Innovation at work
Apple must pay a shell company $532.9 million because iTunes infringes upon three patents related to online patents, a jury in East Texas…
Try, try again
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) has reintroduced a patent reform bill, known as the Innovation Act, that enjoyed bipartisan support last year, but…
Chris Hulls got mugged on payday. The founder of Life360 had just raised $50 million to expand his business, a social network…
Fun with FRAND
A big showdown is taking place at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an important standard-setting body, about rules for patents that cover basic building…
Try, try again
Will the third time be the charm? In the last five years, Congress has twice tried to fix the country’s dysfunctional patent laws only to see those efforts founder at the…
Detkin tires of trolling
Peter Detkin, a lawyer and former Intel executive, is standing down as vice chairman from the notorious patent trolling venture he co-founded alongside three…
Innovation at work
It’s no secret the U.S. patent system is dysfunctional but, still, this one’s a doozy: a Texas patent troll that sent thousands of shakedown letters to…
The head of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), said on Tuesday that a bipartisan bill to fix America’s dysfunctional patent system failed this spring after it ran into the “DC version of quicksand known as the Senate,” but that 2015 will be a different story.
The notorious Intellectual Ventures is creating “partnerships” in hot emerging areas of tech. The deals appear to be an attempt to deflect from IV’s awful reputation and lay the ground for future patent trolling.
Two charts show how, even though patent trolls have lost recent battles, they are still winning the war.
A troll called called Rotatable claimed a patent monopoly on the use of rotating mobile screen displays. Rackspace won a victory for everyone by destroying its patent.
One of the standard bearers of America’s broken system — a podcast troll that never made a podcast — has proved depressingly tenacious. Despite winning another jury verdict, the troll’s days may be numbered.
Intellectual Ventures, which has been the scourge of the tech industry for years, may be in trouble after reportedly laying off 20 percent of its staff.
Personal Audio believes it has a right to collect patent royalties from every podcaster in the country. A comedian stopped the patent troll in its tracks but did not go through with a promise to fight the troll to the end.
Ready for some good news for a change on the patent troll front? Here’s a start-up that was able to fight off a troll with the help of law students.
A little known company in Hawaii is demanding patent royalties from most of the mobile device industry. Apple is fighting the demands in court, but will not be allowed to call the company a “patent troll.”
A notorious patent troll must pay startup FindTheBest’s lawyer bills in what appears to be the first time a judge has applied new Supreme Court rules that make it easier to shift fees.
It was a good day for patent trolls as the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that a popular reform bill has died.
A bill to curb abuses of the U.S. patent system was going full steam — supported by Republicans and Democrats, and the President. Now, one of the year’s few bipartisan initiatives is set to fail: here’s why.
The king of the patent trolls is raising new money to expand its trolling activities but this time Apple, which is tired of trolls, has declined to fund it.
Congress was poised to go forward with patent reform this week but an unexpected hold-up in the Senate suggests the process could be in trouble.
An obscure company claims to own the rights to talking avatars, and is suing many game makers. Its plans received a big setback this week.
The medical practice of blood-letting persisted for decades in the face of evidence that it was a bad idea. Today’s patent system is experiencing the same difficulty.
The government and the media are taking an increasingly dim view of patent trolls. The biggest of the trolls is responding with new lobbying efforts.
All three branches of government are trying to fix America’s broken patent system. Today, the White House unveiled a series of new measures that will help — though not enough.
Two major tech industry players say their cross-licensing deal is an example of how to extract value from a patent portfolio without resorting to controversial trolling techniques.
The debate over patent reform is likely to crest this spring as all three branches of government move to fix a troubled innovation system. On Tuesday, the call for reform got another high-level supporter.
A shell company backed by Apple that owns thousands of old Nortel patents has been employing controversial tactics to wring money from the patents, many of which date from the 1990’s. The cable industry just launched a counter-attack.
In an unbelievable act of chutzpah, an infamous patent troll that demands money from small businesses for using scanners, is suing the…
Google says its rivals have “placed a cloud” on the Android eco-system through a wave of lawsuits based on old Nortel patents. Now, it’s filed a lawsuit of its own to defend the Nexus and its customers.
The giant patent troll Intellectual Ventures decided to publish a partial list of the more than 40,000 patents it holds. Why is it doing this?
Google rivals formed a group called Rockstar in 2011 to buy old patents from bankrupt Nortel. The group started by suing Android phone makers, but it now looks like it plans to sue everyone else too.
Patent reform failed in 2011, in part because not enough people understood the patent troll problem. A new video that provides a crisp cartoon summary could help change that.
Newegg’s use of industry-standard online encryption techniques infringed on an obscure modem patent, a Texas jury found. However, the e-commerce outfit has promised to appeal, which has worked out well for it in the past.
Microsoft and its allies delivered a big blow to a plan to fix the software patent mess. Here’s an account of what happened and why forces in the Senate could still bring real reform.
IBM wants Twitter to license patents that date from the 1990s, one of which includes a floppy disk illustration. Twitter, which has a history of advocating for patent reform, believes it can defend any potential lawsuit.
Patent trolls are plundering the economy like never before — even though a 2011 law was supposed to stop this. Now, Congress is trying again, and it might actually work.
A patent troll is using patents from 1998 owned by the Shoah Foundation and USC to sue a wide rang of companies; the latest targets include the New York Times. The troll appears to claim that it owns a method for digital libraries.
As Twitter prepares for its IPO, some points to its paucity of patents as a sign of long term strategic weakness. In fact, the opposite may be true.
It’s a sad fact that patent trolling is pretty much everywhere these days, with businesses large and small — and even Martha…
A patent troll, which “owns” a method for vehicle tracking, sued cities and has now moved onto popular ride-sharing services. Look for legal costs to be passed on to users.
Lodsys is a shell company that “owns” in-app purchasing and wants small developers to pay it a license fee. Apple stepped in to put a stop to this but a Texas court, known for its sympathy to patent trolls, booted Apple from court.
Big tech firms want to make sure that a soon-to-launch unified European patent system doesn’t let trolls game the system on a wide scale, so they’ve asked for modifications to the rules of the new EU patent court.
A patent troll that bleeds small developers for their revenue has so far fought off the mighty Apple and Google. But now its luck may run out as it must tangle with Martha Stewart.
Santa Clara law professor Colleen Chien, who has published research that questions the economic justification for patent trolling, will advise the Obama Administration’s Chief Technology Officer.
Patent suits in the mobile phone industry are nothing new — but this one’s a doozy. A shell company claims its 1996 patent gives it a monopoly over services like Find My Friends and Google Latitude.
As the tide turns against patent trolls in the media and Washington, Intellectual Ventures is pushing back – in part by seeking another $3 billion to expand its controversial business model.
Google has taken an important new step in its effort to carve out a space where cloud computing innovators can work without fear of being sued.
A lawyer who once ran a website called “I’m a Patent Troll” now claims he owns a method of online auctions and wants eBay to pay him.
Hang on tightly to that smartphone: theft is on the rise! We chat about that in our weekly wrapup show, while our other GigaOM podcasts discuss the included costs for connected devices and Chromebook buying advice.
Neither public shaming nor calls for reform from the highest level of government has dissuaded Intellectual Ventures from its massive patent lawsuit campaign against businesses large and small.
Patent trolls have been bleeding legitimate businesses for years — now a state government has turned the tables and asked a troll to pay $10,000 for each of the hundreds of threatening letters it has mailed out.
Rackspace is taking one for the team by trying to invalidate a patent that an alleged patent troll claims covers the ability for mobile displays to rotate as the device turns.
Rackspace will see Parallel Iron and IP Nav in federal court where it will ask for damages in a bid to stop patent troll abuses
President Obama offered some tough talk on patent trolls, the parasite shell companies that are taxing the start-up sector. He has the power to fix the problem — it’s time for him to use it.
IBM proudly retained its usual top slot in the annual patent count. Other winners included rivals Google and Apple, which both saw big growth in the number of patents issued but did not crack the top ten.
A mysterious shell company is suing the New York Times and other major media outlets for patent infringement because they offer mobile apps and a website. The companies now face the unpleasant choice between paying the firm to go away or saddling up for a multi-million dollar legal fight.
An advocacy group for tech companies has launched a new website, Patent Progress, that provides policy makes and the public with ideas about how to fix the country’s broken patent system.
Intellectual Ventures has been invisibly bleeding billions from creative companies — but its activities don’t often come to light thanks to a clever use of shell companies. This could change.
Win or lose, it usually doesn’t cost a lot for patent trolls to bring spurious lawsuits against companies and technologists. In this guest post, Ben Lee of Twitter argues that it’s time for trolls to bear more of the costs they create with baseless lawsuits.
Patent troll suits — in which shell companies that don’t make anything sue those that do — are proliferating. The latest example may include a shell firm suing Facebook and others for using banner ads.
A patent holder who claims to own “signal abstraction” is going after companies that use basic anti-piracy techniques. The dispute has spawned dozens of lawsuits and raises questions yet again about the state of America’s patent system.
A judge added more grist to the ongoing controversy over the state of America’s patent system. The judge — who sits on the country’s top patent court — complained about the cost and consequences of obvious patents.
The CEO of Intellectual Ventures says his company’s philanthropy means he is doing more good for the world than GigaOM. The claim fails to account for the harm to innovation he is causing through ruinous patent suits.
The company that has done incalculable harm to America’s technology sector with a ruinous patent litigation campaign is now hoping to hire a global do-gooder. Candidates should think twice about taking the job.
Patent trolls continue to take it to young companies with a vengeance. This time, a shell company that claims to own basic navigation technology wants the maker of a popular location-based “check-in” service to pay up.
Big data has become the latest front for the patent troll epidemic as a shell company is suing firms for using a common software framework known as the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).
Creative Mobile, maker of popular games like Drag Racer, is the latest company to fight back against a shell company that is demanding app makers pay up if they include a common “in-app purchase” button.
Hipmunk’s quest to “take the agony out of travel planning” has won plaudits from users and the media and earned the start-up a new $15 million investment. Now, a patent troll wants Hipmunk to give it a piece of the action.
The US Patent Office announced it’s moving operations closer to America’s innovation centers by opening new satellite offices in Dallas, Denver and San Jose. Here’s a Q&A of what this means and why the new offices may face a staffing shortage.
A greedy patent troll that has already bagged Apple (s aapl) and Cisco is heading back to Texas to demand Facebook and others pay up for including a spam filter in their email systems.
Defunct Web 1.0-era VOD company Intertainer continues to file patent suits, alleging Viacom transgresses its technology when streams shows like Spongebob Squarepants. Intertainer is currently litigating with Hulu and has a 10-year history of filing complaints and winning settlements.
Oracle, it seems, is not one for irony. Right after an epic court fight with Google in which it was accused of abusing intellectual property, the software maker is now trying to dissolve another company’s patents
Veteran tech reporter Walt Mossberg confronted Nathan Myhrvold this week about the former Microsoft CTO’s role heading up the world’s largest patent troll.
“Click-to-call” is a feature that lets users make a phone call by tapping a button on a website. The feature is a hit with merchants who want to reach an online audience and also represents a bright spot for the mobile ad industry.
Patent troll Lodsys became infamous after it extracted a license from Apple but then turned around and sued small iOS app developers for including features like “in-app purchase” in their products.
Research In Motion’s (s rimm) beleaguered BlackBerrys are known as many things but are generally not thought of as entertainment devices. That hasn’t stopped a shell company from suing RIM for infringing a patent for a music playlist.
A Texas shell company is claiming that battery technology in devices like the Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus infringes its patent.
Silicon Valley leads the world in technology but it’s losing a debate over how that technology should be used. A new surge in patent lawsuit…
A shell company capped off a week of patent controversy by suing two popular phone makers for including a button that lets users put a smile…
A new patent troll last week fired a shot at Facebook, Zynga and others with a lawsuit that claims rights to in-game payments — the process…
A new patent troll announced its arrival this week by suing companies like Facebook, Zynga and Playfish. Its weapon is a patent that it clai…
A Texas shell company, Smart Audio Technologies, has filed a suit claiming Apple’s iPod Nano and other devices violate its patent for random…
After suing media site TechCrunch in 2008 over a controversial GPS patent, Chicago-based Earthcomber is at it again. This time it’s accusing…
‘Music player’ is not how most would describe Amazon’s much-hyped new tablet. Unless, that it is, you happen to own a powerful patent for au…
You’ve heard this one before: a lawyer obtains a spurious patent and demands a major company to pay him handsomely for infringing it. This t…
John Desmarais is famous in patent law circles for obtaining a $1.5 billion verdict against Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) in 2007 and, more recentl…
Inventors, lawyers and scholars are meeting in Silicon Valley at Defense 2.0: New Strategies for Reducing Patent Risk to discuss the wave of…
Research In Motion’s lousy year just got a little worse. Already beset by declining smart phone sales and a troubled tablet, the BlackBerry…
In response to Apple’s letter claiming that the license it holds for using technology ostensibly patented by Lodsys, the patent holding firm has filed suit against a number of App Store developers Tuesday. The firm claims Apple’s license does not in fact extend to developers.
Apple Monday sent a letter to Lodsys and to developers, saying it has the rights to in-app purchases and that developers are fully able to use them, according to Macworld. Devs on Twitter had begun discussing the letter received by Apple just a few hours ago.
Apple is “actively investigating” the claims of patent infringement made by Lodsys against App Store developers, according to The Guardian. Lodsys, a patent holding firm, has been sending notices to independent developers giving them 21 days to secure a license for technology used in in-app purchases.
Lodsys, the company suing iOS developers for patent infringement over in-app purchases, has created a blog in response to the situation. The blog posts reveal a very good grasp of patent law, but likely won’t satisfy developers or keep Apple from trying to stop Lodsys.