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Kodak Patents Sold for $525 Million 117

An anonymous reader writes "Intellectual Ventures and RPX Rational Patent, two companies frequently referred to as patent trolls, have snapped up the troubled Kodak company's imaging patents. Bloomberg reports that Kodak has agreed to sell the patent portfolio for $525 million, despite previous valuations of over $2 billion." New submitter speedplane adds "How many stories have we read hating on the biggest patent troll of them all? Finally we see Intellectual Ventures making their case in a Wired op-ed, filled with everything you would would expect from a company suing the tech world on thousands of dubious patents: '...the system needs intermediaries within the market — companies like Intellectual Ventures — to help sift through and navigate the published landscape. By developing focused expertise, these patent licensing entities and intermediaries can function as patent aggregators, assembling portfolios of relevant inventions and providing access through licensing.' And my favorite gem: 'Ultimately, the users of those products — you — are the ones who benefit.'"
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Kodak Patents Sold for $525 Million

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  • no one benefits (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alienzed ( 732782 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:22PM (#42338229) Homepage
    when greed wins. What has the world come to when we openly reward those who thrive on preventing anyone from benefiting from human progress unless they themselves can derive unearned profit from it?
  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:29PM (#42338293)

    I have been threatened by a patent troll, Acacia Research Group [], several times. They didn't invent CDROMs or HTML, but they acquired a patent for putting HTML on a CDROM. They threatened to sue me for doing the same. I was doing it before the date of their patent, so I figured I had prior art. So I decided on the following course of action: do nothing. I filed their letter, and ignored them. A few months later they sent me a more threatening letter. I ignored that one too.

    Several years later, I received another letter from them about another dubious patent they claimed I was violating. I wasn't, and figured they were just fishing, so I ignored that letter too.

    Then, years after that I received another threatening letter about the original "HTML on CDROM" patent. This was after the KSR International v Teleflex [] Supreme Court ruling that invalidated these kinds of "combination" patents. So again I decided to just ignore them. I never heard from them again.

    So if you are threatened by a patent troll, my recommendation for an initial response , is to just ignore them. My experience is that works 100% of them time, but YMMV. They probably have no reason to believe you are actually violating their patents, are are just shotgunning letters out to a long list of target companies, in the hopes that there are some dufuses that will just roll over a offer to settle. If everyone ignores them are much as possible, and impedes their attempts to extort, then their business model falls apart.

  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:45PM (#42338457)

    I don't think we have the same definition of open source. For one, IV and RPX are about as closed source as you can get - you can't even buy the things from them that they are suing over. At least Microsoft gives you something before it locks you into its OS or product suite. Furthermore, there's gotta be something in this for IV and RPX. Their lawyers don't get out of bed for less than 7 figures. As best as I can figure, the companies that bought the patents have perpetual license rights to them, and IV and RPX can sue everybody else for eleventy hojillion dollars for anything having to do with taking, storing, transforming and thinking about a picture.

    On the upside, maybe the losers in the bidding war will lobby Congress to get IV and RPX off of their back.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @02:57PM (#42338603) Journal

    I'm thinking, because that would have made him a target.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?