Visto: Only Way To Promote Innovation Is To Shut Down More Successful RIM

from the yeah,-that's-innovation dept

The RIM patent lawsuit mess is only getting more ridiculous. Fresh off of Visto suing RIM for infringement concerning patents where plenty of experts are calling into question the validity of Visto’s patents, Visto’s CEO is claiming that somehow this is RIM’s fault. Specifically, while saying they don’t want to be filing these lawsuits, Visto’s CEO says that when it comes to RIM: “If they force us to shut them down, we will do that.” Now that’s quite a unique way of looking at things. First of all, it’s not Visto’s decision as to whether or not RIM should be “shut down,” and it’s bothersome that Visto thinks the proper end result, should RIM not want to license its patents, is for it to be shut down completely. This shuts down important innovation in the actual market (where most of the innovation has nothing to do with what the patents discuss). If the courts do find that RIM has violated the patents, forcing them to pay a license fee is much more reasonable, making Visto whole while not punishing the market. Shutting down RIM is clearly about getting RIM out of the market, not promoting innovation. Visto is using vague patents, which had nothing to do with RIM’s success to simply drive the more successful company out of the space. That’s not promoting innovation — it’s hindering it. It’s punishing the company that successfully innovated. It’s exactly the opposite of what the patent system is supposed to be doing.

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Comments on “Visto: Only Way To Promote Innovation Is To Shut Down More Successful RIM”

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Joe Smith says:

Protecting consumers

One of the statements from Visto when it launched the suit was that they were trying to protect the consumer from products which infringed on their patents.

What is really happening of course is that Visto is trying to use some, apparently dubious, patents to extort from RIM value which is unrelated to the patents and which arose from RIM’s actually designing a product and successfully bringing it to market.

bbry gurl says:

ummmmm visto who???

Who in the world is visto?

I get it…they must be one of those “daggo” companies which ride the coat tails of a larger company to try and make themselves a household name.

Shame on you! Try a new game visto-who this lawsuit has already been done!

Sent from my blackberry by RIM !!

Russell de Pina says:

Re: ummmmm visto who???

One the virtues of being an older person in this business is that in many cases you were there to see who did what to whom……..

Actually, Visto has been around for quite a while. Back in the early days of th web (circa 1999), they released on of the first web based systems for accessing enterprise email. This was about the same time that RIM began its shift away from the “two way” pagers that it made its name on, to the Blackberry of today, recognizing that email (and subsequently instant messaging) had a far greater potential than did two way paging.

Before commenting on the validity of the Visto patents, I’d have to take a look at them, but I would argue generally that any patents related to the management of email likely do not pass related to obviousness, and rely so heavily on prior art that they also fall down regarding novelty. But, then again I’m just a slug engineer and consultant, not a patent attorney. Just my $0.02

Nizam Rahman (user link) says:

This is getting ridiculous

There shouldn’t be cases such as this if the USPTO filters these frivolous patent claims right when they are being submitted. Broad and vague descriptions when filing for patents should be thrown away. And here I thought the USPTO only accepts fairly detailed and technical documentations (from what I’ve seen from some patent filings by popular device makers anyway). But in anycase, seein how Blackberry is used by at almost all facets of the US Government, there should be someone that can step in and stop this whole NTP/Visto/Leecherous-Douches shenanigans.

Wizard of OZ says:

The man behind the curtain

“Visto is using vague patents, which had nothing to do with RIM’s success to simply drive the more successful company out of the space. That’s not promoting innovation — it’s hindering it. It’s punishing the company that successfully innovated. It’s exactly the opposite of what the patent system is supposed to be doing.”

Ignorant blather… designed to promote the agenda of shilling for RIM. The innovation took place years ago. What you’re really saying is RIM or any company should be allowed to market a pirated product (or even an independently developed infringing product).

For the patent morons here at Techdirt, part of the patent right is the right to exclude, so, NO, forcing someone to pay a license is not necessarily fair to the patentee who may have perfectly good reasons to shut someone down. But RIM has not shown iteself to be a willing licensee. What RIM should do to continue its successful business is to properly license the technology.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Live by flinging caca die by flinging caca

Reasearch in Motion – 147 issued patents including design patents and 183 (or more) applications in the pipeline…

I wonder what Techdirt will do when RIM decides to begin enforcement of their subtantial portfolio…

Yes, what Dr. Patent refuses to acknowledge is that we have already slammed RIM in the past for the fact that it’s just as bad as many of the companies suing it.

We harbor no illusions that RIM isn’t just as bad and have said so repeatedly.

However, since this particular lawyer believes the only way we could take this position is to be in the pay of RIM, he apparently is unwilling to actually read what we wrote.

Yes, we’re just as against RIM abusing the patent system as we are Visto or NTP.

Will he admit his error? I’d expect more insults instead.

Mike (profile) says:

For anyone wondering...

In case it’s not obvious, comments 10 through 13 above are all written by the same person, a patent lawyer on the East Coast who has repeatedly come here to tell lies and throw personal insults our way.

We have repeatedly tried to engage him in a civil manner, and point out where we think he’s wrong, but he insists on making up stories, throwing out more insults and refusing to actually discuss the issues.

I once again ask him to substantiate any of his statements, especially the outright lies about how we’re somehow in the pay of RIM. In the past, he has also accused us of being in the pay of the NY Times and CNN.

As for his final comment, which actually has a little bit of substance (in between calling us ignorant and morons). However, while it’s clear he has no interest in actually listening to what we are saying, I will try to respond to the actual points, for anyone else who is reading this (who can then decide for themselves whether or not we are truly ignorant or morons). I will not stoop so low as to send any insults back towards him.

First of all, it’s hard to see how this is “ignorant” when it’s accepted fact that a monopoly on anything will hinder innovation. The fact that one company is trying to shut down another that successfully innovated by bringing a product to market is slowing down innovation. There’s nothing to debate there, and it’s hard to see how anyone could disagree with that statement.

His claim that “the innovation took place years ago” is also quite interesting, because it shows one of the biggest problems with those who are so in love with the patent system. They believe innovation is a single step — the first step — and everything else after that is separate. However, innovation is an ongoing process, and RIM has continued to innovate their products. If they infringe on a tiny part (which is a huge if), it seems ridiculous, and bad for everyone, for them to have their entire product line, including all additional innovations shut down because of it.

Secondly, he claims that we are advocating RIM should be allowed to market a pirated product. That’s not true. As we’ve said repeatedly, the issue is that RIM did not pirate this technology.

His next statement is actually 100% correct. “An independently developed infringing product.” This is a point that we have made repeatedly. An independently developed product should not be considered infringing, because it clearly did not take anything from the patent. Therefore, there is no net societal benefit for punishing the independent developer. In fact, since the products were developed independently, it suggests that the original patent is not valid — as patents are only to be given out for processes that are “non-obvious to those who are skilled in the art.” If mulitple companies are (as in this case) developing similar products at the same time, it certainly suggests that it’s the natural evolution of the market, and the normal market system of rewards is incentive enough for the innovation. This is basic economics.

His next comment (after calling us morons) is that part of the patent right is that they can shut other companies down. This is absolutely true. It is a part of the right… however, it’s one that we think is wrong. This particular lawyer loves to pull this trick. We point out why something in the current system (such as this) harms the original intended purpose of the system (to promote innovation) and he responds by saying we don’t understand the law because that IS the law. That, obviously, is besides the point. The discussion is about why that’s bad… whether or not it is a part of the law. Pointing out that it’s a part of the law doesn’t prove that we’re morons — but proves that he is avoiding the actual issue.

His final point, that RIM has not shown itself to be a “willing licensee” and that they should just shut up and license the patent, is again misleading. If RIM did not infringe on the patent and don’t believe the patent is viable, then why should they shut up and pay? That doesn’t further the cause of innovation in any way.

Anyway, that is the substance of the argument. I’d be willing to focus on those issues, but instead, we’re likely to get more pseudonyms, lies and insults.

For a lawyer to be posting outright lies and pseudonyms seems like a violation of his responsibilities. I wonder if his clients know that this is how he spends his free time?

For anyone wondering says:

Elaborate measures

Techdirt engages in elaborate measures to avoid confronting real issues and problems associated with the utopian gobbledygook they cook up here with regard to patent-bahsing.

They are not in the business of doing anything but misleasing readers about what patents are all about. They try to sound like they know something about the system, but, trust me, they dont.

They even hosted a parallel site so that many of the legitimate comments and criticisms of their garbage could not be read by the greater reader population…

I can understand why…

Like I said... says:

Tautology in motion

A long time ago when Mike’s tantrum began, I accused him of being hostile to patents and challenged him to admit it. He said, “no I’m not hostile to patents” and actually claimed that he might eventually file on “some stuff.”

Now I’m no rocket scientest, OK, well maybe I am, but it seems like we’ve come full circle with the above admission that he’s against anyone getting patent systems. Because, since all I did was list the number of patents held by RIM, Mike must consider merely having patents as “abusing the patent system.”

That’s pretty much full circle. Anyone who has patents is abusing the system and Mike is against (therefore hostile) to any patent ownership.

What a moron.

Mike (profile) says:

Once again...

Once again, Rob Scott is coming back with personal insults rather than facts, and he never once discusses the issues.

I’m not sure what he’s talking about concerning a “parallel site”. We have hosted Techdirt Wireless as a separate site for many many years. The fact that he couldn’t figure out the difference, and yet now believes it was all an elaborate ruse to set him up is quite astounding.

We specifically addressed the issues he raised, and he comes back by posting under fake names repeatedly, telling lies about us, insulting us with names like “idiot” “moron” and “ninny.”

And then he accuses us of “attacking” someone when we disagree with them. Our complaints against RIM in the past were for their actions, not the company itself. We did not attack them, but their actions in misusing the patent system (and, remember, according to Mr. Scott, we’re being paid by RIM… ). It’s funny too, because Mr. Scott seemed so excited to point out that RIM holds patents too, as if he was proving that we were unfairly taking one side. Yet, once again, like most of his assumptions, we proved him wrong.

How did he respond? Apologizing? Admitting an error? No, with more pseudonyms and personal attacks on my intelligence.

Sorry, Rob, if the best you can do when discussing the actual issues is to tell people to “trust” you, you’re wasting everyone’s time. So far, all that trust has proved is that you’ve repeated lied, when called on those lies, you ignore it and respond by attacking my intelligence.

We have plenty of smart readers here. I figure they can judge for themselves who is being honest here and who has the agenda.

I’ve stated repeatedly: I am more than willing to discuss the issues in a civil manner. I’ll let the readers here read my posts (all written under my name) and the various pseudonyms (all from the same IP) put up by Rob Scott and determine who they trust more.

Mike (profile) says:

Lies again

Rob Scott is claiming that Joe, Carlo and I are the same people. He likes to claim that anyone who disagrees with him are the same people — though, of course, anyone who knows us knows that’s completely false.

Finally, he claims we “removed” the article on peer reviews of patents — when we did no such thing. It’s still right where it has always been.

The “reader” who claims we’re “out there” is the same poster.

So, once again, a series of perfectly false accusations and insults from Rob Scott, and not a single attempt to discuss the actual issues of patents. Rob Scott is a practicing patent attorney — and yet he likes to spread lies about us online while posting under a series of pseudonyms. His clients and colleagues must be thrilled.

It’s not worth responding to these further, unless he actually discusses the issues surrounding patents.

Rocket Scientist says:


Now, I’m no rocket scientist, well maybe I am, but it looks like Mike is having a meltdown over some guy (who’s getting some free publicity). He must really be getting to Mike.

BTW, Mike’s argument is the classic Marxist “ends justify the means.” In other words if an infringer brings a product to market that someone else innovated (but perhaps did not successfully market) then that’s OK. That’s Marxism.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No issues to discuss

Mike is hostile to patents in any form. There’s really nothing more to discuss. All of the articles here should simply read “I am hostile to patents in any form and I don’t want to talk about it” by Mike Masnik.

Of course, for anyone who actually reads my articles, they would realize that’s not true. Each article makes a specific point, and actually backs it up, unlike these posts that simply make baseless statements, not about the issues discussed, but about me.

Rocket Scientist says:

Reason we have a patent system

Is preciscely because it is difficult to tell who innovated independently. The economic argument that Mike fails to understand every time (which is why some people might resort to insulting him) is that it is economically inefficient to have a bunch of people innovating in the same area.

A patent is designed to serve notice on the public that someone has “staked a claim” so to speak in a technology area. The message should be, if you’re going to “innovate” in this area, then be prepared to either prove you (or someone else) were there first or face the possibility of paying a licensing fee or royalty whether you pirated the technology or developed it independently.

Napolean Dynomite says:

Mike's paranioa

FYI, if this guy that you are so obsessed with is posting under pseudonyms, its probably because you don’t respond to reasonable arguments. Its really that simple. I wouldn’t read any more into it than that.

All your blathering about him makes you look obsessed and makes it look like you really dont have any substance to offer except accusations of lies and stuff.

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