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Summary:

Intellectual Ventures went to trial for the first time. The case was supposed to be a landmark test for its patent trolling model but the case ended in a mistrial.

A landmark trial pitting Google against Intellectual Ventures, the standard bearer for a controversial breed of companies known as patent trolls, has ended in a hung jury, according to a report from Reuters. The outcome, which came after a day of deliberations in Delaware federal court, means the proceedings have ended in a mistrial.

The news — later confirmed in a statement posted by Intellectual Ventures on its site — will come as a letdown to those who were hoping that the trial would provide momentum to one side or the other at a time of national debate over the legitimacy of patent trolling. Currently, all three branches of government are deliberating over how to reform the patent system and what to do about trolls, which don’t make anything but instead amass old patents in order to demand royalty payments from companies that do.

This week’s proceedings represented the first time that Intellectual Ventures, which controls thousands of shell companies, has gone to trial directly over patents, and came about after IV sued Google’s subsidiary Motorola Mobility in 2011. Motorola denies the infringement accusations. An earlier Reuters report provides full background on the case.

 

  1. “Currently, all three branches of government are deliberating over how to reform the patent system and what to do about trolls, which don’t make anything but instead amass old patents in order to demand royalty payments from companies that do.”

    What the government needs to remember is that a patent does not grant any inventor the right to produce anything. If individual inventors can not financially bear the burden of protecting their rights in court when going against the big infringing tech companies who have virtually unlimited budgets, companies like IV are a great rescue to the inventors trying to get paid for their rightfully owned I.P.

    Also, what people need to realize is that entities like Intellectual Ventures exist simply because infringers threw the first stone by infringing, and small inventors cannot bear the legal costs of a long, drawn-out battle in court. So don’t harm the little guy for protecting his rights!

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  2. I dislike the term “patent troll” because using derogatory language is simply a smear tactic to paint your opponents, people, or groups you disagree with negative labels. If your arguments are so weak that you have to resort to name calling, then maybe you should loose.

    This does not mean I believe patent holding companies should win their cases, personally I see little difference between these companies then, say, a company like Apple that sues for rectangles and rounder corners.

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  3. “Patent troll” is a term in common use. In a non-derogatory fashion, how else would you describe someone who’s business model relies on legalized extortion? IV is hardly looking out for the little guy, unless it furthers their bottom line.

    Patents are written far too broadly, then approved by people that don’t understand the implications of what they’re reading. This leads to many overlapping patents being issued for the same IP, which fuels these patent battles. Reaching the point where the only cure is to just invalidate all of these patents and start over.

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    1. whose, not who’s.

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