back to article Zombie Nortel grabs Cisco by the neck, again

Cisco must by now be getting sick of acting as defender-by-proxy of the entire computer networking industry, with yet another pile of ex-Nortel patents being wrapped up in a lawsuit delivered to San Jose. Spherix, once a biotech and now a patent toll-collector, picked more than 100 former Nortel patents from troll-in-chief …


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  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Patent Trolls and Lawyers

    Can we just nuke them all and let <$DEITY$> sort them out? Please...

  2. Eddy Ito Silver badge


    Method and apparatus for encapsulating services for transportation over metallic physical mediums

    How does this shit pass? Seriously, isn't that the literal description of the internet? Maybe I should patent encapsulating services and vioce in packets for transportation over radio interfaces and go after every cell phone company.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: 7,385,998

      I would think it goes back even further than that. Maybe not to the 300 baud modem days but at least to Token Ring, etc.

    2. Richard Jones 1

      Re: 7,385,998

      Fibre optic appears to go round the issue of a metallic connection, perhaps someone should patent the use of a combined path involving hybrid solutions?

      Mind you even Bell should turn in his grave at the thought of prior art. Did no one in the USPTO ever go to school, or should that be skule to help them understand?

  3. Fred Goldstein

    Mostly prior art

    Most of these topics look like prior art, things that were developed in the 1980s that nobody bothered to patent because a) you couldn't patent software then, b) you can't patent math (legally; the USPTO now lets you patent pretty much anything and leaves it to the courts to fix), and c) nobody would adopt a patented technology. Nortel probably got these as defensive patents, in case some troll tried to use them against it. Now the trolls have the patents. There should be huge penalties for filing such obviously-bad patents. Although it frankly is good business for me since I help fight them for a living.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Mostly prior art

      "Although it frankly is good business for me since I help fight them for a living."

      Please, please, pleeeaaassse tell me you use louisville sluggers and napalm!

      1. Frank Zuiderduin

        Re: Mostly prior art

        Much too kind. These guys should be extensively tortured and shot.

        1. Grikath

          Re: Mostly prior art @ Frank Zuiderduin.

          While Cruel and Unusual Punishment for trolls like this is very tempting, it wouldn't change anything, unless the system changes and this type of case is only presented to judges who actually have a clue about proper IP, and the toolkit to snuff these cases as soon as they appear.

          Preferably by sentencing the offending lawyers to [x years] of assigned, mandatory pro-bono work.

          1. TheWeenie

            Re: Mostly prior art @ Frank Zuiderduin.

            you want them to declare their support for U2? I know patent-trolls are scum but...crikey. That seems a little harsh.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge


          Much too kind. These guys should be extensively tortured and shot.

    2. Fluffy Bunny

      Re: Mostly prior art

      Are you sure these are prior art? I haven't read them to check the dates, but I wouldn't be surprised if they predated Ethernet. They look like essential enabling technology, eg the physical layer access via "metalic conductors".

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are very badly written to start with

    The quality of writing in these is at $SHITE level - both technical and legal. Unnecessary verbiage, unnecessary limitations to specific topics, 90 degrees sideways examples, attempt to represent prior art as original by adding GMPLS to it, etc. Once again shows the differences between US and Eu patent system - there is no way in hell something like this will pass the Eu patent process.

    There is no way most of these will stand up in court. Even in Eastern Texas. Pity it takes a court to sort out their (in)validity.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They all look like so much bullshit

    I have nothing else to add.

  6. Horridbloke

    We got a patent troll letter once

    The claim referred to some esoteric SCSI thing that had nothing whatsoever to do with our business or products, so we told them to **** off. That was the last we heard from them.

    1. Fluffy Bunny

      Re: We got a patent troll letter once

      Are you joking, or do you really not know what the Small Computer System Interconnect is? It is still being used, eg in NAS and SAN devices there is an iSCSI interface.

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