time in the higher patent courts; the chilling effect, however, can be exploited by Microsoft to market Azure ‘IP’ ‘Advantage’

THE firm known as Virnetx (or VirnetX) generally produces just lawsuits. Many sites characterise it as a patent troll and it matches the definition. It’s nowadays known for little more than its lawsuit/battle against Apple, which relies on controversial jury trials in Texas.

“Our view is that Virnetx is a patent troll which was emboldened by payments from Microsoft and then targeted Apple.”There has been plenty of coverage about this case's latest twist (because it’s about Apple). Our view is that Virnetx is a patent troll which was emboldened by payments from Microsoft and then targeted Apple. We wrote about the actions against Microsoft in about a dozen past articles.

The shares of Virnetx soared after a recent ruling. “This case will certainly be appealed,” Patently-O asserts, concurring or overlapping our analysis from the time of the ruling. With new standards/bars, as well as SCOTUS precedents, we expect the Federal Circuit (CAFC) to squash the underlying patents. Here is what Patently-O wrote, being a patent maximalist: (there were perhaps hundreds of English articles about that, but not from specialist sites)

The Virnetx v. Apple patent battle has been running since 2010. Virnetx won its first verdict against Apple in 2012. The court in that case required two more jury trials — but Virtnetx won all three and the $300 million damage award is pending appeal before the Federal Circuit.

Apple redesigned its FaceTime and VPNOnDemand products back in 2012. Rather than adding the redesigns to the original case, Virnetx filed a new lawsuit (2012). In April 2018, a jury awarded an additional $500 million in damages and found that Apple’s infringement was willful.

The whole purpose of this firm is lawsuits such as this. It is a patent troll. The payments from Microsoft certainly helped fuel it, just like Microsoft’s payments to Intellectual Ventures helped propel this much bigger troll (connected very closely to Microsoft) to “top legal nuisance” status. In Intellectual Ventures I LLC v T-Mobile USA, Inc. (according to this new analysis from Patently-O) there’s a reference to Interval Licensing (Paul Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder). This troll’s history includes attacks on Android. Microsoft’s patent trolls are, in general, helping Microsoft market its ‘protection’ racket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]. In this particular CAFC case the troll fortunately lost its patent (as it typically does at CAFC):

The district court found the claimed function indefinite. In particular, the court noted that specification’s description of QoS as “subjective” according to a user’s “individual preferences” and that description lacked “adequate guidance as to the meaning of ‘optimize.’”

On appeal, the Federal Circuit presumably performed a de novo review, but affirmed — particular zeroing in on its precedent requiring “objective boundaries.” Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc., 766 F.3d 1364, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (“The claims, when read in light of the specification and the prosecution history, must provide objective boundaries for those of skill in the art.”). Here, the court interpreted “optimizing QoS” as akin to the invalid “aesthetically pleasing” limitation of Datamize, LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc., 417 F.3d 1342 (Fed. Cir. 2005). According to the court, both elements are “purely subjective” and depend wholly upon each user’s personal opinions.

[...]

Invalidity Affirmed.

Microsoft still loves and lobbies for patents. It still defends trolls and sells ‘defense’ from trolls (for a fee), presumably in an effort to market Azure as the “safe” option (over AWS).

“Microsoft still loves and lobbies for patents. It still defends trolls and sells ‘defense’ from trolls (for a fee), presumably in an effort to market Azure as the “safe” option (over AWS).”The Bill Gates-funded Seattle Times (which understandably does reputation laundering for Bill Gates and Paul Allen), has just published this article titled “Amazon has patented a system that would put workers in a cage, on top of a robot”. This isn’t the first oppressive (towards Amazon’s workers) patent and Amazon is said to be a top litigation target. Microsoft would want to make it more so (e.g. lawsuits against AWS clients, too) in an effort to sell Azure as a form of ‘protection’ from trolls (which Microsoft itself is controlling). Is this even legal?

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. Links 18/1/2019: Mesa 18.3.2, Rust 1.32.0

    Links for the day



  2. Links 17/1/2019: ZFS Debate Returns, AWS Pains Free Software

    Links for the day



  3. US Patent Lawyers Will Need to Change Profession or End up Becoming Abundantly Redundant, Unemployed

    In the age of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) and 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s too risky to sue with dodgy patents; moreover, the Federal Circuit‘s growing adoption of Alice means that no recent cases have given hope to patent maximalists and litigation frequency has fallen again (at double-digit rates)



  4. Links 16/1/2019: Deepin 15.9 Released and Mozilla Fenix

    Links for the day



  5. Brexit Has Failed, But So Has the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Even though all signs indicate that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will never become a reality spin is to be expected from Team UPC, still looking to profit from more litigation and expanded scope



  6. IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe

    Even days apart/within confirmation of IBM's takeover of Red Hat IBM makes it clear that it's very strongly in favour of software patents, not only in the US but also in Europe



  7. Team UPC on Dead UPC: Choosing Gowns for Corpses

    The campaign of lies, long waged by Team UPC in order to manipulate politicians and courts, hasn’t stopped even in 2019 (IAM threw in the towel, but some of Team UPC is still ‘embalming’ UPCA)



  8. Links 15/1/2019: MX Linux MX-18 Continuum Reviewed, Mageia 7 Artwork Voting

    Links for the day



  9. Council of Europe (CoE) Recognises There's No Justice at the EPO

    It’s now the Council of Europe‘s turn to speak out about the grave state of international organisations that exist in Europe but aren’t subjected to European law (which they routinely violate with impunity)



  10. Dominion Harbor -- Armed by Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll -- Goes After the World's Biggest Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung

    Dominion Harbor, the patent troll that gets bucketloads of patents from Intellectual Ventures (a patent troll strongly connected to Microsoft and Bill Gates), is still suing using shell entities



  11. Links 14/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC2 and DXVK 0.95 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Only the Higher Courts -- Not Trump's 'Poster Child' -- Can Bring Back Software Patents

    Software patents are not making a "comeback" as some like to claim; in fact, the latest court cases and notably their outcomes suggest that nothing has changed



  13. “Uniloc is a Lawsuit Factory”

    Apple is a very secretive company, so it is hard to know what goes on with the patent troll Uniloc



  14. European Patent Office a Textbook Example of Lawless, Rogue Institutions

    The tyrannical nature of the EPO is still being demonstrated by the sad fate of Patrick Corcoran; technical judges at the EPO are feeling intimidated by nontechnical politicians and bankers



  15. No, Software Patents Are Not Poised to Make a Comeback Under New US Patent Office Rules

    Poor understanding of the difference between patent courts and patent offices is to blame for widely-spread misinformation from Ars Technica (part of Condé Nast)



  16. IP Kat Has Turned From EPO Critic (to the Point of Being Blocked by the EPO) to EPO Whitewasher That Gags EPO Whistleblowers

    The EPO tried to forcibly gag (block) IP Kat like it blocks Techrights (since 2014); failing that, the EPO got the blog to just act as a whitewashing operation for Team Campinos (more or less the same as Team Battistelli)



  17. Linspire 'Reborn' is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

    GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it's not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this



  18. Links 12/1/2019: Wine 4.0 RC6, X-Plane 11.30, SuperTuxKart 0.10 Beta, LibreOffice 6.2 RC2

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Low Patent Quality Can Kill the European Software Industry and Kill People Too

    The patents granted by the EPO are often invalid as per courts' decisions, which means that fake/illegitimate European Patents saturate the market and discourage development (e.g. of software and life-saving drugs)



  20. The Fiction That Spain (or Italy) Can Salvage the UPC

    The proponents/lobbyists of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), firms that make money from patent litigation (we collectively call these "Team UPC"), are nowadays backpedaling, having come to grips with the death of the UPC, realising it's time to save face by pretending everything they said in the past wasn't a lie



  21. Links 11/1/2019: IBM-Red Hat Obstacle Cleared, Toyota Chooses Linux

    Links for the day



  22. EPO President “Campinos is Wasting His Credibility With “Sweet” Communiqués Full of Hot Air and Storytelling”

    EPO insiders insist if not demand that all those responsible for the corruption and the abuses be removed; Campinos has done the opposite by promoting those who caused harm and turning his overseer into his subordinate



  23. The Emptiness of the Linux Foundation's Commitment to Linux and Its True Openness... to Corporate Cash (in Exchange for Influence)

    Like Pence and Moreno, who exchange a political refugee for loans, the Linux Foundation abandons its commitment to GNU/Linux in exchange for maximisation of financial contributions



  24. Links 10/1/2019: Linux 4.20.1, GNOME 3.31.4 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Links 9/1/2019: Qubes OS 4.0.1, Bash 5.0

    Links for the day



  26. European Patent Office Saga in 2019: “95% of the People Responsible for the Misery Are Still in Place and Have Not Even Been Rebuked”

    No signs of reformation at Europe's second-largest institution, which still suffers from justice deficit and blatant corruption



  27. Links 8/1/2019: Godot 3.1 Reaches Beta, Tidelift Gets Money

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Corruption is Helping Patent Maximalists in the United States

    The law firms that promote abstract patents in the United States (in the face of growing opposition from courts) adopt the EPO as a sort of 'poster child' because quality of European Patents keeps decreasing and lawlessness is increasing



  29. Links 7/1/2019: Linux 5.0 RC1

    Links for the day



  30. Words to Avoid: Cloud, Serverless, Microservices and More

    The marketing industry is hijacking press coverage and journalism has turned into a laughable mash-up of buzzwords; technical people ought to push back


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts