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Intellectual Ventures Settles Lawsuits With Asian Memory Companies 30

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-them-to-court dept.
curtwoodward writes "Intellectual Ventures, the controversial patent middleman company headed by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has settled one of the first lawsuits it ever filed. This legal spat was with two Asian firms: South Korea-based Hynix and Japan-based Elpida. It also involved a complaint to the International Trade Commission, which roped in downstream customers including Dell and H-P because they used components from the two manufacturers. The terms weren't disclosed, but it seems quite likely that Intellectual Ventures was able to get the licensing fees it always wanted: The company's head lawyer is quoted praising the two former adversaries, and explaining once again that the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court."
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Intellectual Ventures Settles Lawsuits With Asian Memory Companies

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  • by ackthpt (218170) on Monday September 24, 2012 @05:58PM (#41443305) Homepage Journal

    The company's head lawyer is quoted praising the two former adversaries, and explaining once again that the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court.

    You'll know they have the patent when they sue you.

    • ... explaining once again that the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court...

      Translation: ...explaining once again that the company wants you to just give in, bend over, and take your reaming like a man, instead of us having to go through the lengthy, costly process of trying to ream you in court...

    • The company's head lawyer is quoted praising the two former adversaries, and explaining once again that the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court.

      You'll know they have the patent when they sue you.

      To put this into context [geekwire.com]:

      So what somebody says, why don’t you tell me which patents you have, Nathan, so I can avoid them, you’re supposed to be avoiding all of them! You’re saying, Nathan, I’d like to be honest with you but cheat everybody else. What’s up with that?

      You read that right. You should be avoiding all the patents without knowing they exist -- and as parent stated, you can find out you violated one when you get sued whether over IV's patents or anybody else's.

  • Type on summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    r/controversial patent middleman/controversial patent troll/g

    There - fixed it.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday September 24, 2012 @06:03PM (#41443355) Journal

    "I don't like violence... I'm a businessman; blood is a big expense."

  • Most any type of hardware or software development these days can only be based upon existing products so its going to become increasingly harder to develop without running into companies that will demand licensing fees.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Until Intellectual Ventures starts selling a real product, such as a Mosquito Laser, they should be banned from patent court.

    • Until Intellectual Ventures starts selling a real product, such as a Mosquito Laser, they should be banned from patent court.

      That is the problem. Most companies patent the hell out of everything in case someone like Apple tries to pick em up by the ankles and count the money falling out and they can sue back reducing the fees.

      But Intellectual Ventures do not make anything so there is nothing you can do. I mean how is this different than the Gambino crime family barging into your office about a once in a life term insurance program.

      • by js33 (1077193)
        Intellectual Ventures is an organized crime network. They take out patents on research from universities, which is done on the public dime, and on the dime of students paying exorbitant tuition, and exploit it for their own profit in secret, back-room deals with university officials. It has very little to do with intellectual property; it's just another scam. One day, they'll get too bold, and the FBI will haul them in for something or other, and there will be a brief mention in the back page of the news
    • Patents are supposed to be non-obvious. What happens when you come up with a non-obvious way to make a low energy transistor, which is cheaper than current process, but costs multi-hundred-millions to get started up?
      • by sjames (1099)

        You'll get sued by every two bit 'patent holder' on the planet who ever scribbled on a napkin. You'll watch in horror as the piranha nibble your cash cow to the bone after letting you do all the hard work raising it.

        • Well no the problem is the guy who comes up with how to make a transistor that lets unmodified x86 run at 17.6 watts instead of 176 watts (yeah some of those Pentium 4 designs used to run at 180W TDP...) without squeezing down a tiny, tiny process doesn't have the ability to raise a fab to actually do it. He can tell Intel how to do it, but why would they give him shit? Just start making chips and run away with the cash.

          This is what patents are for. Sometimes you can't build the shit you invented unless

          • by sjames (1099)

            If the little guy has it and Intel wants it, he's screwed. They can afford to drop a few million in legal fees without even noticing.

  • Brilliant, you can now make boatloads more claiming rights than those properties could ever earn.
  • by slew (2918) on Monday September 24, 2012 @06:42PM (#41443747)

    ...the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court.

    Obviously. Who would voluntarily want to put the fate of their enterprise in the hands of 12 people who couldn't think of a valid excuse of how to get out of (civil) jury duty?

    Of course you might think that mediation and arbitration would solve this problem, but if one of the sides has a little to lose, and much to gain, they often will gamble their chances with the jury trial. As a classic example, Apple vs Samsung: a billion dollars to each side is merely pocket change, not much to lose for either one. On the flip side, a couple of bankrupt memory chip companies might need to some stability and predicability just to survive. A patent troll, however, doesn't want their patents accidentally invalidated, so gambling isn't the prefered way to do business...

    • ...the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court.

      Obviously. Who would voluntarily want to put the fate of their enterprise in the hands of 12 people who couldn't think of a valid excuse of how to get out of (civil) jury duty?

      Of course you might think that mediation and arbitration would solve this problem, but if one of the sides has a little to lose, and much to gain, they often will gamble their chances with the jury trial. As a classic example, Apple vs Samsung: a billion dollars to each side is merely pocket change, not much to lose for either one. On the flip side, a couple of bankrupt memory chip companies might need to some stability and predicability just to survive. A patent troll, however, doesn't want their patents accidentally invalidated, so gambling isn't the prefered way to do business...

      Not just that, but frequently egos get involved, too. Some people would rather spend a quarter million or more fighting a patent owner who claims they're infringing, than spend a few thousand for a license. Oddly, it's usually the smaller companies who don't have the money to spend on a suit who would rather fight and go into bankruptcy, while the larger companies will make the objective economic decision to negotiate a license. It's particularly sad with trolls, because frequently they just want to show t

    • Obviously. Who would voluntarily want to put the fate of their enterprise in the hands of 12 people who couldn't think of a valid excuse of how to get out of (civil) jury duty?

      This argument is one that I always find irritating. You don't have a lot of duties as a citizen of the US: pay taxes, serve as a witness if called upon, and serve on a jury if called upon. Not wanting to take the time out of your life - the handful of times you might ever be asked to do it - to perform that duty doesn't trump the obligation.

  • It is about to go sky high to pay for these assholes

  • With men like Ballmer and Myhrvold at helm, only the previous enormous size of the company is what keeps it relevant and not becoming another RIM or Sun.

  • What do you call someone who wants to extort money from you for doing nothing? Well, at least if it's not a government?

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @07:27AM (#41447867)
    Extortion is always extortion, even if you call it patent fees.

    Parasites can destroy a system, whether it be an economy or an organism. We live in an era of massive institutionalized corruption.

Too much of everything is just enough. -- Bob Wier

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