Category Archives: Patent Troll
The Website motherboard.vice.com has a post by Michael Byrne about NPE Sorensen Research and Devevlopment Trust. Byrne is not a fan of the Trust or Mr. Sorensen (or NPE’s):
“The Sorensen Research and Development Trust is what’s known as a non-practicing entity. It doesn’t make anything or do particularly much of anything outside of courtrooms (at least anything that I can find). Instead, Sorensen sits on his patent(s) and sues people. Patent trolling is a boom industry and Sorensen is at the top of it. According to a paper just out from Lex Machina (the descendant of Stanford’s Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse) and requested by the United States’ GAO, patent trolling has risen to be 40 percent of all patent litigation, nearly doubling in a five year period. And of that 40 percent, Sorensen has been the most furious litigator (of a 500 case sample), beating even Monsanto.”
And, he further blasts the Trust with this missile: “Sorensen’s business model likely revolves around licensing shakedowns: a threat is made to an operating company and, rather than undertake the risk and expense of defending against Sorensen, said company will pay off the patent-holder.”
“Licensing shakedowns”? That is a new but descriptive term.
FOr much more information about the Trust, its patents, and its litigation, please go to this link: http://motherboard.vice.com/2012/10/17/patent-trolling-is-draining-the-blood-from-the-idea-economy-and-it-s-just-getting-worse–2
The Website insidermonkey.com has an interesting post by Marshall Hargrave about NPE Vringo and its patent infringement action against Google, which has resulted in a trial that began this week. Included in the post is a discussion about whether Vringo is a reasonable investment based on its patent portfolio. Hargrave’s conclusion:
“Vringo has a lot riding on this trail (SP), with the company operating with a negative equity of 1.4 million as of 2Q. There’s no doubt that if Vringo wins the lawsuit they will see quite the boost in stock price, but the question then becomes what does Vringo do with its winnings, go sue another company over patents? The fundamental with this way of operating is that patent suits tend to be very unpredictable. We believe that the potential upside does not make up for the potential downside that the stock will face if they lose the lawsuit to Google Inc.”
Please read the post in its entirety to learn more about Vringo, its patent portfolio, and the recent acquisition of Nokia patents which could lead to interesting downstream actions: http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/should-google-inc-goog-be-worried-about-this-tiny-tech-company-24350/
Wilson Sonsini has issued a Client Alert reporting a most interesting decision from District of Nevada decision in Email Link Corp. v. Treasure Island, LLC et. al holding “…that a patent subject to a terminal disclaimer was unenforceable against the alleged infringers because it was not commonly owned with the related prior patent, even though both patents were owned by subsidiaries that were wholly owned by the same parent company.”
The Alert concludes:
“This holding clarifies that two subsidiaries wholly owned by the same parent do not count as “commonly owned” for terminal disclaimer purposes. The decision underscores the importance of looking to the assignment history of the asserted patents and the relationships among the assignees in a patent family that are subject to terminal disclaimers when preparing a patent litigation defense.”
Note that the entities involved are Acacia and two of its subsidiaries. With the proliferation of NPE’s and their subsidiaries, and the confusing transfer of ownership rights among them, this decision could raise a new defense against such mass patent aggregators.
Expect this decision to be appealed to the Supremes.
Here is a link to the WSGR Client Alert with more information and background: http://www.wsgr.com/wsgr/Display.aspx?SectionName=publications/PDFSearch/wsgralert-terminal-disclaimers.htm
BTW, who sues a casino? Wouldn’t one worry that a bloody horse’s head is going to end up in your bed? Just saying…………..
In a post on its website e-discovery vendor Catalyst Repository Systems proudly asserts that it is continuing its legal fight with NPE Lone Star Document Management, despite its e-discovery competitors folding their hands:
“On Friday, Lone Star announced that it had settled its lawsuit against e-discovery company Case Central, with Case Central signing a license agreement for the patent. That brought to 16 the number of companies that have signed license agreements with Lone Star, the announcement said.”
That leaves only two e-discovery vendors who have not settled with Lone Star, but Catalyst seems determined to fight on:
“This week, Tredennick reiterated his intent to fight the case. ‘We are still fighting this thing,’ he told Koblentz. ‘Somebody’s got to stand up for e-discovery around here. We certainly haven’t settled,’ Tredennick continued. ‘We’ll stand up for the e-discovery industry. The question plain and simple was whether somebody thought of putting images on a network for litigation before 1998.’ ”
For more see this link at Catalyst’s web site: http://www.catalystsecure.com/blog/2012/10/some-e-discovery-vendors-settle-patent-troll-lawsuits-but-catalyst-fights-on/
Mike Masnick on Techdirt.com has a disturbing article about a recent jury decision (in ED Texas of course) in favor NPE DDR Holdings against Digital River:
“Last week a jury in the federal district court in Marshall, Texas (patent trolls’ favorite court) gave a ruling that was a clear miscarriage of justice — and this is a case where I actually knowquite a lot about the details and have firsthand knowledge that the patents are 100% bogus. The case involves a patent troll called DDR, which was built out of the ashes of a failed dotcom called Nexchange, which tried to build affiliate style stores that could be embedded in other websites, with their look and feel.”
Despite prior art and obviousness claims:
“But, this is East Texas… where insanity rules. On Friday, the jury ruled in favor of DDR, saying that the patents were valid and infringed upon by Digital River (and WTH). It ordered both companies to pay $750,000 each, which is much less than what DDR was asking for but is still ridiculous. What the patent explains was not in any way “new” in September of 1998. I was already working on new deals to provide the same thing months prior, and the company I worked for already had numerous deals where we exactly matched look and feel.”
One suspects that this will be yet another Fed Circuit reversal should Digital River appeal.
For much more information here is a link to the article: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121013/01420420698/digital-river-loses-patent-suit-despite-doing-what-was-patent-two-years-before-patent-was-filed.shtml
Here’s another link to an article about the case: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/jury-finds-patent-on-look-and-feel-for-online-stores-valid-infringed/