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Google, Microsoft sue patent troll to safeguard online maps

Google and Microsoft team to sue patent troll

Google and Microsoft showed a rare instance of cooperation this week in a newly discovered lawsuit launched in an attempt to shut down patent troll GeoTag. The Delaware-based suit asks the court to invalidate GeoTag's lone patent, a 1996 claim to an "Internet organizer for...


Oregon Senate passes bill banning patent trolls

Makes patent trolling a violation of Unlawful Trade Practices Act

The Senate in the State of Oregon passed a bill on February 14 that adds a ban on patent trolling in accordance to Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Senate Bill 1540 had overwhelming support in the Senate, with a 30-0 with no abstaining votes. The bill will now be passed to the House Judiciary Committee...


SHIELD act unveiled; bill proposes patent suit reform

New act proposes patent trolls pay legal costs if suit lost

The second bill intended to quash "patent trolls" has been introduced by the sponsors of the original failed bill. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) are sponsoring the SHIELD act of 2013, which intends to create a "loser pays" system where certain patent holders will be forced...


Briefly: Ads blast patent trolls; Xbox Live Marketplace gets new name

Ads aim to increase awareness of patent trolls

The Internet Association has joined forces with several trade groups to launch an ad campaign critical of patent trolls. The radio and print ads are running in 15 states, focusing on small businesses that are commonly targeted by patent-holding companies and non-practicing entities. "Tell Congress to...


Apple sued over interface of Numbers application

Patent troll files in friendly Eastern Texas court

A Texas-based patent troll has sued Apple for patent infringement in the five-year-old Numbers spreadsheet software package originally in iWork. Notoriously patent-holder friendly US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division is the unsurprising venue for the suit. Data Engine Technologies,...


Patent reform debate and legislation taken off Senate's calendar

Move makes patent troll curbing measures unlikely for 2014

Comprehensive patent reform in the 2014 Senate is unlikely to happen. Citing the absence of "sufficient support behind any comprehensive deal," Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has torpedoed legislation fixing the US patent system. Leahy is concerned about the long-term scope of the deal, and potential problems...


European Commission warns Nokia away from 'patent troll' behavior

Threat of antitrust investigation by EC if Nokia overreaches with patents

Nokia has been warned by the European Commission (EC) to avoid becoming a "patent troll," once the company completes the sale of its Devices and Services arm to Microsoft. Joaquin Almunia, head of competition and vice president of the EC, reconfirmed the Commission's approval of the purchase, but advised...


Samsung sues over eight patents, calls Ericsson 'unhinged'

Filing calls Ericsson a patent troll trying to extort licenses

In late 2012, Ericsson filed two complaints against Samsung, alleging patent violation by the Korean manufacturer. Late Monday afternoon, Samsung has responded to Ericsson's court filing with counterclaims of its own -- in addition to calling Ericsson a patent troll, Samsung is asserting eight patents...


Obama signs patent reform legislation into law

Laws expected to mitigate patent trolling

After passing a Senate vote by a margin of 89-9, the America Invents Act has become law after receiving a signature from President Obama. The legislation is hailed as the first major reform of the patent system in decades, bringing a wide range of changes, including a first-to-file...


EFF calls on Apple to defend devs from patent troll

Patent holder suing over in-app purchase system

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called on Apple to defend iOS developers against several "patent troll" lawsuits aimed at technology used for in-app purchases. The group accuses the patent holder, Lodsys, of threatening developers for using an in-app purchase system that...


Patent firm Intellectual Ventures sues tech companies

Company dismisses "patent troll" label

Patent holder Intellectual Ventures has initiated lawsuits against a long list of tech companies that failed to establish licensing agreements. One of the suits targets security software makers Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro and Check Point. A second suit is aimed at memory manufacturers...


Patent troll suing sites for rollover web images

Webvention asking $80K for web patent license

A new company is sending out letters claiming that websites that use rollover images and pulldown menu are infringing on its licenses. What seems to be a patent troll, Webvention, is asking for a one-time license fee of $80,000 in what's billed as a temporary campaign, Ars...


Cisco, Motorola, Netgear pay off IP Ventures, settle for $2.7 million

Patent troll sued end users of networking gear, settlement prevents further action

Networking hardware manufacturer Cisco has struck a deal with non-practicing entity Innovatio IP Ventures to settle a suit and protect commercial and potentially home users of its hardware. Together with Netgear and Motorola, have agreed to pay IP Ventures 3.2 cents for 85 million pieces of network gear,...


Sony and Nokia-held NPE lawsuit against Apple continues

Screen rotation patent at core of dispute brought by patent troll

US District Court Judge Sue Robinson in Delaware has refused Apple's bid to set aside a lawsuit over screen rotation, and 17 other patents held by "classic patent troll" MobileMedia Ideas. Judge Robinson declared that the question of whether iOS devices infringed on MobileMedia Ideas' patents was "suitable...


Judge bars Apple from using terms like 'patent troll' in GPNE lawsuit

Attempt at reducing jury prejudice, confusion

Apple must avoid using terms like "patent troll," "privateer," or "bandit" in its defense against a patent lawsuit from GPNE Corp., according to a pre-trial ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koh. The company will also be blocked from using terms like "shakedown" or "playing the lawsuit lottery." Koh...


House of Representatives passes anti-patent-troll Innovation Act

Bill aims to reduce frivolous litigation

The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill that aims to reduce negative impact from the practice derisively known as patent trolling. Passing by a wide margin of 323 to 89, Rep. Bob Goodlatte's (R-VA) Innovation Act (PDF) focuses on a range of litigation reforms to help protect businesses...


FTC promises to investigate patent trolls

Commission seeks public comments

The US Federal Trade Commission has announced that it is opening an investigation into patent assertion entities (PAEs), commonly referred to using the derisive term "patent trolls." The commission cautions that its initial move is limited to information gathering, focusing on approximately 25 companies...


Patent trolls may have cost US companies $500 billion

Unmeasured costs could be much higher

Three Boston University researchers have put a price tag on the cost of patent trolling in the US. The amount is a staggering $500 billion since 1990. In the past four years, the cost has averaged about $83 billion annually, amounting to more than 25 percent of US R&D spent...


Senate passes bill that may curb patent trolling

Senate clears America Invents Act

The US Senate passed in an 89 to 9 vote a bill originally put through Congress that could theoretically curb patent troll lawsuits. It will let the USPTO get more control over its fees and reduce the instances of its budget being diverted somewhere else. The bi-partisan vote...


Patent trolls fight as Mosaid rebuffs Wi-LAN takeover

Mosaid tells shareholders to ignore Wi-LAN offer

An offer of $480 CAD million ($490 million) by patent troll Wi-LAN directly to the shareholders of Mosaid Technologies, a similar company, has been proposed on Wednesday. Mosaid asked its shareholders on Thursday to ignore the offer, however, according to a recent report. Mosaid...


Microsoft joins alliance to shoot down patent trolls

Microsoft joins alliance to nullify claims

Microsoft has joined the Litigation Avoidance alliance in order to help it shoot down patent trolls. Regardless of the merit of patent claims against it, it costs Microsoft substantial amounts of time and money in defending such claims. The Litigation Avoidance service is a...


Apple, HP slam patent troll with $3.6 million each in attorney fees

Five companies owed total of $18.6 million for meritless patent claim

Northern District of California Court Judge Claudia Wilken has ruled that non-practicing entity Linex Technologies must pay Apple, Aruba, Meru, Ruckus, and HP millions in attorney fees after pursuing a patent case that it knew was destined for failure. Apple and HP are seeking $3.6 million each, with...


Patent troll EMG slaps Google with Chrome Mobile lawsuit

HTML to XML conversion method covered by 1999 patent

Non-practicing entity (colloquially known as a "patent troll," or company that derives all or most of its income off of patents it does not actually utilize) EMG has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Google in the notoriously NPE-friendly District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in...


Apple possibly forced into deal with patent troll Digitude

Apple has unusual Digitude pact on mobile patents

Apple may have been pressed into an unusual deal with a company to avoid a legal dispute. An ITC complaint (PDF) from Digitude Innovations, a company commonly seen as a patent troll through its lack of real products, is using two patents formerly owned by Apple as well as...


iOS developers see patent troll threat over in-app purchases

iOS devs threatened with in-app patent lawsuits

(Update: company name, patent identified) iPhone and iPad app developers faced an alarming trend Friday as at least two were sued by an unnamed patent firm. The company claims that PCalc Lite developer James Thomson and Shanghai Mahjong creator Patrick...


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