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Patent Troll Goes After Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, Others 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
zaba writes "A company named PersonalWeb Technologies has decided to sue a host of heavy players in the tech industry, including Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo! for patents it holds related to data processing. They have a previous suit against other big names like Amazon, Google and HP. Anyone care to guess where the company is based or where the suits were filed?" The company is also targeting GitHub, but seems to have accidentally sued Rackspace — GitHub's host — instead. Rackspace has responded, saying, "It’s apparent that the people filing the suit don’t understand the technology or the products enough to realize that Rackspace Cloud Servers and GitHub are completely different products from different companies."
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Patent Troll Goes After Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, Others

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  • My Guesses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Talondel (693866) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @10:21PM (#41382495)
    Austin. Eastern District of Texas.
  • Re:Enough Already (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @10:23PM (#41382505) Homepage Journal
    The problem is, with the current system, it is more reasonable to the bottom line to pay X in settlement costs vs paying your own lawyers for Y time
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @10:23PM (#41382507)

    i just had a long shitty day at school and i come home and see those patents, fuck my life, fuck the world, fuck it all. hopefully after i have some dinner and a fap i'll feel better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @10:38PM (#41382615)

    No, then the only companies left would be the patent trolls.

  • Texas Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:55PM (#41383035)
    > It’s apparent that the people filing the suit don’t understand the technology or the products enough to realize that Rackspace Cloud Servers and GitHub are completely different products from different companies."

    The problem is that if you are sued for patent infringement - regardless of the merits of the case - you are up for $2M in lawyers fees and court costs to defend it. Recently a judge speaking out against trolls said $3M - $5M. If you're a small company or worse - a lone developer - that will send you bankrupt. The suit will most likely be filed in a troll-friendly court district such as the East District of Texas as this case was. The judges in E.D. Texas there are notoriously pro-troll and won't dismiss even the most stupid of cases. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/405259/a-haven-for-patent-pirates/ [technologyreview.com]

    Trolling causes a lot of damage for innovators elsewhere in the US, but it is huge source of revenue for E.D. Texas. Congressmen from these other districts need to gang up against the Texas trolls and Congressmen: http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_tn [house.gov]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @12:04AM (#41383075)

    I'm pretty sure this is what we have right now. I take it you don't see Apple as a patent troll.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @03:29AM (#41384043) Homepage

    Apple - love or hate them - makes products based on those patents.
    So no, they are not patent trolls.
    They may use borderline invalid patents in an offensive and anticompetitive way, but they are not simply trolling.

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:39AM (#41385183)

    It used to be that suing was the last ditch effort of a company that had stopped innovating. When you're coming out with new product, who cares if somebody's copying last year's version?

    The problem is, Apple isn't innovating any more, and their patents aren't for actual products, they're for concepts that should be considered obvious by anybody in the industry. All they have left to them are incremental updates for existing products, and anybody with their ear to the ground in technology can predict these updates before they announce them... was *anybody* surprised that the big upgrade for the iPhone 5 was a higher resolution screen and LTE radio, or that the iPad 3 was a higher resolution screen and more processing power? And if you're able to predict what's next, and you happen to be a company that's competing against them, then it's pretty easy to come up with the next version before they do, and Apple ends up caught with their pants down, as has been done with the market for 7" tablets. The end result? Apple's trying to sue everybody to prevent them from competing, because, as a company, they stopped really innovating years ago.

    The same generally goes for other players in the global patent wars too, mind you... it's not that I hate Apple (though I do) that I choose them as the whipping boy, it's because they're the most obvious to make the case with. What I just said can equally be applied to Samsung, LG, or HTC in the mobile phone market, and pretty much any player in modern technology. It's been a long while since anybody came up with something that was really *new* that wasn't just a more efficient way to do what we were already doing. Even the main drivers for the smartphone market, which Apple claims to have invented (we'll pretend Palm, Sony, and Blackberry didn't already have smartphones), had been done 10 years before the iPhone it the market... downloadable apps by Palm, and mobile e-mail/calendar by Ericcson (digital PCS).

  • Re:Enough Already (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asylumx (881307) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @08:01AM (#41385285)
    Interestingly enough, that's the same approach shipping companies have been taking with the pirates off the coast of Somalia. A curious analogy, don't you think?

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