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Firm Seeks To Ban Mobile Companies' Imports To US

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the even-silly-patent-claims-are-bigger-in-texas dept.

Patents 137

snydeq writes "Texas-based Saxon Innovations has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission to bar six companies — including Research in Motion, Palm, and Nokia — from importing handheld devices into the US. At issue are three patents that Saxon purchased in July 2007; a patent for keypad monitor with keypad activity-based activation; a patent for an apparatus and method for disabling interrupt marks in processors or the like; and a patent for a device and method for interprocessor communication by using mailboxes owned by processor devices. Saxon, with five employees, purchased about 180 US patents formerly owned by Advanced Micro Devices or Legerity in 2007, according to its ITC complaint."

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You know what they say... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491853)

If you can't innovate, litigate!

Re:You know what they say... (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492093)

And if you can't litigate, fumigate!

Re:You know what they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492449)

If you can't fumigate... Umm.. nevermind :(

Re:You know what they say... (4, Funny)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492809)

If you can't fumigate, masturbate... and it seems that's exactly what they're doing. Bloody wankers.

Re:You know what they say... (2, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492487)

"And if you can't litigate, fumigate!"
And if you can't fumigate, Watergate!
And if you can't Watergate, fornicate!
And if you can't fornicate, read Slashdot!

Re:You know what they say... (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492593)

If you can't read slashdot, complain that ubuntu won't run MS Word so then you can't get a degree?

Re:You know what they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492869)

huh, that is why the next comment talks about masturbation, as you F*ckubuntu geeks are still wasting your Friday Nights masturbating over that hot Dell Laptop blonde.
Go get a life. The blonde was already hired by Microsoft and she is going to tell her F*ckubuntu horror history in the 1 minute ad Microsoft will run at the Superbowl obliterating F*ckubuntu and Linushit FOREVER!!!
Average Americans (the other 290 million that are not you...) will rapidly connect Linux with Terrorism, Illegal immigration and Child Pr0n, and all Linux users will get hunted and eliminated...

Re:You know what they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492303)

P R I O R A R T !!!

Once someone documents it all, these 5 assholes in Texas will have to actually work for a real living instead of trying to suck the life out of those who have BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, and probably long before the Texas Twits ever finished High School.

I wonder what the penalties are for barratry...

And if you litigate.... (2, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493433)

Say hello to my LITTLE FRIEND! /funny

Seriously, these suits are approaching a level of craziness that someone, somewhere, at some time will simply not retain counsel, and will instead just kill the IP firm's principals, lawyers, etc. Or spawn a "take care of it" industry that will indeed "take care" of the "problem" for under 10% of the amount at stake.

When billions of dollars are at stake, I'd never put anything past a CEO. When billions of tax revenues are at stake even the FBI will overlook a small local arson case...

I wonder (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26491857)

Why is it that everybody remembers Rodney King but nobody remembers Reginald Denny?

Are you on crack? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492191)

What ARE you talking about? Who could forget the WWI flying ace who played Commodore Schmidlapp on Batman? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Are you on crack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492319)

Wrong Reginald Denny. [wikipedia.org]

No "Whoosh" please.

Very nice! (4, Interesting)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491887)

As if the frakin' telecommunications industry in this country wasn't crap enough compared to Europe and Asia.

Way to go.

Countries, schmontries (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492341)

So maybe it is time to do away with national governments [metagovernment.org] .

You are kidding. right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492435)

Our entire backbone and landlines blow ALL other countries out of the water. Yes, that includes EU. EU could not handle a 9/11 in their system. Ours was jammed, but I talked to ppl off and on all day. Only wireless and VOIP were not getting through. The ONLY place that we are behind is wireless and internet speeds( though we have much higher connectivity rates that other nations ). Our wireless is an absolute abomination and plague on this planet. Looks like something designed by W.

Re:You are kidding. right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492599)

Citation please.

Re:You are kidding. right? (3, Insightful)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492653)

EU could not handle a 9/11 in their system.

Neither could the USA it seems.

Re:You are kidding. right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495455)

Most of western Europe have had all-fibre backbones and full digital switching for over a decade now, and many are now migrating to IP-based networks.

Litigation is expensive (5, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491955)

...but filing ITC complaints is cheap.

The whole point here is that enforcing these patents against all of those companies is an expensive proposition with no guarantee of returns. However, they can get Free Money by extorting those companies to pay them royalties, backed up by the threat of an import ban from the ITC, and even if their complaint is rejected, they've spent practically nothing.

Re:Litigation is expensive (5, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492003)

It's way past time for patent reform, these patent trolls are way out of hand.

Can we require businesses that patent the ideas to have real, actual products to retain the patent?

They buy an idea, then sit on it. No one benefits from it (except lining their pockets with no efforts on their part). Bad for consumers, bad for other businesses. Boo!

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492065)

Don't be too sure that nobody profits from these sorts of things.

I'll bet that this is the real reason that the iPhone doesn't have a keyboard.

Re:Litigation is expensive (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492323)

I'll bet that this is the real reason that the iPhone doesn't have a keyboard.

When was the last time Apple based a product on what their lawyers told them? Seriously. Apple has a long and flagrant history of violating 'intellectual property' laws starting with name of the company itself. Anybody remember the 'sosueme' audio file?

Re:Litigation is expensive (4, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492569)

Anybody remember the 'sosueme' audio file?

You must mean Sosumi. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Litigation is expensive (5, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492123)

Can we require businesses that patent the ideas to have real, actual products to retain the patent?

Well, since one of the things the complainant has to prove in the ITC is that they have a domestic industry practicing the asserted claims, yes, we can.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492357)

Mod parent up. ITC != (USPTO || US Court System).

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Informative)

KarrdeSW (996917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492517)

Can we require businesses that patent the ideas to have real, actual products to retain the patent?

Well, since one of the things the complainant has to prove in the ITC is that they have a domestic industry practicing the asserted claims, yes, we can.

Patent trolling companies cover this by purchasing common stock in a company that practices whatever idea they are suing over. Stock represents equity which represents ownership of said 'domestic industry'. It's messy, but it works.

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Informative)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492845)

Still, somebody must be practicing the invention. You can't just pull the classic troll trick of having a thousand questionable patents and filing shotgun suits. It has to be more targeted because you (or somebody related) have to actually be doing it.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492145)

They buy an idea, then sit on it.

Horseshit. Patent 'trolls' buy an idea and then license it. Only an idiot would spend good money for something and then sit on it - especially something like a patent with a limited lifespan.
 
 

No one benefits from it (except lining their pockets with no efforts on their part).

Again, horseshit. If nobody licenses it, then and only then does nobody benefit. If a company does license it - then they make money selling the product, and the buyers benefit from the use of the product.

Re:Litigation is expensive (4, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492235)

Sorry, you haven't been keeping up. The popular M.O. is to sit on the idea until it has already become popular, THEN offer licenses. If you come out with the patent to begin with, potential licensees will just work around it. Waiting until they have built their business on it is far more profitable in the long run.

Re:Litigation is expensive (0, Flamebait)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495049)

Yes - I have been keeping up. What I am not doing is merely parroting the Party Line and pretending that if I claim "2+2=5" long enough it will become true.

As you yourself say, they offer licenses. They don't sit it without profiting from it. And those that pay for the license profit from it. And presumably the customers profit as well - else they wouldn't buy.

Keep in mind the original thesis: they sit it, which is patently false. And, nobody profits, which is equally patently false.

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Insightful)

MasterOfDisaster (248401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495773)

How does a company that has developed, manufactured, marketed and sold an actual product benefit when years later comes around and says "Nope, you can't keep selling that until you license your idea from us."

Patents have their uses. An invention a person or company spends time and money researching should be protected to a degree. IFF it is original and non obvious - especially if there is an actual product you're selling incorporating this patent.

However, filing a patent for every damn thing you can think of with "on the internet" or "on a mobile phone" tacked on the end IS an abuse of the system.

You keep using that word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26493465)

Horseshit.

... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492325)

It's way past time for patent reform, these patent trolls are way out of hand.

Why is this not happening? Seems like the companies who actually produce stuff have a major economic interest in this, that usually translates into lobbyists and shortly, political action. Seems like the only time big buisness doesn't get it's way on issues like this is when there's another big buisness interest opposing it.

What exactly is keeping patent law open to trolling like this? Big powerful patent troll association I've never heard of? Or is it more that the buisnesses hurt by abuses don't have the imagination to come up with a way to throw the bathwater out while keeping the baby (in this case, defending their own products against patent infringements)? Seems like one possible solution has been tossed around here forever and has just been mentioned: if you don't have a product that uses your patent, you can't defend it.

There are going to be problems with such legislation that will need to be worked out, but that's never stopped them before.

Re:Method! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492625)

"A system whih can dispose of soiled water while retaining life forms which possess at least one million cells and in the primate kingdom. This has the side effect of also assisting singers with primate pets from losing them too."

Re:Litigation is expensive (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492543)

Can we require businesses that patent the ideas to have real, actual products to retain the patent?

No, because some times sitting on an idea to get another company to pay for it is a legitimate practice.

Let's say I create Startup Inc, and design a new type of lithography. I don't have the money to build a fab or anything, so I show the tech to Intel and offer to let them use it in exchange for royalties. Under your system they could say no, use it anyway, and I wouldn't be able to sue, because I don't have an actual product.

Patent trolls suck, and there should be a way to stop them through litigation, but we have to be sure that we don't kill off real innovators in the process.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

JoshHeitzman (1122379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492649)

Ah, but offering to license it to someone who could actually make use of it isn't just sitting on it. Sitting on a patent is generally taken to mean that no offers or demands for licenses are made until the patent thing is wide use, and only then going after the users for royalties.

Re:Litigation is expensive (3, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492887)

"Let's say I create Startup Inc, and design a new type of lithography. I don't have the money to build a fab or anything, so I show the tech to Intel and offer to let them use it in exchange for royalties."

In order for you to convince Intel you show them a prototype. *Then* you have a working example covering your patent. If you don't have even a prototype then all you have is an idea and ideas shouldn't be subjected to patents.

"Patent trolls suck, and there should be a way to stop them through litigation, but we have to be sure that we don't kill off real innovators in the process."

Two words: Trade Secrets.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492557)

The one problem with requiring execution of a concept before granting a patent is that you need the money and resources to execute it. If I managed to invent a process for producing hydrogen at 1/1000'th of the cost but it required a massive amount of money to actually produce the plant, for example...

Sure, there would be ways to protect your idea while seeking investors, but eventually that takes lawyers, and money, and the whole point of patents is that you don't need a lot of money to make an idea relatively unstealable.

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493275)

If I managed to invent a process for producing hydrogen at 1/1000'th of the cost but it required a massive amount of money to actually produce the plant, for example...

If you didn't build a prototype then you didn't know whether your process would actually work. If you didn't know whether it would work then you didn't really invent anything. And if you didn't really invent anything then you didn't deserve a patent anyway!

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493377)

Try telling all those physicists who guesstimated the mass of the galaxy that you need to have anything approaching evidence for an idea to be worth something.

If there's any astrophysicists reading this, don't hurt me!

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493917)

They didn't patent anything ...

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492629)

Can we require businesses that patent the ideas...

...to not patent ideas because ideas are ten a penny, but rather to patent working inventions which actually require some effort?

Yes, easy. Doesn't even need any new legislation.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492753)

How about getting rid of patents altogether? Not just on software, but on everything. They ain't natural, but are purely government created monopoly privileges.

History seems to hint that rather than foster innovation, patents retard it. Here's an article summary that suggests Watt's patent slowed down steam engine innovation [reason.com] .

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Insightful)

kamochan (883582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495431)

History seems to hint that rather than foster innnovation, religion retards it. Here's an article summary that suggests sectarian fighting between Jews, Christians and Muslim [osu.edu] Alexandrians were the last nail in the coffin for the Library - which had fostered people like Heron, the inventor of the steam engine (around 50 BC) [wikipedia.org] .

It just makes me want to scream when I think that we lost 1500+ friggin years...

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492931)

No one benefits from it (except lining their pockets with no efforts on their part).

The winning lawyers profit. The losing lawyers profit. The judge profits with demand for his services. The clerk profits with record requests. The transcriptionist gets profit from her work.

Who doesn't profit? Generally, the parties at issue and the general public.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493409)

If you required patent owners to make actual products it would actually hurt the little fellow since he's got to either spend lots of money to build the darn thing and try to sell it or lose the patent. Making the darn thing and trying to sell it is expensive. Selling or licensing the patent is much more do-able. Also, a lot of patents make use of other patents, so if XYZ Inc. holds the patent for a certain type of levitation device and you figure out how to make it operate 100x more efficiently and patent that, go to XYZ Inc. and say "hey! Look what I got! You wanna license it?" they say "Oh, but you're not making a product with it so we'll file a complaint with the USPTO, wait a week, and use the idea to make our levitron better anyway! hahahaha!"

Re:Litigation is expensive (2, Insightful)

mxs (42717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493559)

They buy an idea, then sit on it. No one benefits from it (except lining their pockets with no efforts on their part). Bad for consumers, bad for other businesses. Boo!

Let's step back a bit here though. "no efforts on their part" is not exactly true. They have capital in the matter. They are investing in those patents, presumably because they think the idea has merit -- but they are taking the risk that it does not. They do not "line their pockets" without the patent having some form of merit.

The patents came from somewhere, their original creators presumably got compensated and therefore had more incentive to patent in the first case (instead of keeping their ideas a trade secret).

Yes, the patent system is broken, yes, patent trolls suck, but don't make them out to be worse than they are. All the big corporations have giant patent portfolios as well. You could call them patent trolls too. Indeed, they engage in exactly the same conduct (cross-licensing-deals are borne out of this).

Patents are not an inherently bad concept, but yes, they have been abused quite badly in recent years. Reforming the system in a sensible manner would be good. Do you have any proposals as to how to go about it ?

Re:Litigation is expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26493735)

Two words that will fix this BS:

Loser pays.

Every sane country out there, if someone takes another party to court and loses, the loser has to pay the other party legal fees and all costs it takes to defend, be it audits, mail costs, and other fees.

Give a penalty for frivolous lawsuits, and you won't see the court system's docket clogged for years.

Here in the US, people can file lawsuits willy nilly, and if they lose, they go onto the next person. Its just like playing a lottery, except if you lose, you are out a filing fee. One example of this is the handicapped guy who magically appears all around California checking ADA-compliant facilities of all rural areas, then demanding thousands of dollars from mom and pop shops in lieu of big ADA lawsuits. All doorways not exactly 36"?, pay $3000 or have your shop shut down. This isn't helping the cause for the truly handicapped, but just bringing income to a select few.

Re:Litigation is expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26494695)

Why isn't intellectual property taxed like any other property? I think this could go a long way to solve this kind of trolling. At the same time, they have to stop rubber stamping all these insanely basic "building block" concepts.

Re:Litigation is expensive (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492103)

The other benefit of ITC proceedings is they are very, very fast. I don't see that a trial date is set yet, but I would expect to see this go to trial around August or September.

But don't make the mistake of thinking ITC proceedings are cheap. Basically, you're paying much of the cost of a district court proceeding, but all in a compressed time period. So don't expect this to be something like the NTP case. You should expect to see something (most likely a settlement---that's what always happens anymore) happen in this case this year.

Let me guess .. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491957)

Saxon, with five employees

All IP lawyers, no doubt. Well, okay, maybe four and a secretary.

patents (3, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26491987)

This is exactly what is wrong with the patent process. You have a "company" of only FIVE people, who could potentially stop any technology that might "infringe" on these obscure patents.

Re:patents (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492025)

This is exactly what is wrong with the patent process. You have a "company" of only FIVE people, who could potentially stop any technology that might "infringe" on these obscure patents.

Necessity is the mother of invention. -- Aesop
Patents are the motherfucker of necessity. -- Me

Re:patents (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492115)

Saxon tried suing Necessity, but Aesop was called as an expert witness to establish the allegations were fables.

Until.... (2, Funny)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492271)

Just until they threaten a company with large revenues run as a mob front and their office is suddenly visited by Luca Brasi and Furio....

Re:patents (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492395)

Now if I can just patent the art of patent trolling...

Re:patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492943)

Someone already submitted a patent application for that. I'm not kidding; search some.

Re:patents (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493077)

The cost of buying a patent, any patent, from anyone should legislated be one billion dollar minimum with half of that going to the government. Enough already.

not #-of-people, but NOTproducer/inventor: THAT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26493331)

...is the first-half of The Problem.

If I invented, and patented, some tech that all new Intel procs later used, I ought to be able to get compensation for having been first to post the patent.

It doesn't matter how many I employ.

But extortion, that can cost many livelyhoods, ... I seem to recall that in the Jewish/Christian Bible, there is a commandment/law against usury?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=exodus%2022:25-27;&version=45; [biblegateway.com]

yeah, destroying livelyhoods seems to offend god, according to that...

That is the second-half of The Problem(tm).

Sincerely yers,

      Captain Obvious.

( :

The law needs to be changed (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492045)

Change the law so that they cant go to the ITC and ask for an import ban, they instead need to go to the courts and ask for an injunction. If they have to go to the courts, they presumably have to at least demonstrate something vaguely resembling evidence to back up their patent claims.

Re:The law needs to be changed (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492155)

Change the law so that they cant go to the ITC and ask for an import ban, they instead need to go to the courts and ask for an injunction. If they have to go to the courts, they presumably have to at least demonstrate something vaguely resembling evidence to back up their patent claims.

The ITC basically follows all the rules of federal evidence. The big differences are (1) it's much faster, (2) there's no jury, and (3) you have to prove that you have a domestic industry practicing the asserted claims. If Saxon only has 5 employees, it will be interesting to see what their domestic industry is.

Re:The law needs to be changed (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492203)

If Saxon only has 5 employees, it will be interesting to see what their domestic industry is.

Licencing Patents?

RIM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492181)

Research in Motion?
As in the makers of the crackberry?
Loved by otherwise heartless lawyers everywhere?

This will be fun to watch assuming you don't blink and miss it.

IP - Imaginary Property (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492193)

my god the US patent office needs to start applying this thing called the obviousness test.

This is bad for the US... in the long run. (3, Interesting)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492279)

If the US patent system diverges far enough from the global average rights of patents then the US market will become too expensive to both develop for and enter into. Of course the US market is a major one but if the worldwide market share is bigger it means that the risks in the US (submarine patents etc) are not worth spending your money on primarily. So it will protect the US companies on their home turf. But multinational companpanies, even US based, will be looking at the US as a secondary market because of the risks.

Re:This is bad for the US... in the long run. (5, Insightful)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492515)

Another possible outcome is that companies cave in to the trolls and enter into licensing arrangements for products sold in the US. Multiply by a factor of 100 or so for each of the patents for so-called "inventions" that might be infringed by any given product.

The costs will then be passed on to the US consumer. The end result is a private taxation system where every consumer and every business effectively pays a "high tech" tax on every high tech device purchased and every service used. And the money just disappears into the pockets of the patent speculators ... with no net return to businesses, consumers, or even to the people who created the inventions in the first place.

Re:This is bad for the US... in the long run. (1)

golem100 (581505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493659)

Its not quite true. As with fungus reducing tree trunks in the forest--Patent Trolls have a place in the Business Ecosystem--they create a market for the IP property of the fallen. This makes the effective "Price of Failure" a non-zero sum. This makes Banks, Bridge-Loan-Specialists, etc. willing to loan to High-Tech Start-ups that are one the ropes. There will be a market, admittedly small, market for the un-marketable. For those of us who have gone from Start-up to Start-up--even mushrooms are a source of nutrition!!!

Re:This is bad for the US... in the long run. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492867)

But multinational companies, even US based, will be looking at the US as a secondary market because of the risks.

I know little to nothing about this area, but it seems to me this may already be the case (maybe for different reasons? I don't know). Witness the truckloads of bleeding edge and even in many cases several year old technology that just isn't available in the US, but which the rest of the developed world enjoys...

Re:This is bad for the US... in the long run. (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493807)

I've been figuring that eventually US patents will stop being accepted in other countries and will need to be filed separately.

Judge to dismiss with prejudice (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492307)

The judge in the case should say "Uh... that's not what patents are for... buying them so you can sue people. I find your behavior is not consistent with the spirit of the law and that as a result, your case is done."

Re:Judge to dismiss with prejudice (1)

bigsteve@dstc (140392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492577)

That would be a very brave judge. A judgement like that is likely to be appealed all the way to SCOTUS, and most likely overturned.

This is a problem that needs to fixed by changing the law.

Re:Judge to dismiss with prejudice (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492645)

Will this be litigated in Texas?

I say giv'er (1)

Internalist (928097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492317)

Seriously. Imagine the public outcry if even just RIM and Nokia stopped all imports of mobile devices overnight (people luuuurve their N810s---don't even get me started on Crackberries). Since RIM's communications all go through a couple of central points, maybe they could even disable ALL of their devices.

"Sorry John Q. Public...this company here, at address ABC, phone number NNX-XXXX, says we're being bad. Take it up with them."

OK, so maybe that wouldn't really happen...I'll go back to the basement now. OK, I was in the basement all along.

Excellent (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26492345)

Speaking as a non-American, I think this is fantastic! The faster the ban happens the better! What an excellent way to make sure that the US lags in technology and becomes non-competitive. Neat way to destroy your technology lead.

Now if we can encourage you to do the same in other fields of endeavor. Shakes head with wonder and disbelief.

I guess it's clear why AMD sold them... (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492417)

...because they're crap. I looked at the first patent and the first few claims looked suspiciously like the (certainly not novel) idea of connecting up a keyboard matrix in such a way that pressing a key triggers an interrupt on the row lines, which triggers a wake-up event and a keyboard scan. I couldn't tell about the later claims. Then I looked at the interrupt mask patent

1. An interrupt mask disable circuit comprising:

first logic circuitry operably coupled to receive an interrupt request and a mask signal and to provide an interrupt signal when the interrupt request is active and the mask signal is disabled, and to provide a non-interrupt signal when the mask signal is enabled regardless of whether the interrupt request is active or inactive; and
second logic circuitry operably coupled to receive a mask activation signal and a mask override signal and to produce the mask signal, wherein the mask signal is enabled when the mask activation signal is active and the mask override signal is not enabled and wherein the mask signal is disabled when the mask override signal is active regardless of whether the mask activation signal is enabled or disabled.

You've got to be kidding me. AMD patented a common interrupt mask circuit... in 1994? Apparently it isn't only with respect to software that the patent office is out of touch.

Patents and the monkeys typing Shakespear... (5, Insightful)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492583)

So Im reading yet another article on how some troll is ransoming out some more patents.. great.. meanwhile, a day or two ago I read the who's got the most patents for 2008 and numbers like.. IBM said it earned 4,186 U.S. patents in 2008, Microsoft Corp earned 2,030 patents, while Intel Corp had 1,776 and Hewlett-Packard 1,424. (from a Slashdot article)

Im thinkin the real weight of the patent system isnt even touched by major corps. Individual and small group/investment firm patent companys like Eolas looking for that ONE patent to go home on, by sheer numbers, probably dwarf the IBM and MS's of the world.. regardless..

By sheer brute force attack on common technology methods, conduits, hardware and the like they create a "monkeys typing Shakespear" effect, not with letters, but with common terms and principles.

At the rate the monkeys are being added, soon no one should be able to do anything without everyones approval.



Tada...

Re:Patents and the monkeys typing Shakespear... (3, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492977)

"Im thinkin the real weight of the patent system isnt even touched by major corps. Individual and small group/investment firm patent companys like Eolas looking for that ONE patent to go home on, by sheer numbers, probably dwarf the IBM and MS's of the world.. regardless.."

I really don't know, but it doesn't matter. The core of the bussines here is not having "that ONE patent" but having that one patent WITHOUT an industry backing it up. Big corps have used patents as deterrent weapons against their rivals for decades now but the problem here is not a little tech company with the "ONE patent": as long as they produce something, they are probably in violation of dozens of patents belonging to the very ones they want to license to, so they will be forced into a mutual agreement; if the case is between two big corps they have such a big patent arsenal that they again are forced to cooperate or face an assured mutual destruction scenario. But lawyer-based firms don't produce anything so they are immune to the usual patent counterattack which has made the patent system flaws more obvious.

Domestic Industry? (3, Informative)

UnrealisticWhample (972663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492615)

They don't even have an actual website. If you go to , all you'll find is an under construction message. Pretty much all you can find about them online is related to suing people. I miss the good ole days of the 1790's when Thomas Jefferson would deny a patent if the inventor couldn't demonstrate a working product.

Re:Domestic Industry? (1)

UnrealisticWhample (972663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492671)

Not sure why it cut the link out. It's http://www.saxoninnovations.com/ [saxoninnovations.com] . I probably used an = instead of the :

Re:Domestic Industry? (2, Funny)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26492695)

I think the lesson here is that the system was designed with some basic assumptions about the "anybody" who would be running it, but the Founding Fathers were not aware that The Enlightenment would be just a temporary aberration.

Re:Domestic Industry? (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493435)

These guys bought their patents from the inventors, who did have a working product.

If IP is treated as property, you need to protect the exchange and new ownership as well.

Re:Domestic Industry? (1)

UnrealisticWhample (972663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494341)

A number of the founders, Thomas Jefferson included, initially thought that patents were wrong and perhaps even unconstitutional but later came to see that allowing patents to be issued in limited circumstances was beneficial for the development of ideas. However, these patents needed to be restrictive enough so as to prevent the creation of monopolies and also to allow other inventors access, after a reasonable time, to those methods so that they could then continue the process of invention.

It is hard to see how allowing a a company to exist solely to acquire and then license the use of said patents. To do so circumvents the intention of patents by taking what would happen after the expiration of the patent, allowing other inventors to take a crack at the invention and improve upon it, and instead turns it into an odd sort of tightly controlled rental agreement.

One Guess Why Saxon is based in Tyler, TX (3, Informative)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493047)

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ding ding ding

I'm from Texas and I think every judge in that district should be removed.

Re:One Guess Why Saxon is based in Tyler, TX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26493643)

Why? The judges are following the law. The LAW needs to be changed. Congress and the President need to make changes to address the troll issue - the trolls are operating legally under the current patent laws.

Almost every patent plaintiff in the Eastern District asks for a JURY trial.
They know that a jury from Tyler, Texas, will have trouble understanding any technical fact issues. The plaintiff effectively removes those issues from the jury's consideration, as they can't understand them. The plaintiff is then free to rely on good ol' boy lawyerin' to win over the jury and win the case.

The reason people file in the Eastern District are the juries and the fast docket. Removing judges won't fix things.

Re:One Guess Why Saxon is based in Tyler, TX (2, Interesting)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494587)

I would really dearly love to see a lot of tech companies start refusing to ship products to east Texas, and start refusing to do distribution deals to stores there. Take every single useful gadget off their market with an industry boycott, and tell 'em that they can have their shiny gizmos back when they stop producing ludicrous patent decisions.

Saxon? (1)

Kam Solusar (974711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493111)

Saxon... handheld devices... Sounds like a masterplan. What are they going to do next? Shoot some satellites into orbit and start an earth-wide mobilephone satellite network?

Huh? Do you hear that sound? Kinda sounds like drums!?

You should be cheering this. Really. (2, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493125)

You worked out yet why your economy is in the crapper?

Imports. And outsourcing all your manufacturing to China.

If you *really* wanna find why econ is in crapper (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493527)

... you should try to work out why all that manufacturing went overseas in the first place.

Cheers,

Re:If you *really* wanna find why econ is in crapp (1)

int69h (60728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493753)

Because Americans won't work for 3 pieces of rice / day, and require that their employers don't needlessly endanger them?

Re:If you *really* wanna find why econ is in crapp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26493977)

Right, it must be someone else's fault that the USA is in the crapper. Couldn't be all the greedy, lazy, whiners making life difficult for honest people, could it?

Re:If you *really* wanna find why econ is in crapp (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494013)

Because Americans won't work for 3 pieces of rice / day, and require that their employers don't needlessly endanger them?

How many Slashdot users would ever make shoes or plastic toys?

Re:If you *really* wanna find why econ is in crapp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26494181)

Because
1) Its cheaper, and going wrong risks are lower too.
2) No patent IP or lawyer bullshit
3) No safety bullshit *Toxic Toys" dodgy electrics
4) Bush sold you lot out
5) USA Manufacturing skills have been lost
6) USA Auto is in the crosshairs

The real answer also belongs to marketeering -
How much for 500,000 processors..(Simple question)
Salesman: Where are you calling from?

Basically cost is figured out on what they think you can afford, based of geographic territories.

Cases like these will ensure nothing 'new' containing 'new' features will not be made in USA.

Re:You should be cheering this. Really. (1)

Ztream (584474) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495149)

Talk about selective memory. Did you miss the global financial crisis? Everybody elses economy is in the crapper too. Including China.

I think I speak for quite a few when I say (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26493233)

"Wankers."

Quickest solution (3, Interesting)

yabba-dabba-do (948536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494217)

Is for RIM to disable Obama's phone. "Sorry, when the patent mess is cleaned up, we'll turn it back on."

Buying stuff is the new innovation (1)

naich (781425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494675)

"Saxon Innovations... purchased about 180 US patents formerly owned by Advanced Micro Devices or Legerity in 2007"

Not a massive amount of innovation going on there really, is there?

prior art (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494939)

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.

late 1990's, maybe early 1990's, maybe ongoing

Each CPU had mailboxes in the north bridge chip.

Re:prior art (3, Insightful)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495807)

I can do much better than that. Honeywell Level 66 mainframes had mailboxes in their CPUs to talk to the I/O processors. This dates back to at least 1975, when I first encountered them. Probably true for Multics mainframes from the '60s too.

USA is doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495719)

All this crap and then Olmert telling Bush what to do. The tail really does wag the dog.

When will it end.... (2, Insightful)

Llian (615902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495793)

I wonder what else the US citizenry will allow to screw them over. I mean in economic times like these STILL allowing the big boys to LESSEN competition? WTG!!

Drill --> Nose --> Power On --> Push upwards
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