Will RIM Go Full-On Patent Troll?
from the if-you-can't-innovate,-you-litigate dept
RIM was the defendant in one of the most well known patent troll lawsuits of all time — the fight against NTP, a company that claimed to have more or less invented wireless email. In the end, even though the USPTO had problems with the patents, RIM ended up settling for $612 million. What most people don’t remember, however, is that one of the reasons that RIM got sued in the first place was that the guy behind NTP read an article in the newspaper about RIM suing tons of competitors over its own patents. The company hasn’t seemed quite as aggressive about its patents since then — but perhaps that’s going to change. Reuters is reporting that, as RIM has been struggling to compete in the marketplace, it’s hired a law firm to help it consider more options and it appears that getting more money from its patents is one of the options being explored. Considering just how “valuable” patents have become lately due to ridiculous disputes and awards, this isn’t surprising. But it’s pretty sad to see companies increasingly turning to patent trolling and shaking down actual innovators when they can no longer compete in the market.