Tag: Patent trolls

Google may start shopping to protect against patent trolls

The tech giant is looking to buy out a spectrum of patents to help to stabilize that marketplace.

Google is hoping to be able to help to stabilize the current issues that are occurring within the U.S. Patent system, particularly when it comes to the damage patent trolls are doing to innovation and the progress of technology.

In this effort, the company is making technology news by considering purchasing patents to protect creators.

The U.S. Patent Market is now inundated with those so-called patent trolls, which are shell corporations located around the globe that force actual patent holders into lengthy, costly litigation that typically end up in expensive settlements. That behavior is, according to Google (and many others) holding back the progress in innovation in the United States. Those who would innovate simply don’t find it worthwhile to do so, anymore, as any money they could potentially earn from their efforts would end up paying off costly lawsuits.

Google’s plan of attack against the patent trolls is a new program that is called the Patent Purchase Promotion.

Patent Trolls - GoogleTechnology news reports are indicating that through this program, Google will be purchasing patents simply in order to make sure that trolls won’t be able to get their claws into them and use legal loopholes and lawsuits to earn money.

The deputy general counsel for patents at Google, Allen Lo, explained on the company’s blog that “Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls. Then bad things happen, like lawsuits, lots of wasted effort, and generally bad karma. Rarely does this provide any meaningful benefit to the original patent owner.”

Within this initial phase of the program, Google is hoping to keep the entire process quite basic. Owners of patents can submit proposals to the company as of May 8 and can continue to do so until May 22. Google will the conduct an evaluation and by the 26th of June, each of the patent holders will be contacted. Should the company wish to make a purchase to protect the rights against patent trolls, the payment for it will be made and complete by the close of August 2015 via ACH bank transfer.

Microsoft phones determined to be infringing on patents

Patent licensing company, InterDigital has won the case according to U.S. International Trade Commission judge decision.

The latest round of potentially very expensive legal battle over patents relating to Microsoft phones has now been lost by the company as a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled in favor of InterDigital Inc.

InterDigital sued Microsoft with claims that its patents for mobile devices were being used without permission.

The judge in question, Theodore Essex, decided that the Microsoft phones were infringing on two different patents having to do with wireless cellular technology and that were owned by InterDigital, a patent licensor that has been accused of being a “patent troll”. The judge also ruled that banning Microsoft from importing those mobile devices into the United States would not be against public interest.

Before the ruling against Microsoft phones is set in stone, it must first be reviewed by the full commission.

Microsoft - Microsoft Phones This means that the entire committee will first need to conduct a review on the case before Microsoft mobile devices can be banned from being imported. The ITC does have the authority that would be required to implement such a ban if it decides that a U.S. patent has been infringed upon.

It has become common practice for many companies to sue through the ITC in order to be able to win damages as well as to be able to put an import ban into place within a district court. InterDigital is based in Wilmington, Delaware and had initially made its accusations of patent infringements against Nokia Corp, in 2007. That said, in 2014, Microsoft purchased the handset division at Nokia, and InterDigital shifted its attentions to that new company.

The patents involved in this lawsuit have to do with the way that the power of a Microsoft phone is moderated in order to be able to reduce interference with the device signal. Originally, Nokia was cleared of infringement by the ITC, but that decision was later overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in 2012. That is the top patent court in the United States, and it has caused the ITC to have to take a look at the decision, yet again.