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Posts Tagged: "ntp"

Who is a Patent Troll?

Frankly, the term patent troll has evolved to mean nothing more than this: You are a patent owner who is suing me. Essentially, whether one is a patent troll is in the eye of the beholder. If I’m on the receiving end of a patent lawsuit then you are a patent troll, regardless of whether you are an innovator, regardless of whether you are an operating company, regardless of how you acquired the patents. But why then isn’t Google rightfully considered a patent troll… Lets be clear, acquiring patents, in and of itself, cannot make you a patent troll, period! To the extent Google is properly characterized as an adjudicated patent troll it is because they engaged in abusive behavior. As Mueller explained: “found to have breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing flowing from Motorola’s FRAND licensing pledges to standard-setting organizations.” It is bad action that makes one a patent troll, nothing else…

What is the future of BlackBerry?

When the question “What is the future of BlackBerry?” was entered into the virtual Magic 8 Ball the response was: “Don’t count on it.” Hardly scientific, only mildly amusing, but as far as predictions it is certainly within the envelope of possibilities. Still, the company continues amassing a portfolio of US patents. But this all begs the question about the direction the company will follow with new private ownership. Will they morph into a licensing juggernaut? Might they give up being a manufacturing company altogether and turn their considerable portfolio on the industry? Will the patent portfolio be auctioned off to the highest bidder?

Patent Contingent Fee Litigation

In the last decade, a substantial market has begun to develop for contingent fee representation in patent litigation. Wiley Rein — a traditional general practice law firm with hundreds of attorneys practicing all areas of law — represented a small company, NTP, Inc., in its patent infringement lawsuit against Research in Motion, the manufacturer of the Blackberry line of devices. The lawsuit famously settled in 2006 for $612.5 million, and the press reported Wiley Rein received over $200 million because it handled the lawsuit on a contingent fee basis. And Wiley Rein is not alone in doing so. Many patent litigators around the country have migrated toward handling patent cases on a contingent fee basis.

Patent Litigation: Davids Seeking Many Millions from Goliaths

Overall there will be few large paydays for small and mid-size companies against the Fortune 1000, and fewer still for those who do not engage an appropriate strategy and simply rush head first into litigation or licensing negotiations. Notwithstanding, cultivating or acquiring a patent portfolio will allow small and mid-size companies to hold assets that are capable of being leveraged in the event a large corporation comes knocking. Additionally, as the business grows and revenues become available having a patent portfolio can enable small and mid-size companies to pursue litigation against Goliaths, but the odds of prevailing and having critical leverage go up if the plaintiff is a practicing entity. Simply stated, without the threat of a permanent injunction the Goliaths of the corporate world are exceptionally likely to just push you around.

A New Doctrine of Equivalents? CAFC Defines “Use” Under §271

I wonder why we are discussing the definition of “use” under § 271(a) at all. It would seem that the Federal Circuit is potentially broadening the definition of “use” under § 271(a) in a manner that expands direct infringement to start to include those types of things that normally would have been infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. Of course, the Supreme Court in Festo together with the Federal Circuit in Honeywell International Inc. v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation have eviscerated the doctrine of equivalents to the point of its non-existence. Perhaps Centillion v. Qwest, NTP and other cases yet to come will breathe new life into the theory under the guise of a direct infringement “use” of a system under § 271(a).

Article One Partners Launches Public Review of NTP Patents

Article One Partners announced yesterday that patents held by NTP Incorporated are the focus of three new requests for research, which Article One Partners refers to as Patent Studies. NTP was made famous for its litigation against BlackBerry maker Research-in-Motion (RIM) that resulted in a settlement north of $600 million. New litigation by NTP has expanded the assertion of patent infringement to other top players in the mobile and smartphone industry, which is prompting Article One Partners to engage their global community of researchers by challenging them to identify evidence predating the patents in question and which can be used to invalidate one or more of the patent claims owned by NTP.

In Search Of a Definition for the term “Patent Troll”

The reality is that the term patent troll seems to be more in the eye of the beholder than anything else. So a patent troll is whoever is suing you because you must be correct and some evil wrong-doer is holding you hostage. Never mind that you are actually infringing and you are the real wrong-doer (i.e., tortfeasor). What is needed is a working definition for the term patent troll so that this nonsense can stop once and for all, and so the uninformed in the media can be spared the embarrassment of their own cluelessness. So lets take a look at some of the characteristics that will get you characterized as a patent troll and either confirm it as a useful indicator of a wrong-doer or as simply overblown and wholly inaccurate.