Patent Hoarder Says Only Bad Guys Are Those Who Don't Pay Up

from the well,-of-course-he'd-say-that dept

Acacia Technologies is a name that folks in the patent business know well -- as they were one of the earliest firms to get publicity for hoarding patents, and then threatening to sue anyone who didn't license those patents (sometimes referred to as a "patent troll" though that name is problematic). Acacia became well known for trying to get just about everyone to license an incredibly broad patent they hold on any kind of streaming media. The patent is so famous that it's at the top of the EFF's list of patents that should be busted for holding back innovation. News.com is now running an interview with Acacia's CEO who trots out the typical story line about how they're just in the licensing business, and anyone who dislikes them is probably just stealing ideas and doesn't want to pay for them. He tries to twist things around, by claiming it's just a few random companies who would prefer to steal rather than innovate -- not noting that many of those companies have been pushing the innovation envelope for decades, constantly bringing new and innovative technologies to market that have helped drive large parts of the economy. He also pulls a nice little trick by claiming that because some big companies have licensed Acacia's patents, they obviously have no problem with the company. What he leaves out is the process Acacia took to get those companies to license the patent. They started out by going after online porn companies, knowing that not many would want to defend them. Then, once they got a few of those to give in, they went after larger and larger companies and used the success against smaller ones as leverage to get the bigger companies to pay up. For many of those companies, they simply decided it was cheaper to pay up to keep Acacia from going to court. Just because you pay up the local mob boss for "protection" money, it doesn't mean that he represents a legitimate insurance company.
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  • identicon
    Jimmy Z, 10 Jul 2006 @ 12:25pm

    /me registers a patent on patenting ideas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 10 Jul 2006 @ 12:33pm

    L-a-m-e

    It's just a money thing. It always was, is and will be. They can just sit there and do NOTHING and say, 'Pay up or get sued.'

    They get payed no mater what. If I could meet the guy who actually does that, I would smack him so hard...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Quberoot, 10 Jul 2006 @ 12:34pm

    The first guy probably can claim prior art.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Riddelin, 10 Jul 2006 @ 12:37pm

    If only I could patent lawsuits

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert, 10 Jul 2006 @ 12:42pm

    Sickening

    This is sickening. Words cannot explain my disgust in this whole process that allows this. I wish the government would revamp alot of laws and processes every so often to make sure that they are still in tune with society and not centuries behind the times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    interesting, 10 Jul 2006 @ 12:47pm

    NOW

    America needs a revolution!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Headswine, 10 Jul 2006 @ 1:17pm

    This case...

    I was called as an expert on this case a couple years ago. Seems Acacia was claiming that anyoen who delivered video over teh web was violatign their patent. Fortunately, we did it in 1988 with primitave technology so the porn industry was saved!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JL, 10 Jul 2006 @ 1:25pm

    Patent a blog spell check

    I'd like to patent a blogger spell check, I could get RICH! It would charge based on how many words it corrected.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MattT, 10 Jul 2006 @ 1:52pm

    In folklore, a troll is a loathsome creature who lives under bridges or along roads, and demands payment to allow travelers to pass. The stories don't say that the troll built the bridge, or paved the road, but it's implied that they did not.

    Now tell me, how is this differenent than the tactic that we're discussing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jo, 10 Jul 2006 @ 2:22pm

    Blogs

    What a bunch of whiny babies. If any one of you could have been Acacia you would have done. It's the American culture. No more Virtue or Honor. You live my the code "He who dies with the most toys WINS" atitude but fail to realize you don't win @#$%! You just DIE!! And maybe sooner than you think!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Teh David, 10 Jul 2006 @ 6:56pm

    Patent Trolls and...

    Is it just me, or does the Acacia CEO sound exactly like the Spam Email King guy when defending his company's right to exist?

    If companies didn't like my company, they wouldn't pay me.

    If people didn't like spam, they wouldn't click on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jul 2006 @ 7:29pm

    Reform! Reform! Again I say reform!!

    I think a major step in the right direction would be for the law to be changed to say that only the companies who actually innovate a technology should be allowed to sue to extract value from a patent. Simply being an 'intellectual property holder' should not entitle you to sue for damages. Sure, buy and trade patents all you want, but extracting the value should at the very least be restricted to those companies actually doing the innovation. It would not solve the current f***ed-up mess of a patent system, but at least it would be a step in the right direction?? F*** you Nathan Myhrvold and your kind...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    angry dude, 11 Jul 2006 @ 8:57am

    You, techdirt folks, are MORONS

    What a bunch of loosers...

    First try to invent something novel and useful, then patent it and attempt to commercialize it being a small garage inventor...

    You will be singing a totally different tune pretty soon.

    But none of you can invent anything, you just keep bitching about other people trying to make some buck on their own inventions (yes, with some help from those patent trolls like Acacia)

    Ask Carlso Armando Amado what he thinks about Acacia and Microshit: I am sure he has a higher regard for Acacia than for MicroShit, just like the rest of us, small garage inventors.
    Shut the f*** up morons - you have nothing to do with inventions and patents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 11 Jul 2006 @ 9:49am

      Re: You, techdirt folks, are MORONS

      Funny, angry dude, you keep repeating this same claim, and we keep responding to you. Yet, you simply ignore our response. If that's what you consider innovation... then, okay.

      The point is you've set the wrong conditions. We HAVE innovated. We've come up with some great products, but rather than patent them, we SELL THEM to customers who want them. So, yes, we have invented and we have commercialized... successfully! And we did it all without patents.

      So, no, we're not going to be singing a different tune.

      As for Carlo Amado, as has been discussed in detail elsewhere, his patent never should have been granted in the first place. His ideas weren't new and they weren't innovative. And, of course, he'd like Acacia. That doesn't help support your position at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous of Course, 11 Jul 2006 @ 10:12am

      Re: You, techdirt folks, are MORONS

      I have patents, you do not.
      I think you should shut up.


      GO Away Troll.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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