back to article Patent-holding firm's lawsuit against Googorola kicks off

Patent-holding firm Intellectual Ventures kicked off its lawsuit against Googorola yesterday, in a case of tech giant versus the "we're-not-a-patent-troll" IP licensing firm. The company set up by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold is suing Google's Motorola division over three patents it holds which cover mobile phone and …

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Anonymous Coward

There is no need to call them Patent Trolls it's just pathetic. It's just one company not willing to pay for something another company owns.

If I buy a bunch of patents (lets call them houses) and I charge a license fee (lets call it rent) then some one comes along and uses my patented tech without my agreement and without paying (lets call them homeless junkies) then surely I have every right to take them to court for either the money or to stop using my property.

Last time I checked "but you weren't even using it" is not a valid reason for just taking something without paying or asking.

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I think you mean....

"I built a house that I'm renting out, and now someone else has built similar accommodation and I'm not getting a cut"

Close, but no cigar

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WTF?

I hope you're just trolling!

If not, then to use you analogy:

They are not buying houses, they are buying a blue print of a house, and then telling everyone else who builds houses that look a bit like the one in the blue print, that they have to pay them a fee for each one sold. This despite the fact that they have no plans themselves of building houses, or the fact that lots of other houses of the same design existed years before the blue print was drawn up.

Most of these patents, and all software patents, should simple be rescinded. And help bring this entire sorry, embarrassing, innovation crippling, chapter of ridiculous corrupted patent law to a close.

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Your housing analogy sucks

And even within your own sucky analogy you manage to be wrong. In civilized countries ("pinko commie tepid ball-less countries" tou you yanks) there are a number of cases in which you just cannot "stop [homeless junkies] using your property".

There are also cases in which unused ("hoarded") dwellings are requisitionned "for the greater good". So there.

As for the validity of your analogy, well, suffice to say it's a bit like if I bought a car, you see, and then the petrol station decided to rent a new house, and then someone stole his movie and the Chinese took it.

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Worst. Analogy. Ever.

It's so wrong, it makes well documented wrong things look right.

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....

Timecube made more sense than this...

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Anonymous Coward

> Last time I checked "but you weren't even using it" is not a valid reason for just taking something without paying or asking

It appears that last time you checked you were not in Spain, otherwise you would be aware that this is exactly what happens when you end up owning a bunch of empty houses. Any more flawed analogies by which to illustrate a completely unrelated point?

http://www.elpuntavui.cat/noticia/article/4-economia/18-economia/710092-les-multes-als-bancs-sescampen.html [ Link content in Catalan ]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Your housing analogy sucks

> it's a bit like if I bought a car, you see, and then the petrol station decided to rent a new house, and then someone stole his movie and the Chinese took it.

I think you meant to say the Taiwanese took it. Otherwise pretty much spot on, as is obvious to see.

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Boffin

And here's the rub...

While you are getting down voted you're on the right path.

The problem is that Google is arguing that because they build something therefore they have the right to ignore patents owned by others.

A patent represents Intellectually Property and has value. Since it has value, it can be bought or sold.

Kodak goes belly up, they sell off their patents to whomever is willing to pay cash. Using Google's logic, because they build something, they have the right to buy the patent and enforce the patent, even though they may not be currently using the patent in their products.

Google's argument doesn't hold water.

And here's a rub... Google, Apple, and others assign their IP to a holding company in Ireland. They then pay this Irish company a fee for using the IP.... So Google and company are actually just as guilty as the 'Patent Holding Company' aka 'patent troll'.

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Anonymous Coward

> There is no need to call them Patent Trolls it's just pathetic.

> It's just one company not willing to pay for something another company owns.

I'm pretty sure you work at Intellectual Ventures. In the PR department possibly.

I'm also fairly certain that, when they made the decision to hire you, they went for the cheaper candidate. Your bullshit-fu is weak.

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Lol.. "bullshit-fu is weak"

Lol.. "bullshit-fu is weak"

Definitely makes haiku look easy...

This whole story points to sordid, confusing deals:

-- Samsung is looking to ditch Android

http://m.koreatimes.co.kr/phone/news/view.jsp?req_newsidx=150217

-- IV holds patents, IV is started by a former MS exec, and IV is probably helping MS cozy up to Samsung

-- Google cannot afford to lose Samsung, yet, Samsung is losing profits to paying MS for royalties to avoid being savaged by MS' "protection money" over MS' beef with Android

-- TiZen could make MS and Google less nettlesome, ms less meddlesome, and put sordid, convoluted patent trolls back into hot, roiling boiling kettles some...

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Re: Lol.. "bullshit-fu is weak"

-- TiZen could make MS and Google less nettlesome, ms less meddlesome, and put sordid, convoluted patent trolls back into hot, roiling boiling kettles some...

Tizen is one of them Linux things, which means Microsoft will just carry on trolling. It might shut Oracle up though.

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Rob

And another...

Holland has similar laws as well, all in the interest of making sure a property is being looked after and not left to fall into disrepair. Very sensible laws if you ask me, shame there isn't a similar thought process for patents.

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"telling everyone else who builds houses that look a bit like the one in the blue print, that they have to pay them a fee for each one sold"

This is exactly how architects get paid. Yes, it is legal and ethical.

The trouble with patent trolls is that the patents they are claiming are such low quality, they should never have been granted. But there is a solution:

1. Reform the patent system. Stop granting rubbish patents.

2. Reform the legal system. If you lose, you pay the defendant's legal fees.

Adopting both of these measures will stop the trolls in their tracks like they have been hit by the bright light of the dawn sun (little hobbit reference there).

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Anonymous Coward

She told them about Rajendra Kumar who was behind the patent on a portable computing device with a detectable handset in 2006

All the old PDA manufacturers must be laughing at the idea that Rajendra 'invented' this idea in 2006, including Microsoft.

I wonder about the history of this man who founded this patent holding company, he couldn't possibly have missed that Microsoft were in this exact marketplace long before 2006, could he?

MS Tablet PC <- Circa 2001

So he must know this patent isn't valid... mustn't he? He must have known it when he brought it in 2011 mustn't he?

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Coat

You mean Myhrvold?

Microsoft's CTO during the Undocumented Windows era? Mr. Nathan Paul "I don't give a flying fuck about the law or what's right, I'm just in it for the bucks" Myhrvold? That Myhrvold?

In answer to your question, one can never be sure what he knows, if anything. But I hear he takes rather good snapshots....

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WTF?

"Intellectual Ventures"? Really?!?

A misnomer if ever there was one.

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Re: "Intellectual Ventures"? Really?!?

"MIS-adventures" more appropos?

There needs to be for PAEs ae "Gilligan's Island", consigned to a "Devil's Triangle/Delta Triangle", wrapped in a wormhole, doing elliptical orbits at the quasi-event horizons of a Grey Hole... Interphasing through a time machine stuck on "Snooze"...

The world would be better off without PAEs.

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Mushroom

Re: "Intellectual Ventures"? Really?!?

Actually, it's Intellectual Vultures (with apologies to El Reg and its mascot)

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Boffin

Pot calling the kettle black?

So, let me get this straight.

Google is crying to the judge that because they make something, they have the rights to hold and enforce patents. (While ignoring others.) Yet this Patent Holding Company aka patent troll, because they own the patent, but don't manufacture anything, they don't have the right to enforce a patent?

Color me silly, but here's the problem... Google, like Facebook, Apple and other tech companies have created holding companies in Ireland where they house their IP.

There's this thing called the 'Double Irish'? (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Irish_arrangement)

So technically Google US doesn't own the IP that they use. They created an offshore entity where they transferred the IP aka patents to which they have rights. Said company in Ireland doesn't exist except to hold the IP. Apple is famous for this... and if memory serves, El Reg did a story on Apple's IP company and their 'employees'.

So, let me get this straight...

Google creates an IP holding company in Ireland that does nothing but hold the IP and collect transfer money from Google to hide from US and other's tax jurisdictions, yet they argue that a patent holding company can't enforce their patents because they don't manufacture anything?

By their logic, Google can't enforce their own patents which they transferred offshore, nor can they sue for infringement of their IP for any IP that they moved offshore.

Unless you are going to remove process and software patents from protection... Then patent trolls are legal and fair game to sue to protect their investments. (And I am for one... against software patents )

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FAIL

Re: Pot calling the kettle black?

No, it doesn't sound like you got this straight at all.

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Re: Pot calling the kettle black?

Mossibly lore pike the cot palling the bettle klack...

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@Someone Else Re: Pot calling the kettle black?

"No, it doesn't sound like you got this straight at all."

Really?

So I am mistaken on what's known as the "Double Irish"

Am I mistaken that Google, Apple and others use this to hide money from paying taxes? Note that its a legal tax dodge.

But in order to do this, they have to transfer IP and they transfer cash to the IP holding company?

Ooops! That's it. Right? Apple and company aren't transferring tech to these wholly owned subsidaries that exist only to hold IP and keep millions offshore outside of US taxes?

Say it aint so. Please tell me where I'm wrong!

But I'm not. Am I?

I'm not faulting Eric Schmidt who says " we're not breaking the laws and if you want to stop us, change the laws..."

But what I am saying is that if they create a holding company for their patents, then they can't claim that a holding company for patents shouldn't be able to sue them is wrong.

Or did you not like my statement that IMHO I feel that we should dump business process and software patents altogether?

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Re: @Someone Else Pot calling the kettle black?

Mr. Gumby, I believe you are missing the reason people don't agree with you. The patents in question here are laughably invalid, due to prior art, obviousness or ambiguity. Often all of the above.

The USPTO has only just begun to make some changes to their practice when awarding software patents, but they are both not enough, and too late - since the wars and non-producing holding companies (read: trolls) are already well into the patent dance. They (USPTO) now have to go back and rescind the existing patents they awarded to stop it.

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Re: Pot calling the kettle black?

No, you don't have it straight.

The difference between a legitimate patent holding company and a troll is that a legitimate company has actually licensed the software to at least one company making product before suing others. The first sign of a patent troll is that they started life as a law firm and then bought a bunch of patents at a fire sale.

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So are these patents 'world' patents or just 'American' patents ? (regardeless of were they are held)

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Anonymous Coward

Intellectual Ventures ..

"Top Microsoft Execs Moonlighting"

"TechFlash reports that Microsoft bigwigs like Craig Mundie and Bill Gates (when he still worked there) have been secretly moonlighting at Intellectual Ventures (IV), the 'patent extortion fund' run by Bill's pal Nathan Myhrvold"

"Just like in the story-line of Independence Day, where the alien death ships slowly but surely positioned themselves over each major city, with the eventual outcome well understood, so too is Intellectual Ventures (I.V.) slowly positioning itself as the patent overlord over many major industry segments"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intellectual Ventures ..

Errrr, you left out the part that tells the readers that Google was one of the first investors in Intellectual Ventures.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intellectual Ventures ..

"Intellectual Ventures: Revealing Investors"

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