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03.23.18

Ericsson, Acting Directly Rather Than Via the Patent Trolls It Habitually Uses, in a Patent War Against Linux/Android

Posted in America, Europe, LG, Patents at 12:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last year: Ericsson Hired From the World’s Largest Patent Troll and Became a Massive Troll in Europe

Ericsson troll

Summary: LG is the latest company to be sued by Ericsson, which doesn’t just harass the competition (which actually sells something) through patent trolls but also directly, having won a case in the notorious Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED)

TECHRIGHTS has been watching Ericsson closely for a number of years. Like Nokia, another former giant from Scandinavia, Ericsson is nowadays feeding patent trolls and suing companies that distribute Linux in various forms (including but not limited to Android). There are other connections to patent trolls which make Nokia and Ericsson two of the biggest culprits in Europe. Nokia’s gleeful and shameless promotion of software patents (about one decade ago) grabbed our attention and its lobbying on patent policy always disturbed us, more so after Microsoft/Elop got involved, accelerating Nokia’s patent aggression, including aggression against Linux.

IAM, which habitually grooms Ericsson and its patent trolls (as recently as a couple of days ago), says that Ericsson is still going after South Korea-based companies that distribute Linux, citing the TCL case. Yesterday it wrote:

Ericsson filed a lawsuit against LG Electronics in US district court earlier this week in what could be the first courtroom test of the its patent portfolio since it was on the receiving end of a damaging verdict late last year in an SEP FRAND dispute with Chinese handset manufacturer TCL. The Swedish telecoms giant has asked the court for a declaration that its actions in pursuing a licence with LG comply with FRAND and an additional ruling that the Korean company has breached its own FRAND obligations. Ericsson has also accused the handset manufacturer of infringing one patent (no. 6,633,550).

The above TCL lawsuit was also mentioned yesterday by the Docket Navigator, showing that Ericsson had been suing in Texas (TXED) with dodgy patents while relying on dodgy “experts”. To quote:

Following a jury verdict of $75 million, the court granted defendant’s motion for new damages trial because the application of plaintiff’s survey expert’s results by plaintiff’s damages expert was unreliable.

The above is a pretty big deal because it impacts SEP and FRAND caselaw, it shows the sort of thing that caused LG to exit the Chinese market, and it generally emboldens patent trolls and their lobby (like IAM) to initiate more lawsuits. This kind of litigation culture is seen as a safety net or insurance/welfare for companies which became irrelevant. The end result isn’t innovation but overpriced (artificially-inflated prices) devices and those who suffer the most are customers. What’s also noteworthy is that many of the said patents are software patents, but they’re bundled together (as per, e.g., SEP thickets) in order to discourage legal challenge of pertinent patents.

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).

09.06.17

When Patent Maximalists Say ‘Innovation’ is Moving to Asia or China They Mean Litigation Chaos Moves There

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, LG, Patents, Samsung at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The latest ‘revolution’ in China is deeply self-corroding

China flag

Summary: China’s short-term patent policy already backfires by attracting patent parasites (growing at the expense of producing industries)

IT was only days ago that mainstream media relayed the lie (unsupported by facts) that the US loses leadership to China (in the patents sense). All that the US ‘loses’ is patent trolling and other such nuisance. Earlier today we saw this new press release whose headline made it abundantly clear that patents are not about innovation but about “blocking competitors” (their words, i.e. opposite of innovation).

“In Korea (the South), which in principle does not allow patenting of software, there are two massive corporations which dominate the charts (not only in Korea).”As we have been noting here for about a year, China is creating a massive patent bubble; last year alone, for example, over a million patent applications were filed! Yes, over a million! Imagine how rubbish these must be to reach/added up to such a figure!

In Korea (the South), which in principle does not allow patenting of software, there are two massive corporations which dominate the charts (not only in Korea). Those corporations are LG and Samsung (especially the latter). Design patents should generally not be granted; that’s what copyrights and trademarks (or “registered designs”, not patents) are for, but Samsung joins this gold rush anyway, possibly in anticipation of more Apple lawsuits (this matter may soon reach the US Supreme Court). The other day Florian Müller said that the “Korean court denies Qualcomm’s motion to stay execution of KFTC antitrust ruling,” referring to yet another headache that we covered here before. The background:

Last December, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) handed down a decision against Qualcomm that U.S. tech companies welcomed. The following month, the FTC and Apple sued Qualcomm on antitrust grounds in California. In March, it became known that Qualcomm’s refusal to licenses its standard-essential patents (SEPs) on FRAND terms to other chipset makers is one of the various concerns the Korean competition authority has.

Korea is a smart country; unlike China, it’s not being rushed into the patent bubble. It’s not being shamed into patent maximalism, either. Their regulatory agencies have already dealt big blows to US corporations such as Intel (we covered this at the time) and they don’t let bullying become the norm. Also, as we noted here many times before, Korean companies very rarely initiate legal action with patents (unless attacked first). It’s something about their culture.

“Korea is a smart country; unlike China, it’s not being rushed into the patent bubble.”Compare that to China.

“China’s top patent owner Huawei,” as IAM put it the other day, is ‘collecting’ patents right now (from a Japanese company). Here is what IAM predicts:

China’s top patent owner Huawei has continued its third-party acquisition efforts with the recent pick-up of seven US patent grants from Japanese company Hitachi. Several weeks on from that transaction, it doesn’t look like the apparent patent sale was part of a larger deal to settle the US legal tussle between the two companies, which is ongoing in the Eastern District of Texas. Instead it underline’s the Japanese company’s all-of-the-above approach to monetising patents as its business is transformed.

Those unruly patent zealots, as IAM put it in another article, have devolved into a “shouting match” in China:

A somewhat hostile question from an Apple-linked private practice lawyer sparked a heated and, at times, ugly exchange of the sort rarely seen at patent conferences in Beijing this afternoon. Apple and Chinese firm Iwncomm have been battling it out in Chinese courtrooms for more than a year, and attendees at the China Patent Annual Conference, which kicked off today at the China National Convention Center, saw it play out before their eyes.

Iwncomm is far from a household name, even in its native China (where it’s also known as Xi’an Xidian Jietong). But its IP profile has risen significantly since it became the first plaintiff to obtain an SEP-based injunction in China. In a session focused on IP licensing which also featured Apple senior legal counsel Steve Wang, Iwncomm managing director Cao Jun introduced his company and explained his view on why China shouldn’t be afraid to strengthen IP protections.

We have become accustomed to a lot of legal ‘action’ in China, unlike say in Korea or Japan (their courts are tougher on patents). As of this week, IAM calls some of the most horrible patent trolls “PIPCOs” (avoiding the term “troll” like Trump avoids “climate change”). It’s about china again (ZTE) and here is what the business model is compared to:

The PIPCO model is not entirely dead — the success of the likes of InterDigital, Rambus and Finjan show that it can still work for a select few — but it’s clear that most licensing businesses in the future will remain private.

We have been writing quite a bit about Finjan lately. It’ll hopefully perish in the US, but the likes of it seem to have spread eastwards to China.

If China doesn’t recognise just how misguided its patent policy is, not much will be left there other than lawsuits (as opposed to production). This is of course good for patent zealots like IAM and its funding sources, but very bad to productive companies.

03.29.17

LG Not Only Suing Rivals Using Patents But is Also Passing Patents for Trolls Like Sentegra to Sue

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, LG, Patents at 4:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LG is copying Microsoft (or Microsoft’s method of attacking its competition)

LG

Summary: LG gives yet more reasons for a boycott, having just leveraged not just patents but also patent trolls in a battle against a competitor

TEN years ago we called for a boycott of LG, after it had agreed to pay Microsoft for Linux (over alleged patents). LG did not even put up a fight and later it adopted Android.

LG is now turning hostile even against Android (and by extension Linux), taking advantage of the US-centric ITC. It has has begun legal action. Korean companies going aggressive with patents is rather unusual (cultural reasons), but apparently not anymore. The trolls’ voice, IAM, reveals that LG used to do this via trolls. To quote the relevant parts (below):

LG Electronics appears to have launched its first-ever patent enforcement actions in the United States with a Delaware district lawsuit and International Trade Commission (ITC) complaint targeting US phone maker Blu Products.

LG’s complaint and exhibits as filed with the Delaware district court are currently under seal, while any documentation outlining the ITC filing is apparently yet to be published. As such, details are thin on the ground at the moment, though some particulars can be determined from an LG press release announcing the actions.

[...]

Indeed, these latest LG filings are not even the first time that Blu has been sued using LG patents. In January, Blu was named in litigation filed in the District of Colorado by an NPE named Sentegra LLC. One of two patents asserted by Sentegra against Blu had originally been owned by LG, and had been assigned to the NPE by the South Korean company in November 2015.

LG is doing this not in Texas but in Delaware, with the troll in Colorado. We’re going to keep an eye on this because it represent a new kind of threat and this time it comes from Korea, for a change.

12.26.16

Culture of Appeals Against Granted Patents Means Better and Improved Scrutiny, Less Litigation

Posted in America, LG, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scientists as judges, not just as pressured (from above) examiners

David Ruschke
David Ruschke’s ‘official’ photo

Summary: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), led by David Ruschke, continues to function as another ‘layer’ that ensures patent quality by weeding out bad patents and here are some of the latest cases

THE patents and litigation climate is rapidly changing in the US. It’s not just about software patents, but it has a lot to do with them as a lot of litigation emanates from such patents, notably troll litigation.

Just before the days of the holiday (whichever one) we learned about the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which is responsible for invalidating many software patents, being in the midst of this battle:

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced on Dec. 2 that it would uphold a patent filed by Securus Technologies, and that the challenge filed by rival company Global Tel*Link (GTL) was invalid. GTL maintains, however, that Securus only won a partial victory.

The patent (U. S. Patent No. 7,494,061 B2) that Securus maintains held up to the challenge from GTL, relates to biometric identity verification monitoring devices used in correctional facilities. According to a summary of the patent, “The term “biometrics” refers to technologies that measure and analyze human characteristics for authentication.”

This patent is a software patent by the sound of it. These are actually the sorts of patents which improperly use terms like “biometrics” to sound as though they’re anything but image analysis, which is my field of research (post-doctoral). It has nothing to do with biology and it’s all typically reducible to mathematics (matrices). Does the appeal board (PTAB) realise this? If not, maybe it’s time to reassess.

Another report, last Updated 6 days ago, is an article about appeals in Korea, published by Jay (Young-June) Yang, Duck Soon CHANG and Seung-Chan EOM from Kim & Chang (patent microcosm). Remember that Korea still blocks software patents (as it should) and we commend this decision, which guards software giants (also hardware giants, not to mention military equipment players) like Samsung and LG — both of which became Microsoft prey for using Linux nearly 9 years ago. We last reported on this 3 months ago (Microsoft wants more 'Linux patent tax' in Korea).

Going back to PTAB, there is a CAFC/PTAB case (CAFC having the authority to object) that MIP explained as follows: “The original Federal Circuit panel decision in the case – written by Judge Reyna and joined by Chief Judge Prost and Judge Stark – was issued on May 25. The court affirmed the Board’s denial of Aqua’s motion to substitute claims 22–24 of a patent concerning automated swimming pool cleaners.”

There is a 9-page PDF in there. As mentioned here some days ago, they are complaining because their patent was granted in error and now they want to change it. Imagine if granted patents were something dynamic you could just amend, edit, expand etc. as you go alone. What a ludicrous thing. Invalidate the patent and if they insist it’s not fair, then they should apply for the patent again (with amended claims).

MIP also explains how to use PTAB to squash bad patents (like software patents) even when it’s not so trivial. “Jim Brogan, Brian Eutermoser and Janna Fischer discuss the ways that the unsuccessful IPR petitioner at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board still can challenge validity in subsequent district court litigation,” MIP wrote.

MIP, to its credit, keeps abreast of PTAB cases (mostly because of Mr. Michael Loney), although it sometimes misinterprets the numbers it puts forth.

In better news about PTAB, here is PTAB having a go at software patents and getting a chance to kill them again. As PatentDocs put it:

Petitioner, iVenture Card Traveler Ltd, filed a Petition seeking to institute a covered business method patent review of all claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,765,128, owned by Smart Destinations, Inc. The Board, applying the standard that requires demonstration that more likely than not Petitioner would prevail with respect to at least one challenged claim, the Board granted Petitioner’s request to institute the CBM review.

We hope that PTAB will continue to do its job improving patent certainty by knocking out a lot of rubbish patents, leaving in tact only those that merit court cases (if any).

09.22.16

Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Going Places and Suing Microsoft Rivals, Microsoft Wants More ‘Linux Patent Tax’

Posted in Apple, Asia, GNU/Linux, LG, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 5:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

troll dollSummary: Microsoft-connected patent trolls like Larry Horn’s MobileMedia are still attacking Microsoft rivals and Microsoft wants more money from Korea, after it attacked Linux with software patents over there (notably Samsung and LG)

“US Pat RE39231,” wrote a patent attorney, eventually meant that “Apple Must Pat MobileMedia $3M for Infringing this Patent” (MobileMedia is not as real company and we wrote about it before, in relation to MPEG-LA and Larry Horn; we wrote about him in [1, 2]).

How many people out there know that MPEG-LA is a patent troll whose head himself is/was a patent troll? Not many people know this. Horn relies on dishonest lawyers from Proskauer Rose and sues Apple, which itself is part of MPEG-LA (we already took note of how bizarre this is).

Well, “Apple loses ringtone infringement case to Nokia and Sony’s patent troll firm,” according to the headline of this report. To quote: “Apple has been ordered to pony up $3 million in damages by a Delaware judge for infringing the patent of a firm partially owned by Sony and Nokia. The case, which has been running since way back in 2010, saw MobileMedia Ideas originally accuse Apple on 16 counts of patent infringement. Six years and plenty of court activity later, the original claim has been whittled down to just one patent pertaining to iPhone ringer alerts, for which MobileMedia has been awarded a tidy sum of money.”

A patent troll connected to Nokia — a legacy of Microsoft entryism and subsequent passage of patents to trolls like MOSAID — is somewhat of a pattern we’ve seen a lot of recently. Android too is being targeted by these trolls.

“MobileMedia Ideas just won a Delaware trial against Apple over a former Sony patent,” Florian Müller wrote about it. “May file further lawsuit now over iPhone 4S and later.”

Tom O’Reilly from Mobile Media Ideas is advertising for this patent troll. He passed around the press release “MobileMedia Ideas Wins Trial against Apple” and it said:

(CHEVY CHASE, MD, US – 21 September 2016) – MobileMedia Ideas LLC is pleased to announce that the US District Court for the District of Delaware today found MobileMedia Ideas’ “polite-ignore” patent (Re 39,231) for mobile phone call silencing valid and infringed by the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 and awarded $3M in damages. The case did not include the iPhone 4S, 5/5C/5S and 6/6 Plus on which there may be further proceedings. The patent was filed in 1994 by Sony Corporation, a pioneer in the development of mobile and other consumer electronics technology, and is now part of the patent portfolio licensed by MobileMedia Ideas.

MobileMedia Ideas President and CEO Larry Horn said, “We thank the jury for its service and hard work. This case could have been avoided by the taking of a license, however. MobileMedia Ideas’ business model is based on offering reasonable licenses to a valuable portfolio of important inventions widely practiced across a broad array of mobile phone and other portable products. We still welcome Apple to respect intellectual property developed by others with the taking of a license.”

MobileMedia Ideas was represented by a team of litigators at Proskauer Rose led by Steve Bauer and Kim Mottley of the Boston office.

In relation to an article/report mentioned here earlier this week, there is now an important update. Coming from the Korea Times, it says that the tax authority is likely to reject Microsoft’s appeal for refund of tax. To quote the opening parts:

The South Korean tax authority is expected to reject an appeal by U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. to refund 634 billion won ($575.7 million) in a withholding tax, according to the tax authority and industry sources Thursday.

Microsoft filed complaints last month against the National Tax Service (NTS), seeking a refund of the withholding taxes paid by Samsung Electronics Co. to the NTS for using the software giant’s patents.

When will Microsoft pay the tax it has evaded? Above the law, still? A lot of the above sum comes from Linux-powered devices (we wrote about this many times before).

Those who believe that Microsoft has changed surely aren’t paying attention to what it does through patent trolls, through Nokia (which Microsoft demanded should pass patents to trolls), and in various distant countries like Korea. Microsoft just became a little more covert in its war against Linux.

06.19.16

How the Halo Electronics Case Helps Patent Trolls and How Publications Funded by Patent Trolls (IAM for Instance) Covered This

Posted in America, Courtroom, LG, Patents, Samsung at 10:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Halo as a sanctuary for patent trolls

Halo

Summary: A Supreme Court ruling on patents, its implications for software patent trolls, and how media that is promoting software patents and patent trolls covered it

THE dishonest/self-serving patent lawyers in the US might never openly admit this, but software patents are dying not only in US courts and PTAB but also, increasingly, at the USPTO. This does not necessarily solve the problem of patent trolls because trolls tend to go after small companies that have neither the will nor the budget to invalidate the asserted patents, e.g. by going to court.

“Court rulings like this,” say anti-trolls lobbyists, “make it much more urgent for Congress to pass patent litigation reform legislation this year” (they probably allude to the VENUE Act or the likes of it).

“This does not necessarily solve the problem of patent trolls because trolls tend to go after small companies that have neither the will nor the budget to invalidate the asserted patents, e.g. by going to court.”“Supreme Court Ruling in Halo/Stryker Case Will Lead to More Lawsuits from Patent Trolls, More Forum Shopping by Repeat Plaintiffs,” says the accompanying PDF. “Ruling Gives Small Businesses Less Incentive to Fight Meritless Suits,” says the second line. This is correct as it’s already far too expensive and laborious. The smaller the company, the more likely it is to just pay ‘protection money’ (extortion) because the ratio between the ‘damages’ and the legal costs in a court makes it the ‘correct’ business choice.

Suppose for a moment that patent trolls don’t get granted (or get to buy) the patents they use. The proposed reform legislation does not actually tackle software patents. The subject is not even on the agenda and that’s a problem. As long as software patents can land on the lap of patent trolls, these are guaranteed to be misused. Natalie Rahhal of MIP wrote about the same decision (Halo/Stryker case) as follows: “The Supreme Court decided both Halo Electronics, Inc v Pulse Electronics, Inc, et al and Stryker Corporation, et al v Zimmer, Inc, et al on Monday, in a decision that significantly lowered the bar for the issuance of enhanced damages in a patent infringement case.

“Gene the WatchTroll (or “Watchdog” as he prefers to think of himself) is so upset that judges are doing their job and eliminating software patents (after SCOTUS Justices ruled on the matter) that he shamelessly exploits these latest developments to assert Justices are writing legislation (untrue).”“Enhanced damages are set out by Section 284 of the Patent Act and allow the Court to award a patent owner up to three times the amount of the damages found, if the jury or the court determines that the infringement was wilful.”

Gene the WatchTroll (or “Watchdog” as he prefers to think of himself) is so upset that judges are doing their job and eliminating software patents (after SCOTUS Justices ruled on the matter) that he shamelessly exploits these latest developments to assert Justices are writing legislation (untrue). In our previous post we showed how he had exploited the Halo/Stryker case to accuse Justices of ignorance and here he is saying that §101 (Alice) is “overused”:

It seems as though once the court realized the claimed invention related to software, it pulled out its §101 goggles and ignored any other grounds for patent invalidity. Such an analysis, which pushes decision-making into 101, which is ill-suited to be used as such a brute force instrument, has perplexed and frustrated patent practitioners. Courts, including the Federal Circuit, simply disregard the other sections of the Patent Act in favor of §101, which for them is easier and leads to decision-making without the need of discovery and without presuming the issued patent is valid.

With or without Halo/Stryker, with or without Enfish, §101 still stands and it will continue to demolish software patents by the thousands (those that reach PTAB and the courts anyway). One can be sure that patent lawyers will keep saying “Halo” and “Enfish” any time they wish to defend trolls and software patents. Joff Wild, for a change, says the T word (“Trolls”) in his article about Halo (a case which we first mentioned here last week) and here is his opening paragraph: “There have already been plenty of articles written about the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo v Pulse, which was handed down yesterday. As is usual in cases where they review the work of the Federal Circuit, the court’s justices have decided that its practices are wrong. This time, it’s the approach that the CAFC has towards determining wilful infringement – it’s too rigid and lets too many potentially very badly behaved defendants off the hook. Instead, the Supreme Court has stated, judges should have a lot more discretion in deciding when a defendant’s behaviour has been so egregious that it deserves the sanction of triple damages.”

“With or without Halo/Stryker, with or without Enfish, §101 still stands and it will continue to demolish software patents by the thousands (those that reach PTAB and the courts anyway).”Expect this to be used to discredit §101 and defend patent trolls. Now that Ericsson’s patent trolls (in Europe) are about get ‘scooped up’ IAM celebrates and as another major lawsuit comes to light IAM says: “Earlier this week an entity called Global Equity Management (GEMSA) filed lawsuits against 20 separate operating companies including Spotify, Netflix and Uber over the alleged infringement of two patents. All of the suits were filed in the Eastern District of Texas.”

That’s just a patent troll in the Eastern District of Texas, as usual. “US Pat 6,690,400, Asserted Against Amazon Web Service Users,” Patent Buddy wrote, adding some of his information about the patent. Apparently that’s just fine with Wild and his colleagues, whose employer received money from patent trolls. This EPO‘s mouthpiece, IAM ‘magazine’, still treats the world's largest patent troll (and Microsoft-connected troll) like some kind of heroic entity that people ought to emulate. Last week it continued to groom this patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. They almost do public relations, having spoken directly to the company’s executives last month (the editor in chief did, the trolls denialist).

“It doesn’t seem to bother Congress enough. Why not? Follow the money.”Perhaps the saddest thing in it all is that most voices that weighed in on the latter (and we were able to find) treated a win for patent trolls as some kind of fantastic ruling from SCOTUS, except perhaps TechDirt with this article titled “Supreme Court Just Made It Easier For Patent Trolls”.

To quote TechDirt: “As we’ve noted over the past decade or so, the Supreme Court has been smacking down the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit (CAFC) over and over and over again on issues related to patent law. And on Monday, the Supreme Court did it once again — but this time in a way that actually might not be good.”

The analysis ends with: “At the very least, this seems like an argument for Congress to finally stop sitting around and doing something to fix the patent troll problem.”

It doesn’t seem to bother Congress enough. Why not? Follow the money. Why is IAM so soft on trolls? Again, follow the money.

We could say a lot more about IAM’s sheer bias. Consider its latest coverage from Asia. IAM, as usual, misses the point. LG and Samsung are absolutely massive companies (almost part of the nation itself, including the military in fact); they are the exception, not the norm, when it comes to the number of patents. IAM says “Korean companies own some of the world’s largest patent portfolios, including of course the single biggest stockpile of US grants – by some margin – which belongs to Samsung Electronics.” But IAM does not mention that this is pretty much limited to just two companies. Regarding Japan, which has a lot more than just two or three giant technology companies, IAM suggests some kind of patent liquidation. Notice how they ascribe or use the word “asset” to refer to a patent (the A in IAM is “asset”), as if it’s some kind of physical object. Euphemisms are everywhere at IAM. It’s lobbying disguised as news.

02.18.14

Non-Android Mobile Linux: Jolla, Tizen, WebOS and Firefox OS Gain Momentum

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, LG, Samsung at 9:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A quick look at some recent developments involving mobile Linux that’s not Android

LINUX and GNU are taking over the mobile world. Not only the Google-run Android (US-centric) is capitalising on GNU (founded in US) and Linux (centered in Portland). This is an international effort to capitalise on Free software, challenging proprietary systems like Blackberry’s and Apple’s, not only Android, which has been exceptionally surveillance-friendly.

The England-based Canonical (London-based offices) has Ubuntu for mobile devices, the Finland-based Jolla (former Nokia staff) has a promising operating system that’s a huge success in Finland and is very liberal even in the hardware sense [1], Korean giant Samsung is working on Tizen with new backers [2,3] (although none has pledged actual devices [4]), so Samsung is not focused just on Android, and LG (the other Korean giant) pushes WebOS [5]. Then there is Geeksphone, which incorporates Firefox OS but only alongside Android [6].

All these efforts ought to remind us that Linux and GNU are international endeavours that increase sharing, choice, diversity, etc. It’s not all about Android and there is no “monopoly” here, as some Microsoft- and Apple-friendly ‘journalists’ have been trying to insinuate recently. There are Android-derived alternatives such as CyanogenMod, and Google is not shunning them [7] unless they cause security risks [8].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Mobile Customization Gets Boost with Jolla’s The Other Half

    The dream of customizing mobile devices with 3D printed modules took another step forward this week when Jolla opened sales of its promised “The Other Half” customizable backplates for Jolla smartphones. The Finnish company has even posted an SDK to let developers construct their own 3D printed backplate designs for the phone, which runs the Linux-based Sailfish OS.

  2. ZTE, Sprint, SoftBank join open source Tizen OS development
  3. Tizen adds members, teases UI

    Tizen has always been the presumed heavyweight among the new crop of mobile Linux operating systems, yet it has increasingly seemed more like a wispy shadow. Now, despite growing signs that Samsung’s first Tizen phones may not ship until late 2014, and doubts whether the company will put much effort behind the OS now that it has made peace with Google, the Tizen marketing push has cranked up for the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This week, the Tizen Association industry group that supports the Linux Foundation hosted Tizen project, announced 15 new members for its partner program.

  4. Tizen teasing continues as new members join but none pledge devices
  5. LG pushes WebOS into digital signage

    LG is launching a new line of “all-in-one” digital signage systems that run the Linux-based WebOS, including new HTML middleware for app development.

  6. Geeksphone’s dual-boot Android Firefox OS device coming next week

    Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone has revealed more details on its forthcoming dual-boot Android and Firefox OS device.

  7. CyanogenMOD developer demos Android Mirroring to Chromecast

    Well, Google had warned not to use preview SDK to write apps as it was in initial phase. Dutta has an AllCast app which allows one to stream quite a lot of local content to Chromecast. Now since Google has released the SDK and opened Chromecast to 3rd party developers there are immense possibilities – and Dutta is back. He has teased users with an app which can mirror the Android screen on Chromecast cast.

  8. Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report

    Android Police is claiming to have received a copy of a Google memo, stating that Google Mobile Services certification will no longer be available to any device submitted by an operator running anything less than Android 4.2.

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