Bonum Certa Men Certa

US Patent Trolls Epidemic and Microsoft/Intellectual Ventures' Latest Contribution to That

'Managing' the competition using software patents...

Bill and Nathan



Summary: Some of the latest developments in the United States, where the number of lawsuits is high, potency of software patents is on the decline (at the courts at least), and Microsoft too explores the potential of patent extortion, just like patent trolls (shown above are Bill and Nathan, two close friends from Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures, respectively, although there are strong connections and clear financial overlap)

"Out of the 47 patent lawsuits filed today, 37 were filed by patent trolls," said United 4 Patent Reform (that makes it 79% of lawsuits). No doubt it's a big issue, but how many of these were using software patents, which the USPTO loves so much in spite of court rulings?



"That's a lot of lawsuits and it doesn't even count any of the secret settlements, which not only patent trolls are reaching with their victims but also companies like Microsoft sign as a form of covert attack on Linux."Is the patent bubble bursting or is this just premature optimism? According to the patent maximalists from IAM, who have a patents review for 2015 (composed by patent lawyers) and some Asian angle (sanitised as usual): "The number of patent litigation cases in the US dropped dramatically in the first three months of this year, reaching levels not seen since 2011 – the year when the America Invents Act was signed into law. A total of 947 new patent lawsuits were filed between January and March, according to data from Unified Patents, down from 1,554 in the fourth quarter of 2015. That is the lowest number since the third quarter of 2011 when 924 new cases were filed."

That's a lot of lawsuits and it doesn't even count any of the secret settlements, which not only patent trolls are reaching with their victims but also companies like Microsoft sign as a form of covert attack on Linux. Incidentally, new potential patent attacks from Microsoft against Linux have been brought to our attention a couple of hours ago. Having destroyed Yahoo, Microsoft now wants its patents (just like Novell with CPTN). Not too long ago an article from BI, citing News Corp. (more of a tabloid in this case), claimed: "The report said that companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, and LinkedIn have been closely following Yahoo's sales process because they realize the intrinsic value of the company's massive patent portfolio, which includes 6,000 intellectual properties in the field of mobile, data, and advertising technology."

We already saw how Microsoft weaponised MOSAID (since then renamed to Conversant, an IAM sponsor) using Nokia's patents, after Microsoft had hijacked Nokia. This too was an attack on Linux, e.g. in Android and ChromeOS form (distribution).

"Having destroyed Yahoo, Microsoft now wants its patents (just like Novell with CPTN)."As we noted a bunch of days ago, the Supreme People’s Court of China is increasingly concerned about what goes on in the patent litigation space (China is about as lenient as the US when it comes to patent examination) and MIP has just written a new report about it. Writing about PTAB, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board which is invalidating a lot of software patents these days, MIP says that it is "likely help to reduce the rate of institution of trials" and that the "USPTO dropping a proposed pilot programme" (the USPTO is an obstacle to any form of change that jeopardises near-zero quality control).

It sure looks as though right now the US remains too ripe a platform for patent trolls and extortion because of software patents, ease of litigation (including preferential venue/court selection), and various other factors that we covered here before. According to this new report a "Jacksonville tax software company thwarts patent infringement lawsuit," but that comes at a high cost. To quote: "A Jacksonville tax preparation software company has emerged victorious in a lawsuit that claimed it violated another company’s patents for computerized tax preparation.

"The lawsuit was filed in February 2015 by Aatrix Software Inc. based in Grand Forks, N.D., against Greenshades Software Inc. claiming the Jacksonville firm infringed on two patents. Those patents essentially covered filings to the Internal Revenue Service for payroll taxes."

"We already saw how Microsoft weaponised MOSAID (since then renamed to Conversant, an IAM sponsor) using Nokia’s patents, after Microsoft had hijacked Nokia."So it had to pay patent lawyers for a whole year because of two software patents which were invalid (bogus) all along, owing to USPTO incompetence (if not institutional corruption). How many firms can even afford to do this? Many would just settle to dodge the legal fees, which certainly serve nobody except lawyers (at both sides, plaintiff and defendant alike).

In other news about patents, the Intellectual Ventures-connected Rovi is suing Comcast and patent maximalists indicate that it's filed, as usual "in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. In the complaint filed, which is quite detailed and very long (174 pages), Rovi is asking for a preliminary injunction, a finding that Comcast’s infringement is willful and deliberate, a finding that the case is exception and attorneys fees are appropriate, as well as damages for the infringement."

"Europe already has patent trolls (Joff Wild denies that they exist). IAM probably wants more of them because they pay IAM."Take this with a barrel of salt because it comes from the propaganda site of Quinn (pro-software patents spin), who now accuses courts of doing an improper job because they follow SCOTUS (Quinn, like Kappos, thinks he knows better than the Justices, and they both get paid for this shameless spin).

Going back to IAM, it turns out that Ericsson's shell game with patent trolls is getting harder to follow as the shell is renamed for the third time (Ericsson's patents becoming Openwave, then Unwired Planet, now something else). To quote IAM (which as usual neglects to say what Unwired Planet really is): "Speaking to IAM after the most recent UK decision, Teksler gave no hint that the firm’s position would soon change so dramatically. In quotes not included in the blog piece published on 29th March, he stated that he was looking forward to a further UK trial slated for October that would focus on how Unwired Planet reached its FRAND licensing rates. “We are hopeful that the court will confirm our approach and provide a much needed FRAND licensing framework for the industry,” he told IAM editor Joff Wild. Whether that trial now goes ahead remains to be seen." Europe already has patent trolls (Joff Wild denies that they exist). IAM probably wants more of them because they pay IAM.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Why the Media is Dying (It Sucks, No Mentally Healthy People Will Tolerate This for Long)
linking to actual news articles helps fuel the spam, too
Something is Happening at OFTC
It looks like it shrank by 20,000 users
GNU/Linux Usage in Guadeloupe Rises Closer to International Average, Based on Web Data Collected by statCounter
It should be noted that the estimates of GNU/Linux usage are now in 4.5% territories
 
[Meme] Twitter (X) Will Reject the Concept of a Female President
Twitter (X) is controlled by misogynists, who socially control (or socially-engineer) their fake concept of "media"
Second Family Photo of Julian Assange Since His Release (First Since His Birthday)
His wife shows the 4 of them for the first time (2 hours ago)
Protesters in Kenya Need Software That is Free (Libre) and Supports Real Encryption in Order to Avoid Capture and Torture (Sometimes Execution)
There's more to fight over than economic issues
The Ludicrous Idea That GNU/Linux is a "Poor Man's" Operating System
Seeing the trends in countries such an Norway, it ought to be abundantly clear that adoption of GNU/Linux has nothing to do with poverty
Links 22/07/2024: Internet Optimism and Kamala Harris Policies Debated
Links for the day
The Impact of OFTC's Latest Changes on the Perceived Scale of IRC Globally
IRC is still one of the more potent alternatives to the social control media conglomerates
New: Why They Really Went After Assange
Uploaded by Chris Hedges
Links 21/07/2024: Health, Politics, and Kamala Harris in Focus
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 21, 2024
A Drop in Half (From 208 to 104): Sharp Decline in Number of Gemini Capsules That Use Let's Encrypt CA Since December
Gemini is increasing its independence from Certificate Authorities (CAs)
Gemini Links 21/07/2024: Last of Old Computer Challenge and Forth Language
Links for the day
Links 21/07/2024: Climate, Politics, and More Squashed Patents
Links for the day
Only a Quarter of Web Requests in Micronesia Traced Back to Microsoft Windows (It Used to be Well Over 95%)
Micronesia has over half a million people in it
Your F.U.D. is Already Showing, Microsoft
That talking point is quickly spreading so that CrowdStrike discussions become about "Linux" instead of Windows
Andrew Feinstein on Why Freeing Julian Assange is About the Freedom of the Press in General
Feinstein points out that truth itself is being challenged by people who value power, not truth, and typically seek to do things like sell arms and start proxy wars
In Palau, Windows Has Fallen to 16%
15 years ago Windows was at 98%
Gemini is Blossoming and More Capsules Are Self-Signing, Rejecting the Defunct and Falsely-Marketed Certificate Authority (CA) Model
Gemini is still very fast, not only because objects are lightweight but the protocol itself - i.e. the underlying logic - is as simple as it needs to be and only as complex as it must be
Gemini Links 21/07/2024: New Garden and New Gemini Arrivals
Links for the day
Links 21/07/2024: Extreme Heat and Fortescue Layoffs
Links for the day
GNU/Linux Lifted Up 0.03% Closer to 4.5% "Market Share" (or 50% More Than a Year Ago)
How many businesses and homes are permanently giving up on Windows after recent days' events?
Giving the False Impression That the R blogosphere is Microsoft's Microcosm
Curation that culls "astroturfing" isn't censorship but quality control for relevance
High Adoption Rates for GNU/Linux in Albania, According to statCounter
Albania has been a central point of some GNOME and diversity scandals
It'll Soon Be Half a Decade Since COVID-19's Breakout, We Still Need Verified Facts (Not Corporate Dogma) and Proper Media Reporting
COVID-19 has meant different things to different people
For the First Time, Microsoft's "Market Share" in North Macedonia Falls to Only a Quarter
Microsoft only has Windows
Evan Versus Julian
Published by Julian Assange's wife some hours ago
What The Internet Can Achieve When Put in the Hands of the Good People and Not Censored by the People Who Already Control the Mass Media
albeit Wikileaks put that in social control media owned and controlled by oligarchs
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, July 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] Hate Speech
This is also what makes TikTok so dangerous
Shark-infected Water on the Web
Don't turn Gemini into another "Web"
OpenHarmony, HarmonyOS Next, Deepin, Kylin, and openKylin: How China's Various Manoeuvres Away From Windows Get Covered in the West
Kylin was openly based on Ubuntu
WikiLeaks Wonders: Major Leaks That Shook the Worlds
Published 14 hours ago
No Outage Here
Microsoft seems to have lost control of the narrative
Links 20/07/2024: Tesla's UK Lawsuit for 5G Patents Licence Thrown Out by UK Court, Censorship Examples Surface
Links for the day
Gemini Links 20/07/2024: Why Sleep Is So Important, Bot Problems Online
Links for the day
[Meme] Truth Hurts
"Saying that I physically assaulted women is 'defamation'"
Techrights Turns 18 in About 3 Months
Nothing can stop us
When (Software) Freedom is the Goal
Freedom of thought also
Expect Many More Microsoft Layoffs After the Latest Windows Outages (Bonus: More Media Says Microsoft Has Cut Half the Staff in Nigeria)
after the latest worldwide blunder we can expect many businesses to gradually ditch Windows
Microsoft Has Managed to Make GNU/Linux Users Scared of Updating Their GNU/Linux PCs (Thanks to UEFI 'Secure' Boot's Boosters!)
How many people know who's responsible for this mess?
Today GNU/Linux Broke All-Time Record in statCounter Again
Expect more people to hop over to GNU/Linux after the Windows fiasco
Joab Jackson and "The New Stack" Publishing Microsoft Spam (E.E.E. Against Linux) for a Payment From Microsoft
It's not a real news site
Links 20/07/2024: Patents on Software Squashed, Further Attacks on Independent News Sites
Links for the day
Links 20/07/2024: Shopping Mall in Southwestern China and New Health Crises
Links for the day
Microsoft/Windows Has Fallen Well Below 1% (Now 0.7%) in American Samoa
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
The Thelio Mega Is a Dual-GPU Linux Supercomputer
System76 sells many desktops and laptops built to run Linux. The company has now revealed its new high-powered Linux desktop, the Thelio Mega
[Meme] "System of a Down"
The latest international catastrophe kills people
Geminispace Growing and Getting More Free (Independent)
Because self-signed certificates are the way to go
Why Microsoft is Laying Off So Many People in Nigeria
Nigeria is a place Microsoft has lost
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 19, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, July 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/07/2024: Gopher Catchup and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day