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Patent Troll Sues Dell, HP, 10 Others Over 3G, 4G CDMA Tech

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April 23, 2012 8:49:43 PM

Patent troll is trolling companies for its patents... big surprise here.
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April 23, 2012 8:51:55 PM

the patent system is like the rules toddlers use for the possession of toys.
THATS MINE, MINE and MINE!
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April 23, 2012 9:10:14 PM

I think the fun part is going to be motorola as they split the company in 2011. (one is now phones (mobility, which is now owned by google.), the other is radios (soultions, which currently uses the old corp. HQ and still makes radios there, shocking i know....))

Dunno how that is going to work out, but it should be intresting how it plays out if the court DOES find GBT is right. (doubt it tho)
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April 23, 2012 9:33:02 PM

How messed up.
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April 23, 2012 9:36:04 PM

LOL. When I read "Patent troll sues...." the first thing that popped in my head was that this article was about Apple Inc.
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April 23, 2012 9:42:18 PM

"...but it does not actively manufacture any products."

This is the line they should focus on right here. What good is a patent if you're not making and selling anything with it? You're not using it to further your business. You're not even manufacturing and selling goods to the public that are related to the patent. Its purpose is simply to troll and sue.
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April 23, 2012 10:05:49 PM

TheZander"...but it does not actively manufacture any products."This is the line they should focus on right here. What good is a patent if you're not making and selling anything with it? You're not using it to further your business. You're not even manufacturing and selling goods to the public that are related to the patent. Its purpose is simply to troll and sue.

Some companies make money by doing research and development, and the ability to hold a patent allows them to do the work that they do. They create new technologies, and then license them to companies to manufacture. It's a prime example of division of labor. What if these are real scientists and engineers protecting their work from being taken by all these companies?
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April 23, 2012 10:26:38 PM

Getting soooo tired of this patent crap :-(
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April 23, 2012 10:32:18 PM

LOL file a lawsuit to the actual phone/device manufacturers and not Qualcomm...
Qualcomm designed CDMA and holds most patents for that form of spread-spectrum modulation.

Qualcomm should release a statement to back up their suppliers and make this troll go away.
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April 23, 2012 10:46:06 PM

Quote:
"...but it does not actively manufacture any products."This is the line they should focus on right here. What good is a patent if you're not making and selling anything with it? You're not using it to further your business. You're not even manufacturing and selling goods to the public that are related to the patent. Its purpose is simply to troll and sue.


This is like saying that if my neighbor doesn't ever drive his truck and it just sits in is driveway I should be able to drive it to work everyday without permission.
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April 23, 2012 11:02:47 PM

KNO3This is like saying that if my neighbor doesn't ever drive his truck and it just sits in is driveway I should be able to drive it to work everyday without permission.


That's actually a bad example. Because a patent isn't a product, it's an idea. For example, when you stake your claim for mineral rights, you have to prove that you're actively exploiting those minerals within a three years period or you'll lose your claim. You never pay for the land (unless it's already owned, most land up north isn't). And you don't pay for the minerals either.

You just pay for the right to have that exclusivity if you can show that you're using that opportunity within a reasonable time (to obtain financing, for example). Patent laws should be the same. Lest companies just start filing patents they will never use just to prevent their competitors from selling said product (cough..Apple, cough).

Your example should be more like: your neighbor doesn't drive his truck, but because he owns it, you're never going to be able to build or buy your own truck, because he own the idea of a truck.
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Anonymous
a b α HP
April 24, 2012 1:29:48 AM

Use it or loose it.

If a "company" doesn't produce a product that uses a "patent" in it's "portfolio" it should be void after a period of time.
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April 24, 2012 4:09:02 AM

dane1234Use it or loose it.If a "company" doesn't produce a product that uses a "patent" in it's "portfolio" it should be void after a period of time.

I disagree with this. While I hate patent trolls as much as anyone, we have to be careful not to lump those who do genuine work and come up with ideas and then, instead of trying to invest the money to manufacture a product themselves, insteads comes up with a licencing agreement with a company or companies to produce products based on those inventions.

Now the article really doesn't make it clear if this company was the one who filed the patents to begin with. Since the company was formed in 1995 and the patents were filed later than that they may be the original holders and developers of the technology. If so, they aren't neccessarily patent trolls.
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April 24, 2012 5:41:52 AM

Something fishy. Why they taking this long to sue? Also CDMA technology has been out for a very long time. So its not a new thing. So why Sue now?
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Anonymous
a b α HP
April 24, 2012 5:55:21 AM

Patents are getting out of hand. If you have no real interest in producing said product a patent should always be denied. We are talking about innovation here and to remove a technology just from the market just because you own a patent on it is stupidity. Ideas should not be owned. Ideas should be contributed to further the life of all others. When I see behavior like this its obvious that some companies don't care. Where do we draw the line? What if the cure for cancer is found but never used because of a patent? Things like this could have serious implications.. This is why we need to rethink and change patent laws.
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April 24, 2012 7:15:54 AM

Andy ChowThat's actually a bad example. Because a patent isn't a product, it's an idea. For example, when you stake your claim for mineral rights, you have to prove that you're actively exploiting those minerals within a three years period or you'll lose your claim. You never pay for the land (unless it's already owned, most land up north isn't). And you don't pay for the minerals either.You just pay for the right to have that exclusivity if you can show that you're using that opportunity within a reasonable time (to obtain financing, for example). Patent laws should be the same. Lest companies just start filing patents they will never use just to prevent their competitors from selling said product (cough..Apple, cough).Your example should be more like: your neighbor doesn't drive his truck, but because he owns it, you're never going to be able to build or buy your own truck, because he own the idea of a truck.

Except here is the problem with your analogy. If someone who comes up with an idea needs to then turn around and put in start up capital to create a product based on the invention, then you create a lot more financial burden thus less incentive for people to do research. You also have the potential to get a glut of manufacturing that just isn't needed and can't be supported. Imagine where we would be technology wise if people actually were required to make the physical product on their own idea? We may still be using punch cards. We almost certainly would not be discussing it on an internet comment board such as this because I can't see how it would exist.

Now agreed, people need to at least come up with licencing agreements, but at the same time, people who come up with ideas do so to make money off of it. I can see some companies coming up with ideas in R&D and if there is no current market that can support it, they may need to sit on it for some time. What do you do in that case? You just can't strip the rights from someone just because there may not be a market for a product at the time it's come up with. Your mine analogy doesn't hold up with this because the miner only went to get the minerals because there was already market demand.

Now that being said, yes, we have to do something about companies whose sole purpose is just to sue other people. We need very serious patent and tort reform in the US. The problem is in this case the article is sort of murky. The company was founded in 1995, but the patents weren't filed until post 2000. Did they come up with these ideas themselves? Well, the article says the company was founded not just by lawyers, but by scientists as well, that suggests the possibility this isn't a company that exists to buy obscure patents just to sue someone else.

Let's just not throw swing the pendulum to far to the other side where we stifle innovation while correcting this problem.
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April 24, 2012 7:22:00 AM

wartech0Patents are getting out of hand. If you have no real interest in producing said product a patent should always be denied. We are talking about innovation here and to remove a technology just from the market just because you own a patent on it is stupidity. Ideas should not be owned. Ideas should be contributed to further the life of all others. When I see behavior like this its obvious that some companies don't care. Where do we draw the line? What if the cure for cancer is found but never used because of a patent? Things like this could have serious implications.. This is why we need to rethink and change patent laws.


I'm sorry, but did you even think of what you were typing? If someone were to find a cure for cancer, there is no reason they wouldn't do something with it. They would likely be one of the richest people in the world.

Conversely, if you denied the ability to patent things like medicine, guess what, people stop trying to come up with it.

Patents being violated in the pharmaceutical industry is actually hurting R&D into new drugs. These companies have to put in literally tens of millions of dollars, not to mention many years, into research and testing before they can even make a single penny. If they didn't have a patent on there idea, a competitor could come in and immediately create the product with no investment into coming up with it.

I think it's rather obvious you aren't in a field where you try to come up with ideas and you have a financial stake with what you come up with.
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April 24, 2012 8:09:50 AM

$_$
I love patent trolls! Is the only kind of trolls I love ;p
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April 24, 2012 10:16:30 AM

You're not using it to further your business. You're not even manufacturing and selling goods to the public that are related to the patent. Its purpose is simply to troll and sue.
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April 24, 2012 12:48:56 PM

wildkitten ... well, if you plan to produce some medicine, you'll research it anyway, isn't that right? OK, it may, or may not higher the financial burden for some researchers, but we should actually think what cares more burden /as a complete, to the society as a whole if you like/ - a maybe little higher price of research or a wronged IP system. And do we need research to be made just to be made research? Or would we like research to be made so goods be made out of it?
Well, things are never simple, but it clarifies more and more some changes appear to be necessary.
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April 24, 2012 3:33:43 PM

IP companies should have to prove that they invented the actual tech (prior to its actual use). There should be an actual proto type built with-in a certain time after the idea is submitted for patent.

The analogy of the pharmaceutical is way off, in my opinion. In Pharmaceutical they are actually doing the R&D and spending the money and they are protecting their investment. In this case, the IP Company patented an Idea and waited for other companies to spend their money on actual R&D and actually creating a product and then they sue them.

It’s not fair that these companies or Qualcomm actually spent time and money developing the tech and making it work, and now they half to defend their right to use the tech they spent millions developing.
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April 24, 2012 3:46:00 PM

pepe2907wildkitten ... well, if you plan to produce some medicine, you'll research it anyway, isn't that right? OK, it may, or may not higher the financial burden for some researchers, but we should actually think what cares more burden /as a complete, to the society as a whole if you like/ - a maybe little higher price of research or a wronged IP system. And do we need research to be made just to be made research? Or would we like research to be made so goods be made out of it?Well, things are never simple, but it clarifies more and more some changes appear to be necessary.


I'm not exactly sure what you are saying with some of your statements. Would you mind clearing that up some?

No, I don't have to do research to produce medicine. I could open up a company and just make generics of medicines whose patents have already run out.

Also, how do you plan on policing this research to be done so goods can be made? Do you intend to stick a gun in someone's face if they don't try to come up with new ideas?

Let's also say I am a microbiologist and I am doing some little research and I make a huge discovery. Why can I not patent my idea and then licence someone else to make it? Why do I have to be the one to make the means to manufacture the product, hire people to market it and such? If I didn't have the money to do that and it wasn't worth the financial risk to try, I merely shelve my idea and no one knows about it. Innovation has been stifled.

And sometimes in technology some things are invented, often by accident, that there is no current demand for. In that case the idea has to sit around until there is a demand for the type of product.

If you want ideas to be created for the benefit of society as a whole and the creator of the idea to have no personal benefit, then what do you propose to do when people stop coming up with ideas? Do you force them to come up with ideas? And who do you choose to try to force to come up with ideas?
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April 24, 2012 3:58:26 PM

smlethIP companies should have to prove that they invented the actual tech (prior to its actual use). There should be an actual proto type built with-in a certain time after the idea is submitted for patent.The analogy of the pharmaceutical is way off, in my opinion. In Pharmaceutical they are actually doing the R&D and spending the money and they are protecting their investment. In this case, the IP Company patented an Idea and waited for other companies to spend their money on actual R&D and actually creating a product and then they sue them.It’s not fair that these companies or Qualcomm actually spent time and money developing the tech and making it work, and now they half to defend their right to use the tech they spent millions developing.


Here's the problem with that that I don't think you or others who demand that an inventor actually make a product to get an idea have thought of.

Let's say you have an engineer and they have come up with an idea for a new CPU and they write it down and such and they file for a patent. This engineer may not have the thousands of dollars needed to create a prototype but takes his idea around to various companies like Qualcomm or Intel or AMD. These companies reject a licencing agreement with the engineer to produce the new CPU but they turn around and make the identical product anyway.

Under your example, that engineer is screwed. He didn't make a prototype so he can't patent his idea, but someone else who he tried to get to make it for him took his idea and made the product and made a profit on that and it would be legal under your theory. Doing things that way screws over people.

What needs to happen is if someone who makes a product that is very similar to an already patented idea, but can show they didn't take the already existing idea, that they came up with the similar product based on their own research, then yes, that needs to be protected.
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April 24, 2012 4:45:39 PM

Hey I don't know about you, but if I own a patent and someone steals my idea I kinda want to get paid.

It's like getting a winning Lottery ticket and someone else Forges your ticket to collect. What do you guys want rampant Larceny, Anarchy, or the way it is in China? Presumably NO.

My company owns a few patents and I'm not okie dokie with anyone ripping me off! IMO the folks stealing are the Trolls!
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April 24, 2012 5:46:36 PM

A revision really need to be put into the "no product no patent" model. It really should be "no product, no licensing agreements no patent".

Obviously going to court to make money after years and years of it being in use is a clear abuse of the patent system. They wait until the issue is harder to resolve, and the company can't avoid using a patent they couldn't have known about. It is a really stupid system that makes it impossible to find out whether or not anyone can sue you for infringement. Especially when it can only be determined by a judge in a court room whether the case has merit at all.

Even with the "No products and no licensing means no patent" rule in place they also need to put in limitations for how long someone else can use your patent before the patent is considered mutual property. If a company has been using a technology that has been patented for years without you ever knowing then the tech probably wasn't proprietary enough to deserve a patent in the first place. There wouldn't be any real profit for patent trolls if they had to sue within a few months of a violation. the court fees due to losses would be much higher then profits.
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April 24, 2012 6:58:25 PM

wildkitten... I'm not exactly sure what you are saying with some of your statements either so obviously it's mutual. I see you are in medicine patent business and I am not a specialist in this thing but I see your opinion heavily biased by this. Well, I expect that, it's your private interest you are fighting for, isn't it. And you are well established to use and abuse the patent system as it is now. So why to change? Of course the idea of change will frustrate you. So... whatever you say it will be just the same old - don't touch the patent system, keep the status quo.
I don't plan to policy their research. But they will make money from the product and the concurrence will force them to research - simple as that. If you can make profit of expired patents - good for you, nothing wrong there, you'll be on par with everybody else freely using this research too. But if you want to go ahead of the competition, you'll research, oh yes, you will.
But wait - it will make the research more "competitive", the "researchers" will be put in competition with each other, they will not be able to operate in relatively safe and drawn boundaries, set by previous patents. And new researchers will be able to get into business relatively easy, and will do it all the time.
Yep, I see how this is bad for you.
Nobody will stop you of licensing your accidentally discovered "the big thing". The licensed patents will not be touched, only unused for a long time.
But here's another question for you: We all know most fundamental research is done on governments budget money /things like CERN's LHC are never financed by some private corporation, only things with better profit/time/investment ratio/, by national and international labs and universities, basically meaning by our taxes, our money, my money including, and then they are published and used freely and openly, and then some private corporation /possibly even not from my country/ comes and uses this research to base their own private research on and to make their big discovery, and they profit from it. And my question is - if the initial fundamental research is based on my money, how they are compensating me for this? Why the private research of a company should be protected, but the public not - not in a financial aspect? Why a company should be able to came and prey on research I funded by my tax money?
And people continue and will continue to come with ideas, don't worry, and most of them always was, are and will be shared freely. Haven't you ever seen a scientific publication? People are actually battling to share first. How about that? Will it stop? No, it wouldn't.
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April 25, 2012 2:07:44 AM

pepe2907wildkitten... I'm not exactly sure what you are saying with some of your statements either so obviously it's mutual. I see you are in medicine patent business and I am not a specialist in this thing but I see your opinion heavily biased by this. Well, I expect that, it's your private interest you are fighting for, isn't it. And you are well established to use and abuse the patent system as it is now. So why to change? Of course the idea of change will frustrate you. So... whatever you say it will be just the same old - don't touch the patent system, keep the status quo.I don't plan to policy their research. But they will make money from the product and the concurrence will force them to research - simple as that. If you can make profit of expired patents - good for you, nothing wrong there, you'll be on par with everybody else freely using this research too. But if you want to go ahead of the competition, you'll research, oh yes, you will. But wait - it will make the research more "competitive", the "researchers" will be put in competition with each other, they will not be able to operate in relatively safe and drawn boundaries, set by previous patents. And new researchers will be able to get into business relatively easy, and will do it all the time. Yep, I see how this is bad for you.Nobody will stop you of licensing your accidentally discovered "the big thing". The licensed patents will not be touched, only unused for a long time.But here's another question for you: We all know most fundamental research is done on governments budget money /things like CERN's LHC are never financed by some private corporation, only things with better profit/time/investment ratio/, by national and international labs and universities, basically meaning by our taxes, our money, my money including, and then they are published and used freely and openly, and then some private corporation /possibly even not from my country/ comes and uses this research to base their own private research on and to make their big discovery, and they profit from it. And my question is - if the initial fundamental research is based on my money, how they are compensating me for this? Why the private research of a company should be protected, but the public not - not in a financial aspect? Why a company should be able to came and prey on research I funded by my tax money?And people continue and will continue to come with ideas, don't worry, and most of them always was, are and will be shared freely. Haven't you ever seen a scientific publication? People are actually battling to share first. How about that? Will it stop? No, it wouldn't.

I'm not in any business that holds patents. I do know how pharmaceutical companies work for a large part because many in my family have been in the healthcare profession for generations. I also have the common sense to know that while patent trolls are a problem, that if you make it tough for people to come up with new ideas, you stifle innovation just as much as what the patent trolls do.

I also don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth. I have never said I wanted the status quo. What I am opposed to is you and others saying that someone has to actually make the product themselves or else they can not patent it. All that idea will do is make people realize that while they may have a few thousand dollars to come up with an idea, they don't have the millions of dollars to start up manufacturing to realize an idea so won't even try to come up with something new.

And if I can not get my idea patented, how can I make money off it? I sure can't take it to someone else because they can still it under this "no manufacture, no patent" idea. It sure will not promote research.

If I come up with a radical new CPU design but rules are such that I can not patent it because I don't have the money to manufacture it, and a CPU manufacuring plant is EXPENSIVE, I sure won't go to Intel or AMD or whoever with it. Since it's not patented, they could just take the idea and I would be screwed over. No way that spurs competition and research. The only people who would do any research is the very few who can afford to make the products and you will start seeing monopolies in almost every market which then would raise prices to the consumer.

And I don't know what country you are from, but the vast majority of research dollars in the US is private, not government. A good example was back several years ago during the Anthrax scare the Canadian government decided to violate the patent on Cipro and allow Canadian pharmaceutical companies to make the drug without risk. Because the Canadian companies didn't spend any money on research, they could make the drug for a fraction of what it cost the patent holder to make the drug because they had tens of millions of dollars invested that was suddenly at risk.

So no, I am not opposed to reform in the patent industry. It needs reform especially where the tech sector is concerned. What I am opposed to is this seeming idea people have that they have just as much right to an invention as the person who invented it. Ideas are not public domain. That is just as much a dangerous idea, if not moreso, than patent trolling.
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April 25, 2012 12:15:07 PM

wildkitten I don't like when you change my words either.
No, not the vast majority is not private money. The actual proportion is about two to one /for private/ in most developed countries, including US, with the major exception of Japan and Russia being the opposite.
And private money are mostly in shorter term projects with good return /like in healthcare/. And the fundamental research, I mean like in fundamental physics, space exploration etc. is still running on government money, not to mention the military projects what are not included in the statistics.
And while I am a not an american, I am also a member of the AAAS.
There are many reasons, why the society may and should expect return in some form from every research /and I may adduce many serious arguments why it's so/, being governmental or private - like making a product out of it, when you get the income but the society is benefited through using of the product based on your invention .
So, no, I don't want the patents to be forcibly taken from their owners /and I'd never said that/, but shorter expiration terms may apply /especially for some other kinds of IP/ and when a patent expire a major part in the decision on petition for its renovation may be played by the way it's used.
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