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Owner of Nortel Patents Sues Cisco For 'Immense' Patent Infringement

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the patent-troll-dreams-big dept.

Businesses 83

jfruh (300774) writes "The venerable Nortel Networks may have vanished into bankruptcy five years ago, but thanks to U.S. patent law, it can strike back at its old rival Cisco from beyond the grave. Spherix, a Virginia-based 'research company' that bought Nortel's patents in 2009, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Cisco has been knowingly violating 11 Nortel patents. 'The vast majority of Cisco's switching and routing revenue from March 2008 until the present is and has been generated by products and services implementing technology that infringes the Asserted Patents,' the lawsuit claims."

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Canadian company goes bankrupt (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587537)

americans acquire it, now its being used for evil instead of progress

go america

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (0)

bob_super (3391281) | about 6 months ago | (#46587681)

After deciding to stop building stuff unless it's designed to blow someone up, you too would have to find alternate resource streams to buy junk from China.

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587693)

Wait, so in Canada Cisco is a good non-abusive company concert not with profit but with progress?

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (3, Interesting)

maliqua (1316471) | about 6 months ago | (#46587709)

at least cisco is a company that does something, delivers products and or services...

the part of capitalism that we can all agree is necessary

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587725)

americans acquire it, now its being used for evil instead of progress

go america

So, what's "progress"?

Giving more and more power to an overweening government that's going to abuse it?

Do you mean "progress" as practiced by today's leftists? Reactionary statism that attracts low-information voters with buzzwords and sound bites like "hopenchange", "minimum wage" (Hey, why don't you advocate making minimum wage $100 an hour? Then we'd all be millionaires!) and imaginary "warz on wimmenzes", with massive cries of "RAAACIST" and "SEXIST!!!!", all to go along with stale and failed policies?

How's that Obamacare working for you? Keep your doctor? Nope. Keep your insurance? Not. Cheaper? BAAA HAA HAA

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (4, Interesting)

AaronLS (1804210) | about 6 months ago | (#46588087)

Right-ism that "attracts low-information voters with buzzwords and sounds bites like" socialism and "destroying America".

Still have my same insurance BTW.

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590247)

Hi RG! You can come out of the closet now...

Republicans should have called, raised to $100/hou (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46590321)

I think it would have been really interesting to see what happened if the republicans had responded:

Sounds great. Let's do even better - let's set minimum wage at $100 / hour.

Then let OBAMA explain why that would result in almost everyone losing their jobs, why higher minimum wage means fewer jobs.

Re:Republicans should have called, raised to $100/ (1)

kqs (1038910) | about 6 months ago | (#46597855)

Good point. Just like that corrupt mechanic said that my car was low on oil, but he sure changed his tune when I told him to prove it by putting 10 gallons of oil in! You and me are GENIUSES!

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587751)

'Murikaaaaaa! Fuck yeah!! Suck it Eurotrash!!

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587875)

sometimes when you generalize about an entire country you feel bad and then after reading the comments you realize that they aren't all bad.

today this did not happen
its hard to speak well of america when this is expected response

and for the record i am Canadian not European. you don't have to go nearly as far as Europe to be surrounded by people that hate the united states

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46588031)

You do realize that person was trolling you, right? Maybe you'd realize it if not for your snotty, condescending attitude?

Re:Canadian company goes bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46596901)

How do you tell the difference between a Troll and an American?

With a heading like that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587567)

You'd forgive me for thinking it was Rockstar suing Cisco, which would be humorous as all hell.

Re:With a heading like that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587679)

Right? That's what I thought at first. Apparently, Rockstar bought Nortel's patents in 2011. These other guys seem to have bought Nortel's patents in 2009. I guess there was more than one patent pool that was sold - so we have no real idea who has which ones...

Re:With a heading like that... (1)

kellymcdonald78 (2654789) | about 6 months ago | (#46587785)

Spherix aquired some of the patents from Rockstar last year

Re:With a heading like that... (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46587893)

Spherix aquired some of the patents from Rockstar last year

And then they did 'research' - "Let's go through these things and see if we can sue any really big companies for biggie whopper zorkmids!"

Thank you USPTO Lottery!

Re:With a heading like that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46589979)

And then they did 'research' - "Let's go through these things and see if we can sue any really big companies for biggie whopper zorkmids!"

Some of these patents are from 2003 (granted in 2008), it might be possible for Cisco to claim that since they haven't been actively defended that they are, by definition, invalid.

Re:With a heading like that... (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46590067)

How does that work? It's the first I've heard of such a thing.

Trademarks certainly need to be defended. But not patents as far as I know. Of course the law is full of ah-but bullshit hidden in the corners.

Re:With a heading like that... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#46590219)

The equitable defense of laches [wikipedia.org] applies to patent and copyright infringement.

Re:With a heading like that... (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46590357)

Not just for keeping doors closed then.

Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587595)

Go go gadget Patent Trolls..

redefining Research (5, Interesting)

maliqua (1316471) | about 6 months ago | (#46587655)

a Virginia-based 'research company'

"ABOUT SPHERIX Spherix is committed to advancing innovation by active participation in all areas of the patent market" -http://spherix.com/

That sure doesn't sound like they're even pretending to be a research company they're patent trolls plain as day says it right on the first page of the site

Re:redefining Research (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46587889)

That sure doesn't sound like they're even pretending to be a research company they're patent trolls plain as day says it right on the first page of the site

Don't be silly - the patent system only promotes the progress of science and the useful arts. It says so right in the Constitution. Government-granted monopolies are good for the economy.

Re:redefining Research (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 6 months ago | (#46588433)

So Nortel was not advancing the sciences and useful arts?

Re:redefining Research (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46588689)

So Nortel was not advancing the sciences and useful arts?

hey, that's the USPTO's job! Nortel couldn't have done it without them.

Re:redefining Research (5, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46587923)

Sure they are. They research who they can sue, then sue them.

Re:redefining Research (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 6 months ago | (#46587939)

touche i never looked at it that way

Re:redefining Research (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46588885)

touche i never looked at it that way

It's a play right out of the SCO book.

Re:redefining Research (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#46587981)

Why are people allowed to buy and sell patents in the first place? And as far as a company goes, a patent is an agreement between the company and the government. If the company ceases to be, then the patents should be terminated and the inventions released into the public domain.

It's basically legal property. (4, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | about 6 months ago | (#46588333)

Once you accept the notion of patents in the first place (as a temporary monopoly on something in return for disclosing it instead of keeping it secret), it's a very small jump to buying and selling them. If an independent inventor comes up with an idea but doesn't have the capital to bring it to market, they can sell the patent to a bigger company.

This is fine in and of itself. Even patent trolls would be fine if the patents they were holding were actually valid and the companies they were suing had in fact copied the idea from the published patent.

The problems are twofold:
1) If someone else comes up with the same idea totally independently, it should invalidate the patent as too obvious.
2) Patents have been granted for things that should never have received them. In particular people have been allowed to patent *concepts* rather than *specific ways to implement a concept*.

Re:It's basically legal property. (4, Interesting)

geoskd (321194) | about 6 months ago | (#46588549)

Once you accept the notion of patents in the first place (as a temporary monopoly on something in return for disclosing it instead of keeping it secret), it's a very small jump to buying and selling them. If an independent inventor comes up with an idea but doesn't have the capital to bring it to market, they can sell the patent to a bigger company.

That right there is the problem. Ideas themselves are essentially worthless without the many thousands of hours of work involved in taking an idea to market. The real work is done by the people who develop the product. the idea itself has always been considered pretty much worthless. That is why venture capitalists care far less about the idea than they do about the inventor(s). They want people who get things done. The idea itself is almost irrelevant.

That is the real reason why so many people hate the patent system. It unjustly enriches the worthless turds who produce nothing of value, but insist on being paid for their "contribution".

Along those lines, Patents (and copyright) should be irrevocably granted to individuals, and transfer should be forbidden. If an individual wishes to make money from a product, let them do the real work involved in bringing that product to society.

Re:It's basically legal property. (1)

wasteoid (1897370) | about 6 months ago | (#46589879)

for years i thought i had invented the blt sandwich. i even told women that. then i later found out the blt was invented in 1903.

Re:It's basically legal property. (1)

kqs (1038910) | about 6 months ago | (#46597905)

3). A patent should have a far shorter term. 6 year patents on technology would usually give the inventor a good chance to capitalize on his invention. We can quibble on the length but shorter terms would solve most of these issues.

Re:redefining Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46588345)

Why are people allowed to buy and sell patents in the first place? And as far as a company goes, a patent is an agreement between the company and the government. If the company ceases to be, then the patents should be terminated and the inventions released into the public domain.

All that would happen using your rules, is the patent trolls would "merge" their company with the company that owns the patents, instead of just buying the patents outright. Your idea is kind of dumb to begin with. For instance, when Google purchased Motorola, should everything Motorola ever invented suddenly become public domain?

Re:redefining Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46588533)

For instance, when Google purchased Motorola, should everything Motorola ever invented suddenly become public domain?

Yes.

Re: redefining Research (1)

biojayc (856286) | about 6 months ago | (#46589301)

Why?

Re: redefining Research (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#46589797)

Because it defeats the purpose of the patent. Google didn't invent anything, so why should they get monopoly protection as if they did? It might be a different story if they hired Motorola's R&D department.

Re:redefining Research (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 6 months ago | (#46589901)

Yes, it's time we stopped treating intellectual property like real estate. Instead, let's make IT an inalienable right, like free speech, of the actual creator of work. No more selling off IP to faceless "rights holders" - if you want to exploit a patent, you have to maintain a contractual relationship with the creator.

From the Article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46588525)

It purchased the Nortel patents from the Rockstar Consortium, which had acquired a large collection of patents for US$4.5 billion after Nortel went bankrupt in 2009.

Some questions:

Q. How did SPHERIX afford to pay for the patents?

A. Spherix Incorporated, a company originally founded by Gilbert Levin, has acquired four families of mobile communication patents from the Rockstar Consortium in exchange for initial consideration of up-front cash and Spherix common stock.[6] Rockstar will also receive a percentage of future profits from Spherix after recovery of patent monetization costs and an initial priority return on investment to Spherix.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockstar_Consortium

Q. Haven't I heard of Rockstar before?

A. Members of the consortium are Apple, Inc., BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockstar_Consortium

Q. So this is a shakedown?

A. Youbetyourass!

VERY informative. Apple, Microsoft actually suing (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46590291)

I wish I had mod points. Since Microsoft and friends own Rockstar, and Rockstar owns Spherix, really it's Apple, Microsoft, etc. patent trolling via two shell companies.

Re:redefining Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590119)

That sure doesn't sound like they're even pretending to be a research company they're patent trolls plain as day says it right on the first page of the site
HEY! That's just not true! They *have* done a lot of research into being a new, more greedy patent troll. It seems like they have come up with a few legal maneuvers that no other patent troll has done before (they will be filing a patent on their new troll techniques). So there ya go. They still aren't contributing to society or to human knowledge, they are just greedy rat bastards who are intent on filling their pockets with other peoples money while doing nothing for it. They are like low-brow unelected politicians. Given the (rightful and justified) beatings patent trolls have got in the last few years, I give their odds at 2:5. They likely realise these odds too, but if they are successful, then riches for nothin' baby. The American dream. Some schmuck engineer works for 30 years toiling to make the company more bucks than she will ever see, and the company offers a small pension and a bonus of $1000 for any million dollar patent idea (company keeps all rights), and then these lawyers come along, buy paper claiming all, and then whiney kids on /. complain about patent trolls being a drain on society.. (oh wait, that would be me).

Good (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46587687)

Proof that patent chests don't work. If some non-practicing entity acquires the patents, your war chest doesn't help. What is Cisco going to do, sue Nortel for infringement (since there is apparently no formal cross-licensing agreement), and try to get those debts applied to the current patent holders, to cancel out their suit?

This is a good thing, as it will help prove the downfall of the current patent system. When you can get the big patent holders scared of other patent holders, we can get some progress in trimming the power of the vague and obvious patent.

Re:Good (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 6 months ago | (#46587831)

This is a good thing, as it will help prove the downfall of the current patent system. When you can get the big patent holders scared of other patent holders, we can get some progress in trimming the power of the vague and obvious patent.

Who says Cisco is scared? Also this same line has been trotted out for going on a decade every time a big company is sued over patents and yet it has lead to jack and shit.

Re:Good (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46588133)

That's because the big companies almost always win. When one of these gets to where the big company loses, and people start buying up failing little companies for the sole purpose of suing the big guys, it will cause a rapid and massive change.

Re: Good (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 6 months ago | (#46588697)

Except for three lawyers. They all go home with big fat paychecks.

Re:Good (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46588043)

Having been in a somewhat similar boat in the past (I was in a contract with a company that went bankrupt) No... the company that purchased the assets of that company (i.e. people that owed it money etc...) does not purchase that same companies liabilities. In fact, due to the bankruptcy those liabilities basically vanish for all intents and purposes. So now you have a company you owe money to or are liable to and you have no recourse if the services or products provided were faulty or caused you damage.

Lucky for me I was young, poor, and in college, told the do go F#@$ themselves, and took the hit to my credit with pride.

Re:Good (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46588125)

I've seen it happen where "someone" ended up with the "leftover" credits and liabilities. It doesn't always go one way or the other. But it's structured so that you can't restructure yourself out of past liabilities (a car company can't dodge an impending lawsuit by declaring bankruptcy), so sometimes the new owners do get unknown and undisclosed liabilities.

And if you note my wording, I didn't indicate Cisco could get the liability assigned to the new company, but that they could try. How successful that is would be a question for better lawyers than me (as I'm not one).

But if it's easy for a NPE to buy patents and sue with them, then I expect theses cases will be on the rise, and the practicing entities will try to get some change in the system to fight such behavior.

Re:Good (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#46588423)

This is a good thing, as it will help prove the downfall of the current patent system. When you can get the big patent holders scared of other patent holders, we can get some progress in trimming the power of the vague and obvious patent.

Except that's just not how large companies behave. Rather than having the mindset of, "we got hurt by game, the game sucks, let's get rid of the game or change it," it's more like, "we got hurt by the game, we need to play harder!" We it time and time again.

Re:Good (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46590261)

Proof that patent chests don't work.

No it isn't.

What is Cisco going to do, sue Nortel for infringement (since there is apparently no formal cross-licensing agreement), and try to get those debts applied to the current patent holders, to cancel out their suit?

Perhaps they will try to sue Nortel for infringement of their patents, and reduce them to a smoking hole in the ground before they can actually collect anything from Cisco. That sort of thing has happened before.

Re:Good (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46590419)

Perhaps they will try to sue Nortel for infringement of their patents, and reduce them to a smoking hole in the ground before they can actually collect anything from Cisco.

Someone else already pointed out that the party after the bankruptcy that ended up buying the patents, is unlikely to have liability for the infringements, so that tactic probably won't work. And it's possible that the bankruptcy discharge will have eliminated all previous liability, and if Nortel was infringing Cisco, Cisco lost on the ability to sue when they didn't list as a creditor for the bankruptcy.

Am I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587745)

Am I suppose to feel sorry for Cisco?

If the accusation is true then Cisco should have licensed the patents from Nortel or Rockstar prior to the 2009 acquisition by Spherix.

I assume I'm suppose to go "oh noes... a patent troll!" but that would mean letting Cisco off the hook.

It's still a valid patent.

Re:Am I suppose... (1)

jandrese (485) | about 6 months ago | (#46587847)

I have no love lost for Cisco, but this is a bullshit patent and a prime example of the biggest problem with the current patent system.

Re:Am I suppose... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46587987)

Why is it a BS patent?

Re:Am I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46589515)

because it's a patent

Re:Am I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590101)

>Why is it a BS patent?

There are reasons to believe they are BS. At the time of the sell-off, most big tech companies took a look at the patents and walked away. This suggests that there wasn't much of substance in there.

Microsoft and Apple DID buy these patents (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46590341)

That's sound reasoning, but you got the facts backwards. Rockstar aka Spherix is Microsoft, Apple, and a few other companies. The big tech companies looked at the patents and BOUGHT THEM through their patent-trolling joint venture, Rockstar.

Re:Am I suppose... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46590275)

Because the owners aren't the creators. Besides, the whole system is BS, as many inventors have been out-lawyered and lost everything. It's time to throw the whole thing out and start fresh. Yes, the WHOLE thing!

Re:Am I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590453)

It's being worked on as part of the Trans Pacific Partnership, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership_intellectual_property_provisions#Article_8:_Patents

Re:Am I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46588085)

Don't you mean a bull shit 11 patents?

Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (2)

Are You Kidding (1734126) | about 6 months ago | (#46587763)

yet most of us would be hard pressed to remember a case in which it was successfully asserted. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laches_%28equity%29) Are we to believe that it took Spherix five years to check whether the world's largest manufacturer of network products was violating their patents? Assuming that Cisco is in fact infringing those Nortel patents, justice in this case would be served if they got an award based no more than six months worth of Cisco's sales of the products cited by Spherix.

Re:Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46588371)

It''s not like they're going to walk into a courtroom with a grey Meridian phone and say "we own this, now pay up". They have to prove it.

Given the size of the patent portfolios of both companies, the breadth of products produced by Cisco and the complexity of the products in question, I can see how it could take quite a while to digest all that information as well as integrate existing patent law, case law and so on to figure out what was infringing, how much, and which would produce the most likely successful outcome for Spherix.

I would imagine it would take an entire team of people (Cisco experts, hardware experts, software experts, lawyers) to do this. Hell, they may even have to buy the Cisco equipment in question to actually implement it as part of their discovery. This could easily take years depending on how the people were applied to the project.

Re:Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46588377)

This set of patent trolls just acquired the patents from another set of patent trolls last year. Probably the earlier trolls were frightened of Cisco's mountains of cash and herds of lawyers.

I'm torn in this case. I dislike patent trolls and loathe their entire business model, but at the same time I view Cisco with the same disgust I normally reserve for bot fly larvae and candiru fish. Not sure who I want to win this one.

Re:Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 6 months ago | (#46588461)

I'm torn in this case. I dislike patent trolls and loathe their entire business model, but at the same time I view Cisco with the same disgust I normally reserve for bot fly larvae and candiru fish. Not sure who I want to win this one.

Right, because the winner of the case should have absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the case, and should be based solely on the names of the companies involved.

Re:Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46588673)

Don't know about you, but I am not competent to judge the "merits of the case" (and to be truthful, neither are most judges). I just know that both companies are loathsome pus-filled boils on the face of the IT industry.

Re:Most Slasdot readers know about laches... (1)

rk (6314) | about 6 months ago | (#46588679)

If he's the judge, this would be a problem. Since (making a fairly safe assumption) he's not, there's nothing wrong with rooting for/against someone in a case for extralegal reasons.

Double Tap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46587919)

Nortel needed a Double Tap, ALA Zombieland!

Mixed feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46588261)

Without delving into the specifics of the patents, I have mixed feelings about patent litigation...

Spherix paid for the all rights to these patents. In theory, this money went back to Nortel creditors (and maybe people who had expected to draw a Nortel pension). If they paid fair market value for legitimate patents, why shouldn't they be able to enforce them.

NPEs are like terrorists (1)

mike449 (238450) | about 6 months ago | (#46588365)

Patent sales like this one should be forbidden. Nortel was a practicing entity that used patents defensively as a Mutually Assured Destruction weapon. Selling this weapon to a non-practicing entity who is happy to use patents offensively with no fear of consequences would be akin to selling Ukrainian nuclear weapons to Al-Qaeda back in 1994.

I should file a patent on patent reform (4, Interesting)

AaronW (33736) | about 6 months ago | (#46588513)

The big problem is that these patent trolls have nothing to lose. There's no way a company can reach a cross-licensing deal since the patent troll produces no products and is otherwise just a parasite with no redeeming qualities.

I think that if a patent is traded or sold that the recipient of the patent must either produce similar products that either use the same or a related technology to what the patent covers or if they don't produce anything they have a limited time, say 3 years, in which to produce a product otherwise the patent goes to the public domain.

Hey, I should patent this idea!

Re:I should file a patent on patent reform (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about 6 months ago | (#46588805)

I should file a patent on patent reform

Why? You'll never have an opportunity to sue for infringement!

Re:I should file a patent on patent reform (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 6 months ago | (#46589379)

I think this should only apply when a patent is traded or sold. I think if someone goes and files a patent, even if they never implement it then it's reasonable to be able to collect royalties, assuming the patent isn't obvious and there's no prior art. It's a problem when the patent is no longer held by the original inventor or by somebody who can't make use of the patent that it's a problem. I think it's even reasonable for a company that uses one method to do something and buys a patent for another method of doing the same thing is reasonable. It's a problem when people just buy up patents and sit on them and collect royalties on those patents. I also think it's a problem when companies like Apple create shell patent trolls. The problem with the trolls is that there's no negotiating with them because they don't infringe on anyone else's patents unless there's a patent on patent trolling.

Re:I should file a patent on patent reform (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about 6 months ago | (#46589751)

Yes, but your post is (somewhat) contradictory with the title; I'm not saying I disagree with you in principle. I'm not saying the idea is contradictory, the endgame is. You propose patenting something for which there is plentiful prior art (patent reform). You're by far from the first to propose such reforms to patents (just search slashdot for "patent" - you're probably liable to timeout waiting for the results).

My point is that if patent reform were passed as you propose, your patent itself would be invalid, hence not even a zero sum game: you would lose (in regards to the hypothetical patent in question). It would cost you more to file it, and possibly defend, then you could ever realistically expect to collect on. Now, you might be able to claim moral victory, but you still lose.

Total B.S. (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 6 months ago | (#46589895)

IMHO, this is what's so insidiously wrong about the patent system. Spherix didn't actually invent the stuff. They didn't do the work. The invention didn't come from the brains of the people who work there. IMHO, therefore, they should have no standing for a patent lawsuit.

Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590169)

Huawei or whatever its called has probably been violating a zillion patents without paying a cent but it's ok for them. They're an Asian company.

I gotta ask (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46590217)

Why are patents transferable in this fashion? If the owner goes bankrupt or dies, all that stuff should become public domain.

Re:I gotta ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590421)

Well in the US patents are assets and all assets are to be liquidated to satisfy as much of the debts of the bankrupt company as possible. Customer data is another asset and you can bet if its not in the privacy policy that it becomes void upon bankruptcy there will be a petition to allow it to be sold.

Spherix = Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46590417)

I thought Apple and some other tech companies bought the Nortel patents.

Which patents? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 months ago | (#46590441)

I'm curious about which patents are being asserted. The news items somehow never get around to listing the patent numbers or describing them.

(I worked for a router company when Nortel was sinking and suing everybody who did anythig with SONET for infringement, in a desperate attempt to come up with enough money to avoid going under. Very much like a drowning person dragging others down. Some of my inventions (including patented ones) were in a chip that had something to do with SONET, so I (and other designers on the project) were called in to explain how the way WE did things didn't infringe these particular paptents. My stuff didn't infringe, IMHO, though I don't know about other people's. Nevertheless, the company settled the suit by cutting a cross-license deal (incuding paying them a few million because Nortel had more patents).

Interesting. (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | about 6 months ago | (#46591953)

Avaya bought Nortel some years ago. (2009) But Nortel patents was bought by RockStar ( Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Sony) which sold a portion of its patents to Spherix Inc (2013). Now Spherix sues Cisco. It is interesting to see how the patents business goes.

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46595379)

Avaya bought Nortel some years ago. (2009) But Nortel patents was bought by RockStar ( Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Sony) which sold a portion of its patents to Spherix Inc (2013). Now Spherix sues Cisco. It is interesting to see how the patents business goes.

AVAYA bought Nortel's Enterprise division - phones, pbx's and data including Switching, VPN, WLAN. If Spherix is suing Cisco, it's for more than just simple packet-switching/routing technology.

look it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46591965)

http://happycard.vn/

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