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back to article Patent troll sues just about the whole tech biz over 4 years

A patent holding firm has made it its business to sue just about every tech firm anyone has heard of in its quest to make money from an encryption patent, it has emerged. In the last four years, TQP Development has kept its lawyers busy with complaints against hundreds of companies, including big boys of tech like Google, Intel …

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Facepalm

"using a shared seed value"

Must be an Apple seed.

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Misleading Title

The title lead me to believe this was a story about Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

"This is a really luvly business you 'ave 'ere Guv. Shame if things started breakin round you. Tell you what. Slip me a few quid and I'll make sure nuthin bad 'appens."

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Anonymous Coward

Misnomer

TDQ Development.

Development?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Misnomer

They develop patent lawsuits... and hopefully bankruptcy.

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Stop

tell them to get stuffed...

Shared Seed??? what about "code" of the day/hour/minute combined with time of the day to ensure channels hop in synch in secure radio systems? The also used "shared" keys for encryption/decryption of data transmitted over these secure data links... IT'S NOT NEW... I've been using Crypto Fill Guns for loading codes into systems since the early eighties...

anyroad... I believe there's loads of eggheads in secret government departments that could easily find prior art used in secure government comms between parties...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: tell them to get stuffed...

The amusing part is that by the same logic, this troll could also sue the USPTO for infringement:

https://efs.uspto.gov/efile/portal/home

Now that would be funny...

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Anonymous Coward

Two additional points not in the article

- The patent was for an encrypted modem.

- The patent has expired - the troll is using a loophole giving them 6 years after expiration to sue for infringement committed prior to the expiration.

:(

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How freaking obvious can you get?

Surely this is the basis of just about every computer based encryption system since 1946!

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g e
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FAIL

Re: How freaking obvious can you get?

Since the Roman Empire, at least... Caesar crypts (perhaps wrong name) would be like a substitution cipher for which you'd need the original scrambled alphabet 'key' just to transpose letters to recreate the original message.

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Meh

Re: How freaking obvious can you get?

"patent for using a shared seed value to generate pseudo-random key values at transmitter and receiver"

Not sure you could call a Caesar cypher a key for a pseudo random number generator (PRNG) - the original cypher was a simple alphabetic shift (like ROT13).

However, I think you could consider the rotors and plug-boards of an Enigma machine to be a PRNG, so prior art goes back at least to the 1930s.

Also we have the Lorenz SZ40, SZ41 and SZ42 cypher machines (known as 'Tunny' by Bletchley Park) from 1941 onwards which encrypted binary teleprinter data.

A more modern example is taken from 'Atomic Theory and Practice' (the manual for the Acorn Atom, released 1980) - section 8.4.2 contains a program that seeds the Atom random number generator to encrypt and decrypt strings - seems to be pretty much prior art.

Ref: Atomic Theory and Practice

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Trollface

Interesting

Interesting that alot of patents seem these days have prior art in some film or TV series. Which hollywood let slip though there fingers as they are too busy making sure you have paid for every 27 versions of Star Wars in full.

Still there realy should be some limitations as often the case they let the guilty carry on until they have built up a large market and then apply for a large backdate. If you hold a patent and some company abuses it without paying and are starting up do you go for them on day one or do you wait until they are worth sueing. That in many ways is why they are called trolls. Maybe they could limit backdate of moneys due to the date the complaint is filled or the date they were pointed out they were in violation. That would make things less silly in a silly system.

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Thomas Jefferson was right

in his views on the patent system

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If i were the likes of google

I would say I'm going to make you a one time offer of $1. We settle, sign an NDA for the settlement and you can say we paid a licence fee. If you reject this offer we go to court and we will disclose everything about the case as we go. If you loose you we will counter sue for all costs. How would you like the dollar, cash or cheque?

This leaves them with a tricky situation. If they say no its going to get expensive. If they say yes they can hope the next fool pays up. The next victim should then use the same tactic.

Probably a flaw in the plan but looks like a starter for 10.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If i were the likes of google

I'd go for the Epic Troll... but I'm a bit of an arse that way:

Buy this company and use the patent to sue the USPTO for infringement... just to make a point.

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Childcatcher

Re: If i were the likes of google

And they'd probably reply "We'll see you in court then. We didn't file this case in East Texas for the barbeque you know..."

Then during the trial they'll cry and whine/whinge to the jury that mean-old Google wouldn't play ball and were very rude. And before you can say "software shouldn't be patentable," Google is on the hook for a couple hundred million. Better to just toss a couple million at them and put the whole thing behind an NDA.

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Re: Better to just toss a couple million at them

If you're a small company, yes. If you're Google that might be quicker, but in the long run I think they'd be better fighting, winning, counter-suing for fees and defamation, and publicizing it along the way. Which they could easily do. Yes, it might cost them more than the couple mill to settle this suit until they get their money back (or they could opt to leave the last part off and write it off as cost of business), but the next time a troll comes along they'll think twice before suing Google, 'cause losing will hurt in a very public way. And that reduces their chances of trolling others. Eventually we might get back to a decent balance between the need to reward innovative thinkers and the public good.

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Thumb Down

sucking sound

Lawyers for the most part are the leeches of the corporate world. Most of the people who make the laws are also lawyers who have a vested interest in creating as many billable hours as possible that must be paid in full in order to avoid something bad happening to you (higher taxes, patent suits, etc).

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Re: sucking sound

Kind of sickening to see one profession put a tax on every other profession with little value add.

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Pint

Re: sucking sound

What value would that be? I've nothing against lawyers in their proper place, but the prisons are overcrowded as it is.

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Re: sucking sound

> but the prisons are overcrowded as it is.

And both sides have lawyers to supposedly discover the truth but in actuality for most part the side that gives more the the lawyers gets to dictate the truth (about 20 million dollars and you can get away with murder, ask OJ).

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Devil

Re: but the prisons are overcrowded as it is.

I believe more than one comedian has suggested the bottom of the ocean as a good start. Perhaps instead of laughing at it we should take it seriously.

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Anonymous Coward

its amazing that these companies have enough money to keep dishing out on senseless things, unless they actually are outright stealing it, makes you wonder why no one just invested in a hitman for companies like this if there ethics are already corrupt enough to steal, why not go one step farther.

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WTF?

So this company TQP... holds a patent for...

SSL... RC4 and TLS crypto 'methods' ? never mind RSA, SHA, MD5 etc.

Perhaps they'd like to try it on and say they own FIPS... I'm sure the company would get real far with that one! LMAO... That'd be a FATAL ERROR!

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Anonymous Coward

Surely a wind up

Unless the company directors happen to be a certain Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman or Ralph Merkle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely a wind up

Oops - For my shame I forgot to add about Malcolm Williamson (as did most of the industry)

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Headmaster

Transport Layer Security (TSL)

Transport Sayer Lecurity?

You surprise me.

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