Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
patents, predictive text


Acacia's Latest: You Sue Some, You Lose Some

from the still-going... dept

Acacia, one of the larger and more well known patent hoarding firms, has followed in the footsteps of other recent lawsuits where the patent holder sues a bunch of companies at once. The general reason for doing so is in order to pick the jurisdiction. The fear is that if someone sues just one or two companies, then others may look to have a more favorable district court give a declaratory judgment saying they don't infringe. In this case (which, surprisingly, does not take place in Marshall, Texas, but in Cleveland, Ohio), Acacia (or, more accurately, a subsidiary of Acacia) is using an old patent on computer-aided transcription and applying it to predictive text systems. Of course, predictive texting systems are quite common these days, making it easy to sue 23 different companies for infringement, including Microsoft, Nokia, IBM, Samsung, Sony, Qualcomm, RIM, Nintendo, Motorola, AT&T, Verizon and a bunch of others along those lines. Not surprising to see this from Acacia, but it's yet another overly broad patent being applied completely outside the space it was intended for, and being used to basically shakedown a ton of companies for offering useful products that were designed entirely independently of this patent.

In more positive Acacia news however, the company (or, again, a subsidiary) has lost one of its other patent lawsuits against Microsoft. Turns out the jury (in Marshall, Texas, yes) didn't believe Microsoft violated the patent in question. Won't stop Acacia from filing more such lawsuits, but always nice to find out that patent hoarders don't always win.

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  • identicon
    Believe it or Not, 16 Nov 2007 @ 9:21am

    Patent lawsuits are a good thing

    These overly broad patents and the shotgun approach to litigation is a good thing. Everyone recognizes there is a problem with the patent system but the pace of sensible reform has been glacially paced.

    When these patent hoarding firms sued one or two companies most people barely took notice of it. Now that they have attacked a huge swath of the business community it is big news. These companies make a lot campaign contributions to a lot of politicians and I guarantee those politicians are being told in gory detailed how detrimental this is to business, profits, jobs and innovation.

    You want patent reform? Suing this many companies with questionable patents will get Congress involved sooner than you think.

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

    • identicon
      angry dude, 16 Nov 2007 @ 10:56am



      questionable patents have nothing to do with Congress or so-called "patent reform" (or more like "patent piracy legalized" act)

      They have everything to do with underfunded and mismanaged PTO

      Stop reading techdirt asap - it will make you braindead

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

  • identicon
    Angry Turkey, 16 Nov 2007 @ 5:10pm

    AD - Is this you ?

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

    • identicon
      angry dude, 17 Nov 2007 @ 10:23am

      Re: AD - Is this you ?


      But I could sign my name under some of his passages, like this one:


      I've had this itch in my life I cannot scratch - maybe it's the whole working for a living thing, maybe it's the whole you have to pay to play thing. I don't know. But I just realized something important: Capitalism sucks as a way of life. It sucks.

      And you know what makes it even more suckier? It's the only way of life a lot of us knows about.

      Working. Spending. Working-spending. It's all an endless cycle of make-someone-else-richer. I mean, look at it this way: you're born on this earth to make and spend money. Since you were a kid you were told that it's better to be rich. You should study and be good in school so you can be rich.

      I say fuck that. Fuck all that.

      I'm not a lazy man - I've been known to do overtime and push the energy limits of both me and my colleagues. But after all these years of working (2 years, a very long time), what do I have to show for it? A heftier bank account? Big deal. I don't really want material things. Who needs a fucking sports car?

      In the end, we all just want what makes us happy. We all just want that one thing that makes us smile, not the I-hate-you-but-you-pay me kind of smile, but the kind of smile that you instinctively know. We all have that one thing (Mine are tall brunettes and tropical fishes) that makes us embarassingly happy. But somehow, living in a world run by old men who want your money and your work has hidden that happy thing under a pile of bullshit commercials and unnecessaries.

      So what can I do now? What can I do? Can I quit? Shit, I already quit. My coworker is currently crying because he's gonna shoulder an entire project by himself.

      When you get a really nice idea, get behind it and ride it for all it's worth, balls out and off the ground. I'm tired of being another paper jockey for capitalism. I'm not advocating communism (All the red colors, my god) but I sure am done with capitalism."

      Angry Dude

      Good for him that he's not a patent holder - he would be going fucking nuts by now....

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

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