Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls, Xerox, and Andrei Iancu

One irrelevant company bought another (Fuji and Xerox)

Films



Summary: A roundup of news pertaining to Microsoft-connected entities and their patent activity this month; Director Iancu is only loosely connected to one of them (he fought against it)

THE Finjan troll, a Microsoft-sponsored patent troll, has probably received the most press coverage so far this year (among trolls). Its software patents, which had been granted by the USPTO, were mostly thrown away but a single one managed to withstand scrutiny at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).



Finnegan, a very large law firm, still props up this case in order to promote the software patents agenda. They are habitually trying to make one single patent seem like a boon of some kind, neglecting to account for the many patents which actually got invalidated. To quote:

In Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems, Inc., No. 2016-2520 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 10, 2018), the Federal Circuit reviewed Finjan’s assertion of two patents related to methods for protecting against malware. The Court (1) affirmed the finding that U.S. Patent No. 6,154,844 (“the ’844 patent”) was patentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101, (2) reversed the district court’s denial of JMOL of non-infringement as to U.S. Patent No. 6,965,968 (“the ’968 patent”), (3) vacated the damages award of the ’968 patent, and (4) remanded the ’844 patent’s damage award, finding that the district court failed to appropriate damages to the infringing functionality.
By this month's end, based on a new press release, Finjan will have extorted/blackmailed yet another Microsoft rival. A patent troll's Web site copied the release which says: "Finjan Holdings (FNJN), Inc. (NASDAQ:FNJN), a cybersecurity company, and its subsidiary Finjan, Inc. (“Finjan”), today announced that Finjan’s patent infringement retrial against Blue Coat Systems (BCSI), Inc. (5:15-cv-03295-BLF, “Blue Coat II”), set to start on February 12, 2018, has been vacated. Finjan and Blue Coat’s parent, Symantec Corporation (collectively “Symantec”), have entered into a confidential term sheet. Finjan expects that a definitive agreement will be finalized by no later than February 28, 2018." AST, which is connected to Microsoft as well, was mentioned earlier today in relation to the acquisition of some more patents. To quote:
Participants in IP3 2017 included 15 operating companies including Google, IBM, Microsoft, Ford, Honda, and Cisco with nearly $2.5 million spent to acquire 70 active assets.

[...]

More than half of the purchased lots related to Communications technologies. There was an average of 3.68 assets per patent family, with 8 lots having a single U.S. patent, and 5 lots having two U.S. filings.
As a reminder, sometimes we find Xerox feeding trolls that are connected to Microsoft and attack Linux. Such was the case with Acacia a decade ago. It's also worth remembering that Microsoft historically helped fund 'IP' lawsuits against Linux (SCO for instance) and this new case is relevant to it because it helps hide sponsors:

The court overruled plaintiff's objection to the special master's order granting in part defendants' motion to compel the production of documents plaintiff provided to a third party as part of a litigation financing agreement that plaintiff withheld under the common interest doctrine.
There was recently a Xerox takeover (by Fuji) and it's worth noting that based on this Japanese site, Xerox now "rolls out patent licensing business to SMEs" (just the typical old fairy tale). To quote:
In Japan, a business model for large companies to license their unused patents to SMEs to help such SMEs develop new products or create new business is getting a lot attention lately. Fuji Xerox has been participating in intellectual property business matching between SMEs and large companies since 2016 which is a local government project. Now it has signed a patent license agreement with a company in Yokohama, and made this announcement. This is the first success case in the IP business matching for Fuji Xerox.
Last but not least, Inventors Digest has just noted that the Director of the patent office used to work against Xerox. This article is correct in stating that Director Iancu was on both sides of PTAB disputes. To quote:

Andrei Iancu’s full-Senate confirmation on Feb. 5 as the new director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office marks a new direction during a turbulent time for inventor rights.

The former managing partner at Irell & Manella, a law firm based in the Los Angeles area, succeeds embattled predecessor Michelle Lee. Lee was a supporter of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an administrative law body of the USPTO that decides issues of patentability. She resigned last June.

The PTAB is currently under fire for inter partes review, a trial proceeding that many say has eroded patent rights. It is expected that by June the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of inter partes review via a ruling in the case Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC.

It isn’t immediately known where Iancu stands on the PTAB and inter partes review. What we know is that he has experience on both sides of IP disputes.

Iancu defended Hewlett–Packard from claims by Xerox that it infringed on a printing technology patent...


Xerox was, by that stage, barely making anything. Does Iancu understand the nature of such entities, which serve nothing but lawsuits and patents?

Recent Techrights' Posts

Greener Pastures for Free Software Users
This coming week we'll publish many articles about GNU/Linux and technical means of/for user empowerment
Google News, Which We Call Gulag Noise, is Following the New York Times Into the Digital Graveyard
It merely gives an illusion of volume and instead of giving readers more stuff to read it wastes people's time
Over at Tux Machines...
yesterday's posts
Software Freedom is the Future and Microsoft is the Biggest Obstacle
GNU/Linux, at its roots, was all about Software Freedom
The GNU/Linux Revolution Ain't Here. Look at Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) Instead.
The revolution won't be televised
Chaffbot Effect: Microsoft Bing Falls to Lowest Share in Two Years (Amid Loads of Bing Layoffs This Year)
Press outlets mostly failed to report that Bing is collapsing
GNU/Linux Distributions as "Appliances" and DRM Platforms (the Case of ChromeOS and SteamOS)
Is this what we envisioned in the 1980s and 90s?
Fulfilling the Site's Full Potential
We remain devoted to the aforementioned goal of posting more original material
Over at Tux Machines...
2 days' worth
 
IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 02, 2023
IRC logs for Monday, October 02, 2023
Daily Bulletins Coming Soon (Hopefully as Early as Next Week)
Today we finish testing IRC logs and their upload to Gemini, not just to IPFS
Links 02/10/2023: NUC, GTK Themes, and More
Links for the day
New Union Syndicale Articles About the European Patent Office
We'll probably get back to regularly writing about the EPO in the near future
If WordPress Knows Well Enough to Self-Host Its Podcast, Why Can't GNU/Linux Shows Do the Same?
For those who want videos and podcasts, here are today's latest additions from other sites
Richard Stallman Can Outlive Many of His Prominent Haters
M.J.G. tried hard to take our Web site offline, based on lies and repeated threats
Forget VSCode (Microsoft's Proprietary Spyware), Use KATE Instead
KATE is great
Sometimes It's Time to Reboot
No, not Android. KDE.
Upcoming Talk by Dr. Richard Stallman: Large Language Models Are Not Artificial Intelligence
LLMs aren't truly intelligent and cannot quite grasp what they spew out
GulagTube is a Burning Platform (Exit YouTube, Invidious Won't Save Us From Google/Alphabet in the Long Run)
Alphabet Agency (Google) sees the future of video as a "skinnerbox" (running Android) that indoctrinates you like TikTok does
Microsoft's Demise in the Global News Cycle is Rather Telling
It should be noted that Microsoft is, in general, no longer prominent or dominant in news headlines
Gemini Migration and Backup Capsule (Archive)
At the end we'll end up with something a lot better than before and latency should be massively reduced
Links 01/10/2023: Science, Education, and pro-Russia Slovakia Leadership
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 01, 2023
IRC logs for Sunday, October 01, 2023
Links 01/10/2023: Climate, Patents, Programming, and More
Links for the day
Apple and Microsoft Problems
half a dozen links
Malware in the Ubuntu Snap Store, Thanks to Canonical Bloatware Mindset
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Gemini Rising
There are 3523 capsules
Richard Stallman Gave a Talk Yesterday, Will Give Another Talk Today, and Will Give Two More Talks in Germany Later This Week
Those cover at least 2 different topics
Beware the Microsoft Sharks
We won't forgive and forget
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 30, 2023
IRC logs for Saturday, September 30, 2023
Don't be Afraid of the Command Line, It Might Even be a Friend
There's a tendency to think that only graphical interfaces were made to simplify usage, and any declarative interface is by design raw, inherently unfit for usage
One Positive Note About GNU/Linux Coverage in 2023 (Less Microsoft)
GNU/Linux users do not want this, with very rare exceptions
Snaps Were Never Good at Security, But the Media Coverage is Just Appalling
The media should focus on culling Windows, not making a huge fuss over minor things wrongly attributed to "Linux"