Bonum Certa Men Certa

Multiple Microsoft-Funded Patent Trolls Are Attacking Microsoft's Rivals Inside and Outside the Courtrooms

...While Microsoft offers 'protection' (only to those who pay Microsoft and do not compete)

Protection racket
Reference: Protection racket



Summary: Protection rackets of Microsoft continue uninterrupted, with actors that compete with Microsoft finding themselves being sued by patent trolls that are funded and backed by Microsoft; it's not even hard to show the financial links and the relational connections

A FEW days ago we wrote about Microsoft-connected patent trolls like Finjan, Intellectual Ventures, and Dominion Harbor, which is connected to Intellectual Ventures. It is important to highlight these things because Microsoft's "Azure IP Advantage" sells people 'protection' from such trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]. It's how Microsoft hopes to entice everyone to pay Microsoft some monthly 'rents' (in exchange for perceived safety from frivolous lawsuits).

Two days ago there were reports about Pivotal Software filing for IPO, taking stock of its patents, e.g. "118 U.S. patents and 73 pending. The company says it has filed for a $100 million IPO, but this is just a placeholder that is subject to change. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are serving as lead underwriters."

Read the article and notice the Microsoft connection there. Pivotal is financially indebted to Microsoft. This is a bad sign.

On the same day it was announced in a press release [1, 2] from a Microsoft-funded patent troll Finjan (see our Finjan timeline for some more background going a decade back) that it attacks Microsoft's rivals with software patents yet again. From their press release:

Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FNJN), a cybersecurity company, today announced that -- after two years of good faith efforts to resolve a patent dispute with Carbon Black, Inc. (“Carbon Black”) -- its subsidiary Finjan, Inc. ("Finjan") has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Carbon Black, a Delaware company with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, and offices in Palo Alto, California, in the U.S. Northern District of California.


This is far from the first time and new financial analysis [1, 2] suggests that the firm hopes for resurgence only by means of lawsuits and extortion. Now that this Microsoft patent troll has filed another lawsuit (announced two days ago) we expect to see more of them. They're emboldened by a court decision from January -- one that we wrote a lot about.

A pro-PTAB and anti-trolls group, HTIA, has just cited an article from 3.5 years ago (by James Bessen) and added: "The number of firms sued by #patent #Trolls grew nine-fold over the last decade; such that now a majority of #patent lawsuits are filed by trolls."

This is good for Microsoft and its trolls, which hope that in spite of ۤ 101 they can just intimidate all of Microsoft's rivals -- including GNU/Linux companies -- and cause them to suffer.

Microsoft's largest patent troll Intellectual Ventures has attacked Microsoft's rival that Finjan had attacked months ago (and won against back in January). But this troll just loses. Again! Once again at the Federal Circuit. To quote this new analysis by Michael Borella:

As such, the Federal Circuit concluded that the District Court did not err in finding the '533 patent invalid under ۤ 101. And as an aside, anyone who thinks that backing up their data is an abstract concept should keep that in mind when their primary computer is lost, stolen, or crashes.


In this particular case ۤ 101 saved Symantec (and not for the first time, even against this particular troll). But Symantec is being forced to pay a lot of money to another Microsoft troll, Finjan Holdings.

Microsoft is still playing a very dirty game here and if it believes that it can detach itself from trolls that it's actively funding, then it's underestimating observers' ability to connect the dots.

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