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Google Faces Off Against Intellectual Ventures In Landmark Patent Trial

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the clash-of-the-titans dept.

Google 53

enharmonix writes "Although Google initially invested in Intellectual Ventures, a patent holding firm, the two have since parted ways and are about to face off in court over some technologies used in Motorola (and other) phones. This is an important battle and the timing is significant given Congress's recent interest in patent reform. 'Two of the patents in the upcoming Motorola trial cover inventions by Richard Reisman, U.S. government records show. Through his company, Teleshuttle, Reisman has developed several patent portfolios for various technologies, including an online update service, according to the Teleshuttle website. IV claims that the two Reisman patents cover several of Motorola's older-generation cellphones that have Google Play, a platform for Android smartphone apps. Motorola argues that IV's patents should never have been issued because the inventions were known in the field already."

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use POT (Personal Open Terminal) to avoid liesense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029271)

cobbed from the ground (recycled) up no man's land all are welcome... free the innocent stem cells be good sports & good spirits.. blog as though the moms are watching {;^)--)-/

mynuts won!@#? spelling errors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029451)

never a better time... to recall our new clear options as we go about our tasks

I hope google loses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029335)

if the anti-competitive NSA google loses this is a win for all of humanity

Re:I hope google loses (4, Insightful)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | about 9 months ago | (#46029719)

Hmm, that's a bad idea, even if you hate Google. A win for IV in this case means that the horrible status quo of patent trolls can continue with a vengeance. As stated in TFA, a win could convince law makers to support IV in the latest round of IP revisals, and lead to even worse patent trolling.
And don't forget IV is owned by the even more anti-competitive Apple & Microsoft.

Re:I hope google loses (2)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46031011)

No, IV is not owned by Apple and/or Microsoft, although there are plenty of Apple and MS alumni working there. Microsoft gazillionaire Nathan Myrvold is the primary founder, his original goal was to make sure that IP that was not being used could be shopped around and licensed to ensure that whatever technology it promoted would be used. Company has morphed a bit since then, of course.

Re:I hope google loses (2)

speedplane (552872) | about 9 months ago | (#46032049)

These patent wars are all just a big circle jerk. Google first invests in IV, now they fight with them. Nest, a company that Google just bought for $3B, recently bought a bunch of patents from IV, which Google is now the beneficiary of. Google also bought Motorola, largely due to its patent portfolio that it could use in retaliation from other patent lawsuits. This is not a moral war with good guys and bad guys, it's just a large cluster-f#@% among corporate tech titans.

Bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46034383)

Bother - insists both sides are the same no matter what evidence is presented. See also Truther, Birther.

Re:I hope google loses (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#46036289)

And don't forget IV is owned by the even more anti-competitive Apple & Microsoft.

You're fabricating facts to suit your narrative. From wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , here's the ownership breakdown:
- 40% Nathan Myhrvold
- 20% Peter Detkin
- 20% Gregory Gorder
- 20% Edward Jung

Gorder and Detkin are lawyers (Detkin worked for Intel before co-founding IV). The only tie either Apple or Microsoft has to IV (aside from being sued by them or licensing rights to patents from them), is that Myhrvold and Jung are both former Microsoft employees. Neither company has an ownership stake in IV.

Re:I hope google loses (1)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | about 9 months ago | (#46037847)

You're fabricating facts to suit your narrative.

Really? Because from TFA:

Microsoft and Apple were both early investors in Intellectual Ventures.

While they might not be "owners" now, but they are investors & profit from IV.

Re:I hope google loses (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#46038939)

While they might not be "owners" now, [...]

They never were owners, with or without scare quotes, any more than Google (who also invested in IV) was or is. In fact, if you look into it, what you'll find [patentlyo.com] is that Apple, Google, Microsoft, and a whole host of other companies made investments in IV in exchange for licensing agreements for IV's patents (i.e. to keep the patent troll away). That hasn't stopped IV or its subsidiaries from suing all three of them at different points in time for patents that weren't licensed, however, so any suggestion that Apple and Microsoft are behind IV's actions against Google here seems misguided, at best.

Re:I hope google loses (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029721)

As opposed to the anti-competitive patent troll that is Intellectual Ventures? IV is known for overly broad patents, targeting people who can't afford to fight, and stifling innovation. I mean sure IV isn't Prenda Law in that at least they *try* to pretend to make things, but that's no reason to root against Google who are terrible in their own right.

Re:I hope google loses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46030093)

Who are you?

Re:I hope google loses (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#46031597)

If google lose, they'll go after every other manufacturer of smart phones with some resemblance of an update system.

Re:I hope google loses (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#46032541)

Care to point out a case where Google has actively used patents to sue a competitor without being sued first? Please don't include Motorola suits from before they were purchased.

Re:I hope google loses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46032635)

if google lose IV will go after every android phone.

Not google. Why would google attack android? Ever?

Re:I hope google loses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46035359)

Shut up, Ballmer. Go shill somewhere else.

Never pick a fight with people who (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029339)

1. Buy ink by the barrel

-or-

2. Maintain the search engine

*settles back with popcorn*

Re:Never pick a fight with people who (3)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 9 months ago | (#46029577)

1. Buy ink by the barrel

-or-

2. Maintain the search engine

*settles back with popcorn*

-or-

3. Have more money to throw at lawyers on a whim than the GDP of small countries...

Re:Never pick a fight with people who (2)

http (589131) | about 9 months ago | (#46029893)

Where is the "+1, Sad" moderation when you need it?

Re:Never pick a fight with people who (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 9 months ago | (#46030027)

It's queued behind the "+1 Scary" and the "+1 Biting sarcasm" (itself a compound of Funny, Scary, Informative and Insightful)

Patent Troll (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 9 months ago | (#46029395)

Which company holds the patent for being a patent troll?

Re:Patent Troll (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46029427)

Re:Patent Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029475)

Well you can count, but you're not quite clear on the concept of a patent troll.

Re:Patent Troll (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 9 months ago | (#46029683)

Well you can count, but you're not quite clear on the concept of a patent troll.

Not all Trolls are NPEs, you know. Sometimes even a big player in the industry "trolls a bit" on the side (see: Microsoft's Android patents).

Re:Patent Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029671)

Apple

Re:Patent Troll (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 9 months ago | (#46030067)

Apple only holds a patent on patent trolls with rounded corners.

Re:Patent Troll (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 9 months ago | (#46030063)

> Which company holds the patent for being a patent troll?

Intellectual Vultures.


Also, please do not use the offensive term 'patent troll'. Instead use the more neutral and less offensive term PTE (for 'patent trolling entity'). Thank you.

Google = monopoly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029635)

They need to be beat back... NOW!

Re:Google = monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029751)

Oh Nathan Myhrvold is that you spreading FUD again? We get it, you know how to turn on a computer and you used to be cool once. You're not cool anymore since you turned into a predatory dick.

monopoly on what? mobile? search? dictionary.com (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 9 months ago | (#46030033)

What do you think Google has a monopoly on? Mobile operating systems? Apple will be surprised to find out that iPhone doesn't exist. About a dozen other companies will also be surprised to learn their phones don't exist.

Perhaps you're saying Google has a monopoly on search? Microsoft's Bing division will be sad to hear that they don't exist.

Oh, I know. You mean Google+, that's a monopoly on social networking, right? There's no such thing as Facebook, right? Does Google make the only smart TV? The only VoIP service? The only webmail service? In most of the markets Google competes in, there are several credible competitors and Google has less than 50% market share. That makes them the exact OPPOSITE of a monopoly.

Perhaps you just had no idea what the word "monopoly" means.

Re:monopoly on what? mobile? search? dictionary.co (4, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 9 months ago | (#46030157)

Perhaps you're saying Google has a monopoly on search? Microsoft's Bing division will be sad to hear that they don't exist.

You mean Bing does exist? I'll have to google it to verify.

Re:monopoly on what? mobile? search? dictionary.co (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46032441)

"In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

"Google Still Holds 74% Majority Share of Search Engine Usage"
First hit from https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

Engaging in monopolistic practices doesn't require 100% market control.

I personally don't think Google engages in evil monopolistic practices, but they certainly have enough market share to do so. And while they have made some mistakes, I think that, as a company, they generally try to do the right thing.

Create a monster... (3, Insightful)

nobuddy (952985) | about 9 months ago | (#46029661)

Google created a monster in their patent troll office, and now that monster is chewing on their door.

Irony? maybe....

clueless. 1st Google patent suit was 2013 (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 9 months ago | (#46030097)

I'll never understand the appeal of completely making stuff up, just pulling something out of your butt, then believing it.

Google a patent troll? You realize Google's basic policy is that they never sue over patents. They eventually filed one case last year. Google has been strongly fighting against patent overreach since AT LEAST 2006. Before that also, but 2006 was the first thing that came up in five second search.

Why do you think they made Google Patents? Their whole goal has been to make the patent system more transparent and fair.

Re:clueless. 1st Google patent suit was 2013 (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 9 months ago | (#46030561)

Say, sir, did you hear that WHOOSHing sound overhead? Could it perchance be that GP was a semi-funny allusion to the fact that Google initially invested in IV, as mentioned in the first sentence of the summary?

Re:Create a monster... (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 9 months ago | (#46030501)

Ooh, that terminology is soo 20th century. Google doesn't have offices, Google has labs. Ergo: "Google created a monster in their patent troll lab." Doesn't that sound much better?

Intellectual Ventures (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46029937)

The people behind it have never done anything intellectual in their lives.

Re: Intellectual Vultures (3, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | about 9 months ago | (#46030079)

Sir, it is Intellectual Vultures. Not Intellectual Ventures. :-)

Re: Intellectual Vultures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46030499)

I'm trying to make up my mind about IV. A good friend of mine and many people I have recently met work for an IV spinoff that's doing some really neat stuff. On one hand I respect my friend's opinion. On the other I have literally never heard anything positive about them. Thoughts?

Re: Intellectual Vultures (2)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46031133)

The IV labs are incredibly cool. Imagine walking into a 5+star restaurant kitchen that is also equipped with a metal lathe, a vacuum chamber, a 400 liter tank of liquid nitrogen, an electron microscope, and a terawatt laser that can automatically target female mosquitoes. So yeah, they do some really neat stuff.

Re: Intellectual Vultures (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46033315)

Modded 0? Really? Just because I don't hate on IV? Good grief.

Re: Intellectual Vultures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46033555)

No one cares what you post

Massively useless article (3, Interesting)

Max Hyre (1974) | about 9 months ago | (#46029955)

I read TFA, and nowhere does it mention the subjects of the patents in question. What are they claiming? What's the prior art? Without that info this is just a “The trolls are coming! The trolls are coming!” piece of hysteria. Anyone know what it's about? I'm certainly not going to try to figure it out from the patents themselves. My sanity's worth more than that.

Re:Massively useless article (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about 9 months ago | (#46030119)

You are making the mistake of asking for substance. Patent Trolls do not necessarily bring any substance. A lawsuit, at least the initial complaint can be very substance free. These trolls get used to filing substance free filings with the USPTO. They expect the courts to have a similar approval process for lawsuits as the USPTO has for patents. (That is, the USPTO throws patent applications into a large room full of cats with stamps attached to their feet that say "PATENT GRANTED".)

The complain might just say blah blah Google infringes our valuable patents on ${something}, and not give any actual substance other than a patent number. Maybe not even that. The complaint could be defective and Intellectual Vultures plans to amend their complaint if Google calls them on this defect.

Re:Massively useless article (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 9 months ago | (#46030563)

Speaking of things which lack substance, your post is a prime offender. You make claims without support, which in this case turn out to be false as I was able to do some quick searching and found some the patents in question: # 6,557,054 [uspto.gov] and # 6,658,464 [uspto.gov] . I was also able to locate the actual document filed with the court [archive.org] that lists the other four patents.

You're certainly entitled to your own opinions about the patent system, and while I'm sure I probably would agree with you on several points, your post is nothing more than a lazy attempt at preaching to the crowd that is wrought with inaccuracies or outright falsehoods. The OP is right that the linked article isn't very good and leaves out a lot of important information that would be useful to readers. It didn't take more than 10 minutes to dig up this information, so I question why the author of the actual article couldn't be bothered to find out this information.

Personally I doubt that these will hold up. I haven't specifically gone over all of the claims, but the abstracts make it appear as though there's likely prior art. One of the patents in question [uspto.gov] seems like little more than a description of a screen.

Re: Massively useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46031123)

If the U.S. really wanted innovation we woulddrag some of these lawyers out back and... ...and the prevent companies fro writing their own laws. It is good first step anyway.

Re:Massively useless article (1)

speedplane (552872) | about 9 months ago | (#46032083)

I dunno, this sounds like more than just a description of a screen:

1. An illumination device, comprising:
a light source, comprising an array of a plurality of light emitting devices;
an illumination uniformizing means disposed in front of the light source to uniformize a light emitted from the light source, the illumination uniformizing means comprising:
an incident plane, the light emitted from the light emitting device array is incident therefrom;
a bottom plane, comprising a scattering pattern thereon;
a projection plane opposite to the bottom plane, wherein:
the light incident from the incident plane being scattered by the scattering pattern, while the light incident from the incident plane being totally reflected between positions of the bottom plane other than the scattering pattern and the projection plane; and
a reflective side plane opposite to the incident plane, wherein the scattering pattern is gradually condensed from the incident plane towards the reflective side plane; and
a polarization converter, disposed between the illumination uniformizing means and a light valve, to polarize the light from the illumination uniformizing means into a polarized light.

Re:Massively useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46032679)

Thats a fancy way of saying: "Diffuse a light source; and point it at the back of our LCD screen Polarised"

The whole thing is a patent on "using something other than a halogen lamp to light up an LCD screen".

It's a fucking joke.

Also from the patent:
To achieve the above-mentioned objects and advantages, an illumination device and an image projection apparatus using the illumination device are provided. The illumination device comprises at least a light emitting device. A light emitted from the light emitting device is uniformized by a uniformizing means. The light source includes an LED. Being uniformized by the uniformizing means, the light projects on a light valve such as a liquid crystal display to display an image. In the invention, various types of illumination uniformizing means can be employed and are introduced in the section of the detailed description of the preferred embodiments. By the illumination uniformizing means, an incident light can be re-distributed or converted into a way of back light panel to achieve the objective of being uniform.

In addition, most of the light valves can only receive a single type of polarization light. The illumination device thus further comprises a polarization converter to convert a light into a useful polarization type of light. Therefore, the efficiency of the light source is enhanced.

Re:Massively useless article (4, Informative)

elwinc (663074) | about 9 months ago | (#46030129)

A more useful article [fosspatents.com] that lists the patent numbers and claims in dispute.

Re:Massively useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46030343)

Holy shit. Every single one of those patents are prime examples of patents that do not pass any sane obviousness test. There is no benefit to society (ie. advancing the state of the art) when patents are granted for things that can be made without ever looking at the patent. The whole argument that "everything is obvious in hindsight" is also bogus since the vast majority of these patents are so incrementally evolutionary that the 'invention' is self evident to just about anyone working in the field. Just because one company gets down to the USPTO first is no excuse to grant the patent.

That is what the 'obviousness' clause is all about. But, lately this clause seems to have been watered down to the point that it is now almost synonymous with 'prior art'. For a fair and useful patent system, patents must NEVER be granted for things that would have otherwise been parallel invented by multiple parties in short order. The claims must be very specific. And the duration of the patent should be adjusted relative to the relative merit of the patent's claims, the industry the patent applies to, and how many other companies file for similar applications during the 'non-disclosure' period.

Re:Massively useless article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46032699)

yep; I've read 3 of the patents so far and have literally no idea how they were granted.

The screen one is particuarly amazing.

It describes a screen that uses a not-hot, energy efficient light source.
The "invention" solves the problem of screens that are too hot and not energy efficient enough! IE. Works exactly the same way as any other screen, but with a different light source.

I'm not even an optical/LCD engineer, and even I would have come up with this solution.

"Hmmm. My screen isn't very good for portable applications because the light source is too hot and energy hungry! I am at a complete loss of what to do! I guess in the mean time I will go and play with my energy and heat efficient lights while waiting for someone else to figure it out."

Re:Massively useless article (3, Insightful)

StormReaver (59959) | about 9 months ago | (#46032865)

A more useful article that lists the patent numbers and claims in dispute.

You linked to a site which specializes in fictional writing. It's like quoting Star Trek as an authority on real faster than light travel. Think of fosspatents as a site that recommends reversing the polarity on the deflector dish to fix legal problems.

get while the gettin's good (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 9 months ago | (#46029987)

Congress' changes are-a coming.
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