Bunch Of Companies Sued Over Encryption Patents

from the but-of-course dept

Another day, another story of a company no one’s heard of who seems to produce nothing but patents, filing a lawsuit against a ton of companies in East Texas (of course). This one, sent in by the Bored SysAdmin, involves a company called The Pacid Group, suing Asus, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Fujitsu, LG, Gigabyte, GBT, MSI, Motorola, Research in Motion, Nikon, Microsoft, Nintendo, HTC and Palm, claiming that they all violate two of its patents (5,963,646 and 6,049,612) on encryption. While it’s often difficult to find any information on the no name companies who sue big companies for patent infringement, at least The Pacid Group has a website, where it clearly shows the company’s only products: patents.

As we’ve seen in other similar lawsuits, the company appears to think that pretty much every bit of modern technology violates its patents. According to the lawsuit, all of the following types of products may violate these patents: laptops, mobile phones, printers, routers, digital cameras, Blu-ray disk players, gaming devices, wireless adapters and portable media players. Now, sure, you could make the claim that all of these companies found these patents from a company no one had heard of, and decided to “copy” the idea into their product. Or, the fact that this basic idea appears in so many places might lead you to conclude that the idea was the natural progression of the technology and obvious to those skilled in the art, and thus not deserving of a patent. But that would make sense.

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Companies: asus, fujitsu, gbt, gigabyte, htc, lg, microsoft, motorola, msi, nikon, nintendo, palm, rim, samsung, sony, sony ericsson

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Comments on “Bunch Of Companies Sued Over Encryption Patents”

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Richard (profile) says:

Reading the patents in question

I can’t believe that anyone would ever infringe on them. They are very specific – and admit that there are many prior patents covering very similar processes…
The catch all nature of the lawsuit seems incredible given the very precise nature of the patents in question.

Having said that it looks to me like DRM technologies may be in the firing line so….

Michael (profile) says:

Third Patent

I like the fact that they have posted their patents on their website. It’s much easier to laugh at them.

I have not read through all of them, but the third one “File Encryption Method and System” is within my realm of expertise.

I was under the understanding that you could not “invent” by simply sticking two other “inventions” together? I can see how this would be violated by a lot of technology – since it is really how public/private key encryption works. I just don’t get how anyone “skilled in the art” would not call this obvious.

If the patent is really upheld, lots of companies are going to have to pay up on this one…

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