SGI Back From The Dead (Again) And Suing Tons Of Companies For Patent Infringement

from the troll-troll-troll-troll dept

Back when I moved to Silicon Valley, Silicon Graphics Inc., (SGI) was still a hot place to work. They were still pumping out cool machines and had a reputation for a fun corporate culture. Of course, that collapsed pretty quickly over the next few years, as SGI totally misjudged the market trends and fell victim to the innovator’s dilemma. Basically, SGI never could come to terms with the fact that its premium products were going to be increasingly undercut as cheaper commodity technology improved. Back in 2006, we noted that what remained of SGI had indicated that it planned to resurrect the company by going patent troll. However, we thought we’d avoided that ignoble result when SGI sold most of its assets to Rackable for a mere $25 million three years ago. Silly us for assuming those patents would just go away.

While Rackable changed its name to Silicon Graphics International… the original company actually retained the patents, and renamed itself Graphics Properties Holdings… and over the last few years has been suing lots of companies for patent infringement. In the last year alone it has sued Apple, HTC, LG, RIM, Samsung, Sony, Acer, ASUS, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio and Motorola Mobility.

As the link above notes, while some of GPH’s patents are relatively early, it appears that lots of similar inventions predated key patents. However, the early date may make those patents look stronger, and give GPH much more leverage in getting companies to pay up — or risk losing the ability to produce devices with nice graphics capabilities.

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Companies: acer, apple, asus, htc, lg, motorola mobility, panasonic, rim, samsung, sgi, sharp, sony, toshiba, vizio

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Comments on “SGI Back From The Dead (Again) And Suing Tons Of Companies For Patent Infringement”

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Pixelation says:

Dear Representatives,

Our current IP legislation is a JOKE. Why, you ask? Let’s start with patent lawsuits. We don’t need that sort of broken thinking. We can compete with anyone without your screwed up intervention. Please clean up your mess and get out of the way.

Thank you,

A Hard Working American

Gregg Butler says:

IP's, Patents and Trolls....

I say that if a company makes a patent, then they have 5 years to use it or loose it. The rest of the world can’t wait forever for them to use it. Especially with in the IT world. It’s not like anyone else hasn’t thought of it yet. Why should the whole world suffer and wait for a product sitting on the shelf protected by the law, when people can use them. And frankly, these law suites are clogging up the court rooms. Believe it or not, it hits our tax dollars in the end!

Austin (profile) says:

Except the Kitchen Sink

The really telling thing here is that a company that was founded on the production of Graphics Cards sued a bunch of system makers – but chose to omit both NVidia and ATI. Many will claim that SGI had/has a lot of innovation. What does it say that they cannot make a case worth filing against either of the 2 primary companies in their primary field? Seems like a pretty blatant lack of innovation to me.

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