Wow. In a Techdirt.com post Mike Masnick reports on a very damning amended complaint that Cisco, Motorola, and Netgear have filed in the Northern District of Illinois against NPE Innovation IP Ventures, LLC. Of course, it is only a complaint but its contents are remarkable and depressing, if only partially true. As Masnick reports in summarizing the complaint:
“* Motorola, Cisco and Netgear all have licensed the patents in question…Innovatio conveniently doesn’t mention this to the people it sends threat letters to.
*The patents in question are part of commitments to IEEE that they’ll only be licensed on RAND terms, but the threat letters demand way more than would be considered “reasonable.”
*…Innovatio includes some expired patents in the list of patents it has threatened people over….
* Innovatio apparently tells the people it threatens that it’ll be cheaper to just settle, rather than to even investigate the claims that it’s making — and has told people that the manufacturers in question aren’t defending their customers, which is proven false by the lawsuit, which, again, was filed soon after Innovatio popped up on the scene.
*…Innovatio claims that the patents in question have “generated in excess of $1 billion in settlements and license fees” to scare small businesses into complying. It leaves out that it appears to be basing this number on the famous broad patent fight settlement between Qualcomm and Broadcom, which was a wide-ranging cross licensing program, that has nothing to do with Innovatio or its specific patents.”
Masnick concludes :
“The filing also includes standard claims of non-infringement and invalidity of the patents in question, but the highlighting of these other behaviors by Innovatio are really quite stunning. Even in cases of extreme patent trolling it’s pretty rare to see such egregious behavior. Every so often we see RICO claims being used to counter trollish behavior, but they rarely work. However, the details in this case suggest that if a RICO charge is going to stick, this seems like a reasonable case for it to happen.”
Please go the post by Masnick here which also embed the complaint for a MUST-READ: http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20121009/01444620656/cisco-motorola-netgear-team-up-to-expose-wifi-patent-bully.shtml