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Intellectual Ventures Sues Google/Motorola Mobility Yet Again, Using Highly Questionable Nokia Patents

from the look-at-that dept

Two years ago, we wrote about Intellectual Ventures suing Motorola Mobility over a really random collection of patents in Delaware. Apparently, that wasn’t enough, because, IV has gone back to the well to file a totally different patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola Mobility on a different set of totally random and highly questionable patents, this time in the southern district of Florida. The patents in play:

  • 5,790,793: Method and system to create, transmit, receive and process information, including an address to further information
  • 7,136,392: System and method for ordering data messages having differing levels of priority for transmission over a shared communication channel
  • 6,121,960: Touch screen systems and methods
  • 7,382,771: Mobile wireless hotspot system
  • 7,564,784: Method and arrangement for transferring information in a packet radio service
  • 6,170,073: Method and apparatus for error detection in digital communications
  • 7,848,353: Method, communication system and communication unit for synchronisation for multi-rate communication

If these sound like a set of fairly random and extremely broad patents, you’d have a point. Just take a look at that first one, which is basically claiming the ability of a computer system to receive a URL (say, in an email message) and automatically pull part of the page in to the first computer — ie., it’s a patent on a really basic and obvious concept, to proactively pull data from a website referenced in a link as a sort of preview. As is so often the case with patents like this, this is the kind of thing lots of people talked about around the time it was patented, but which people didn’t do because other aspects of the infrastructure weren’t ready yet, such as bandwidth (i.e., in 1995, people didn’t want to push too much to a user’s computer, because there was a good chance they were speeding along on a 2400 baud modem).

Most of the other patents are similarly broad or obvious concepts that were generally not being done because of other factors, not because there was anything non-obvious about the idea, or that it was particularly difficult to do. A patent is supposed to incentivize someone to invent something that wouldn’t otherwise be invented. That’s not happening here.

And, remember, this is the same Intellectual Ventures that claims it that it focuses on “high quality” patents.

Oh yeah, also, for all the talk about IV’s inventive operations, not a single one of these patents originated with IV. And they’re not from the proverbial “independent inventor” IV likes to claim it’s helping. The 784 and 073 patents both came from Nokia, while the other patents originated with a variety of other companies: NetDelivery, Conexant, ViA, In Motion and IP Wireless. Most of the companies are still in business. It’s unclear if anyone — such as Nokia — retains an interest in those patents, but that would be a pretty slimy move to pass off patents to IV to avoid suing a direct competitor themselves. As Groklaw rightly notes, this certainly has all the hallmarks of privateering, where big companies pass off their patents to some trolls to do their dirty work. It’s just that, in this case, the troll is the world’s largest, Intellectual Ventures.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: google, intellectual ventures, motorola mobility, nokia

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Comments on “Intellectual Ventures Sues Google/Motorola Mobility Yet Again, Using Highly Questionable Nokia Patents”

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20 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

IV: High on patent count and ego, not so much on IQ

So the FTC says it plans on cracking down on patent trolls, and IV responds by attempting to shake down several companies using patents that are blatantly bogus and should never have been granted in the first place, all originally held by other companies…

Either they aren’t following the news, or they are damn sure that the FTC would never actually come after them, because I just cannot imagine how else they could have done something so blatantly designed to draw the attention of the FTC as a perfect first case when going after patent trolling operations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hi Mike,

What’s the point of pretending like you can keep me off of TD when you make a living out of ridiculing others who pretend like they can block people from doing what they want on the internet?

Seriously. I know you see the irony. But what’s the point? I post whatever I want, whenever I want. Your attempts to censor me are completely, 100% laughable and stupid.

Let me ask you this? Why do you, a man who pretends like he loves anonymity and freedom on the internet, make a point to block TOR IP addresses whenever they are used to criticize you?

Seriously. Are you so ashamed and insecure that you have to block TOR, the tool of freedom fighters who rage against dictators, to stop me from criticizing you?

Are you so scared of criticism that you think it?s worth it to block TOR exit nodes rather than receive any criticism whatsoever?

You?re just like China. And you fucking know it.

You are doing whatever you can to censor those who challenge you. Just like China. And you fucking know it.

Toodles!

Anonymous Coward says:

That’s right, folks! As soon as Mike realizes that a TOR IP address is being used to criticize him–not for spam, mind you, but only for the purpose of criticizing Mike–he immediately blocks that TOR IP address from being able to post on Techdirt.

That’s right. Mr. Mike “Internet Freedom and Anonymity” Masnick is so scared of personal criticism that he’d rather block a TOR exit node–the tool of dissidents who criticize their oppressors–rather than leave the TOR IP address open to those who may want to criticize him or others on Techdirt.

Protector of freedom on the internet? You decide. His actions are just like those of an insecure dictator, and he knows it. Mike is just like China, feverishly oppressing those who dare to speak out against him.

ethorad (profile) says:

IV are pirates!

From wikipedia:

“The distinction between a privateer and a pirate has been, practically speaking, vague, often depending on the source as to which label was correct in a particular circumstance. The actual work of a pirate and a privateer is generally the same (raiding and plundering …)”

Can we start a fight between the MPAA/RIAA and IV?

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