If The DOJ Really Wants To Review Anticompetitive Patenting, Why Doesn't It Look At Intellectual Ventures?

from the seems-like-a-more-reasonable-target dept

We were just noting the oddities of Intellectual Ventures suing Motorola Mobility Inc. as MMI is likely being acquired by Google -- since Google is an IV investor, and supposedly immune from suits over IV's patents. It would seem like once a deal closes, that the lawsuit would be moot. Along those lines, the folks at M*CAM, who spend a lot of time doing detailed analysis of patent quality, have written a compelling open letter to the Justice Department. You see, the Justice Department is investigating the Motorola Mobility buy to see if it would be anti-competitive. Now, pretty much everyone (including Google) has admitted that the Motorola Mobility buy is mostly about the patents, and patents are technically a monopoly, but they're a legal monopoly. However, the pooling of patents can be anti-competitive. Either way, M*CAM can't quite figure out the reasons here, noting that vertical integration isn't seen as a problem by the Justice Department (see, Oracle, Sun). But if it's the patents that are the issue, M*CAM suggests the DOJ is "looking into the wrong thing:"
There’s a shakedown going on, but you’re too concerned with the parking meters across the street to hear the tinkling of coins on the sidewalk.

Because speaking of patent pooling... an intellectual venture across that street will lead you to a nice pool to dive into. And lucky for you, we happen to have the insight to light up that pool for a nightly swim, should you decide to take the jump in on behalf of Lady Justice.
Yes, the letter then shifts into an analysis of how Intellectual Ventures appears to be involved in anti-competitive behavior, that appears to go against the DOJ's own guidelines on what constitutes an anti-competitive patent pool. It's worth reading the whole thing, and wondering which company is likely to do more to hinder innovation over the next five years: Google merged with Motorola Mobility or Intellectual Ventures?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    I'm sure IV has deep pockets and buys off, er I mean, contributes to "campaign contributions" for any one that may have the authority to look into this.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Yes, because patent trolling is not anti-competitive, but acquiring patents for defensive purposes to avoid getting sued is.

    and, on a similar subject, why doesn't the DOJ go after the copy'right' cartel, like the MAFFIA (RIAA/MPAA), for their anti-competitive behavior? Or the pharmaceutical cartel or Monsanto and the agricultural cartel? What about government established taxi-cab monopolies or government established cableco monopolies? Instead, they go after those who innovate and leave those responsible for anti-competitive behavior alone.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re:

    and why is bandwidth in the U.S. getting worse and worse and more expensive with stricter caps relative to more and more countries? Because of anti-competitive behavior and the government establishment of monopoly power. Where is the DOJ in all this?

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re:

    and what about Righthaven for their anti-competitive behavior. I'm sure I can come up with many more examples.


    "In 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that Intuit spent nearly $2 million in political contributions to eliminate free online state tax filing for low income residents in California."

    Intuit

    The list goes on and on and on. Over and over again, the govt does absolutely nothing against those that actually do participate in anti-competitive behavior, yet they continue to go after those who actually innovate for no good reason.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    the flipside...

    Everyone is pointing out that the IV lawsuit doesn't make sense or that it might be a warning to Google to say in line... but what about the converse.

    I can think of at least two other reasons that IV is suing Mobility....

    1.) Protect Google from receiving competition on this purchase from anyone who is not invested in IV.

    2.) Shock the value of the company in the midst of the sale.

    Both anti-competitive in nature...

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

    The DOJ

    won't get involved...the (ex-)entertainment industry lawyers that run the DOJ will not let it happen unless it interferes with them cracking down on "piracy".

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The people that could go after them are afraid of themselves being exposed for being on-the-take. The depth of the rabbit hole that is government corruption knows no bottom.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, this goes with the whole preferential treatment thread.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Intellectual Ventures = Old People's Shitpiss

    Sorry, but that's all there is to it.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Re: the flipside...

    You raise a very interesting possibility...

    If option 1 is true, then I would expect the suit to be dropped as soon as the merger is finalized. As for option 2, I believe the offer has already been made, so I don't think Google would throw out a lower one now all of a sudden because of the pending lawsuit.

    As has been stated, the connection between Google and IV is well documented, but imagine if this were true and Google was the one that initiated this against Motorola through IV...

    /makingnewtinfoilhat :)

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 8:05pm

    Lol what?

    All patents are by nature anti competitive, thay work by granting a monopoly to the patent holder.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 8:28pm

    Re: Monopolies

    It is quite remarkable how many commercial monopolies the US government hands out, mostly for free, sometimes for very cheap. All these monopolies are the last remnants of the old discredited doctrine of mercantilism, which was the economic doctrine of the middle ages. What would happen is that the "Worshipful Company of X" would go to the king and get granted a monopoly on X. The economic consequences were dire. The middle ages is getting to be quite a while ago now.

    Isn't it about time the US government started paying attention to economists? The economists have been saying, "Monopolies are bad" for many years now. Do you Americans really want to suffer high unemployment, falling living standards for the 99%, and relentless budget deficits?

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 13th, 2011 @ 11:33pm

    Another reason why they keep examining Google related things is because congresscritters have been convinced that Google owes all the of the media companies more for "riding on their coattails". They did recently have hearings where Google was painted as their huge evil thing by several corporations.

    Getting investigations and such rolling against Google to slow them down sure earns them alot of brownie points with those other companies who have had DC lobbying firms longer than Google has. The old guard has paid in much more then Google so far.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Vic Kley, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Masnick Enterprises paid by Google

    Let's hear from you Masnick. Have you or any of your related entities or affiliates been paid or expect payments from Google?

    Difficult for anyone to see Google as the weak player in a game in which IV was a participant.

    Will MM come clean?

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    staff, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    another biased article

    "Anticompetitive Patenting"

    from the US Const...

    "To promote the Progress of Science ...by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

    I'll say it again, "the exclusive Right". But of course, all you're interested in promoting is the interests of your giant patent infringing buddies.

    Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-
    https://www.insightcommunity.com/cases.php?n=10&pg=1

    They sell blog filler and "insights" to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world’s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don’t have any.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Renee Marie Jones, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Why doesn't DOJ investigate IV?

    Oh, come on. Microsoft told DOJ to leave IV alone, so DOJ will leave IV alone.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    darryl, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:06pm

    Some facts please, Mike !!!

    Yes, the letter then shifts into an analysis of how Intellectual Ventures appears to be involved in anti-competitive behavior, that appears to go against the DOJ's own guidelines on what constitutes an anti-competitive patent pool. It's worth reading the whole thing, and wondering which company is likely to do more to hinder innovation over the next five years: Google merged with Motorola Mobility or Intellectual Ventures?

    Care to elaborate Mike ??? or dont you really like the idea of stating you know... actual facts ?


    Yes, the letter then shifts into an analysis of how Intellectual Ventures appears to be involved in anti-competitive behavior

    Such as ???

    that appears to go against the DOJ's own guidelines on what constitutes an anti-competitive patent pool.

    Such as ???

    It's worth reading the whole thing,

    Did you ??

    and wondering which company is likely to do more to hinder innovation over the next five years: Google merged with Motorola Mobility or Intellectual Ventures?

    Google has neither merged with Motorola or IV..

    Mike, "DOING BUSINESS WITH or purchasing an offshoot of another company IS NOT A FREAKING MERGE !!!

    Just because a company does business with another company does not constitute a "merge".


    since Google is an IV investor, and supposedly immune from suits over IV's patents.

    Is that just a guess Mike ?? or do you have any actual FACTS to support that claim.
    Do you understand that IV does NOT provide immunity from suits just because you are an 'investor' ?

    Do you understand the business model of IV ?

    Do you know what "licensing" means ?

    I guess not, as if you did have any understanding of IV or anything to do with business you would understand just how wrong you are.. but you being wrong is your SNAFU and is to be expected..

    Of course there is little point in trying to explain any of this to you mike, as it appears you are either unable or unwilling to THINK about, well anything !!!!

    Mike would you like to show us, (your readers) where it is said that "AN INVESTOR IN IV IS AMMUNE FROM SUITS BY IV".....

    Of course you wont say that, because IV has never said that, you only say it because it makes your false and misleading statements seem almost true.

    But when you look a little deeper (what YOU are supposed to do), you find that what you say Mike is total bullshit.

    Show me a statement where IV say "if you invest with us you are immune from law suits for ALL of IV's patents pool" !!!

    this is why you are not actually "DOING" business, you talk about it, but when you talk you show the world what little you understand.

    Sure, you can convince a few low IQ kids of your crap, 99.99999 of the population see's you for what you are (or what you think you are)..

    AT least you are a source of some amusment..

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    patent litigation, Nov 1st, 2011 @ 11:54am

    playing his cards right

    Like him or not, patent troll or not, Myhrvold does generally seem to have played his cards right so far (though his claims about the supposed nobility of his operations seem disingenuous). On the other hand, you can't really say the same about Google, which in recent years has made so many flubs that you have to start wondering about the company's future.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This