01.30.18

A Korean Android OEM is Bullied by Patent Trolls Which Microsoft Gave Patents to and Paid

Posted in GNU/Linux, LG, Microsoft, Patents at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LG is the latest victim, but let’s carry on pretending that “Microsoft loves Linux”

LG phone

Summary: Even though LG already pays Microsoft ‘protection’ money for alleged patent infringements in Linux (since 2007) the trolls that are connected to Microsoft carry on chasing it with lawsuits in East Texas, so Microsoft’s ‘protection’ is illusionary at best and Microsoft is a back-stabbing ‘ally’

THE malicious MOSAID (now known as Conversant and led by Boris Teksler) is a patent troll. It was armed by Microsoft some years ago and it now attacks Android OEMs. The latest victim? LG. As IAM put it yesterday: “Over the last four years the licensing dispute between Conversant subsidiary Core Wireless and LG has had all the familiar traits of a modern day infringement spat as the battle has dragged on in two separate district court cases.”

It’s the district court in East Texas and, as a reminder, “Conversant acquired the Core Wireless portfolio of around 2,000 assets from Nokia in 2011.” Remember that Microsoft guided the transfer of patents from Nokia to Conversant (known as MOSAID back then). We have been writing a lot about that. Boris Teksler is aware of it.

LG has also just been attacked by Uniloc, which Microsoft paid a lot of money back in the days (we wrote many articles about that). Again it’s in Texas, but the troll now preys on Korean firms. The English-speaking mainstream media in Korea wrote about that yesterday:

A nonpracticing entity filed a series of patent infringement lawsuits last year against South Korea’s information technology giants, including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, in an apparent move to ride their recently improved sales in the US market, a local intellectual property service provider said Monday.

Most recently, Uniloc filed a suit to the federal court of Texas in October last year, claiming LG Electronics infringed upon one of its patents through products equipped with smart home platform system SmartThinQ, according to Seoul-based global patent information company WIPS and US-based patent risk solution provider Rational Patent Exchange.

Notice how they target Korean companies not in Korea but in Texas. They drag their cases to the most notorious courts, which are also troll-friendly courts. This might get harder in the future because of TC Heartland. Based on this new report, patent law firms pack up and go as the number of new patent lawsuits filed in Texas fell by more than half. To quote:

San Francisco-based patent attorney Richard Hung never found an easy way to travel to eastern Texas to litigate patent cases.

But like hundreds of patent attorneys across the U.S., he had to. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas was once the most popular venue for patent infringement lawsuits in the country.

A partner at Morrison & Foerster, LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group, Hung would spend at least six hours hopping through airports to the regional business hub in Shreveport, La., then drive west on I-20 for 35 miles. Once, when a return flight from Shreveport was canceled, he was forced to drive more than 200 miles to Houston to fly home.

[...]

The TC Heartland decision, which held that a domestic corporation “resides” only in its state of incorporation, upended nearly 30 years of precedent in patent law and dramatically restricted where patent cases may be litigated. Previously, the rules for where a patent infringement lawsuit could be filed made it easy to select the east Texas court, which had a reputation for being a friendly venue for patent owners.

It’s becoming a liability for firms to operate in Texas or be based in Texas because after TC Heartland it makes them susceptible to more patent lawsuits. Surely China too should know what it means to become the ‘next Texas’, but we’ll say more about that in our next post (regarding China).

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