02.03.18

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It is a Tough Market for Patent Trolls in the US, But Microsoft-Connected Trolls Still Manage to Harm Android/Linux

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Patents at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Simon Phipps, OSI President, earlier today: “Microsoft tried to kill open source, conspiring in something called the Halloween documents.”

John Sullivan, Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation (FSF),‏ earlier today:

Summary: The litigious climate or atmosphere of litigation in the United States may have moved eastwards to China, where Microsoft and its proxies continue to shake down major Linux-using rivals (such as Huawei)

THE USPTO grants patents at record rates, but patent litigation is falling every year. That’s because the certainty associated with granted patents is decreasing.

“…the certainty associated with granted patents is decreasing.”3 days ago came a new press release which speaks of a “new chief licensing officer” in InterDigital, a company whose entire ‘business’ is patent shakedowns. We are guessing that they have trouble. IAM took note of that. There’s lots of turbulence and resignations (the “rats jumping the sinking ship” so to speak) in the patent trolls ‘industry’ these days, with many examples of that. We have been covering several in the past few months. Now, according to IAM, a few of these entities go east. “Tu joins an organisation that, as well as former Ericsson chief IP officer Kasim Alfalahi [he is a patent troll] at its head,” IAM said about the Marconi Group on Friday.

So they will try their luck in China, the ‘new’ Eastern District of Texas.

“So they will try their luck in China, the ‘new’ Eastern District of Texas.”What we found noteworthy is this report about Nokia, sent to us also by two readers. Nokia is fighting against Linux/Android with patent blackmail ‘on behalf’ of Microsoft; it specifically targets companies that Microsoft could never successfully shake down with patents, notably Apple and Huawei [1, 2]. As the report puts it: “The Finnish telecoms equipment maker said on Thursday its fourth-quarter profit grew by 7 percent to 1 billion euros from the previous year, helped along by a patent payment from China’s Huawei.”

Earlier (this morning) we found another report of interest. The Microsoft-connected Intellectual Ventures tops the chart in “Patent Trolls Activity Update: Transport Zone 2017″ from Unified Patents (published a short while ago). To quote a couple of portions:

NPEs continue to pose a serious risk to automotive companies and account for 72 percent of litigation in 2017. The majority of these threats came from Patent Assertion Entities (entities whose primary purpose is patent assertion), however auto companies also faced threats from a small handful of individual inventors.

[...]

Figure 5: 2017′s most frequent plaintiffs for the Transport zone

Intellectual Ventures (14 assertions)
Somaltus LLC (12 assertions)
Magnacross LLC (11 assertions)
Location Based Services, LLC (9 assertions)
Blue Sky Networks, LLC (8 assertions)

As we have been pointing out for a while, Microsoft likes to arm and unleash trolls at its competition, in order for people to run to Microsoft for perceived ‘safety’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. We gave another example a month ago and days ago. Another serious antitrust probe should be in order.

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