back to article Nokia, HTC, Sony attacked by hidden megatroll

Another day, another mobile phone patent dispute — and this time the plaintiff is again SmartPhone Technologies LLC, the vaporous entity that filed a similar suit against Apple, AT&T, Research in Motion, and six other companies this March. This most recent patent-infringement lawsuit pits SmartPhone Technologies against HTC, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    @ Rik, re: their location in Frisco.

    SmartPhone Technologies are a client of Regus, a company that offers month-to-month offices, meeting rooms and "virtual offices". Regus's address is, wait for it, 6136 Frisco Square Blvd Ste 400.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Yeah, yeah... thank God for Government.

    "Depending up your point of view, Acacia Research Corporation is either a shrewd intellectual-property licensing firm or a patent troll"

    Depending on your view, "Fat Tick Mortgage Repackage Then Bailout Bank" is either a shrewd derivate-trading financial institute or a scheme to get State to buy the CEO a 30-ares villa in Saint Tropez.

  3. Brian 39

    I know where these sharks are!

    They are just outside Pizza Hut Park, which is a sports stadium. Used by F.C. Dallas (a soccer club) and a half decent team they are too (well, better than most American footie clubs anyway).

  4. someone up north

    GOD won't save America!,

    GOD won't save America!,


  5. DT

    copy this.

    Depending on your point of view, (and subject to legal inquiry), the defendants could be noble re-users of ideas for the benefit of mankind.... or a bunch of mooches who profit from other people's inspiration and endeavour without giving recompense.

    Am I surprised by an anti I.P. view being iterated from an e-zine which rehashes press releases for a good 75% of it's content? Or did I forget that because the writers are predisposed to assuming an innate right to free digital entertainment, so now (to quell the overwhelming sense of cognitive dissonance that inconsistently applied thinking brings.... consider the whole concept of intellectual property quote/unquote "unfair" when applied to any other idea?

    Yes without those bonds of tyranny the spirit of innovation lives free and great original content is produced.... like exactly what doesn't happen in China. As the laugh-worthy movie trailer goes... you wouldn't steal a car*... but would you steal the blueprints to something someone else designed?

    *well, perhaps we would if everyone else was doing it, or if the car was perceived as cheap, or if those producing the car were rich, then we could use all those rubbishy little reasons and add them up and almost convince ourselves that this was equal to one good reason.

    If in this case innovators and content creators haven't been rewarded for their efforts, then I'm all for an big bad "no win/no fee" type organisation to step in and fight against the big guys. That's what patent law is supposed to prevent; big companies with deep pockets and good lawyers from taking little companies' ideas whilst pounding them into submission.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      I have a bridge to sell you...

      "That's what patent law is supposed to prevent; big companies with deep pockets and good lawyers from taking little companies' ideas whilst pounding them into submission."

      Actually, that is exactly what patent law is meant to do. Who do you think wrote the laws? Little companies?


      People, these days.

      1. DT

        ergo pre-industrial laws were written by big multinational companies?

        Patent law first appeared in renaissance Italy; whilst the French considered it a personal right.

        People these the minimum of fact checking.

    2. Liam Johnson

      cognitive dissonance

      Using big words 9/10

      Clear concise argument 2/10

      Keep monitor free of spittle 1/10

      Total 3/10 – must do better

    3. Jon Press

      @"The whole concept of intellectual property"

      The whole concept of intellectual property was conceived to provide an incentive to genuine innovation by granting a temporary monopoly on its exploitation.

      As a named "inventor" (amongst dozens of others) of 3 US patents to do with network management I've been through the process and it's got nothing to do with either innovation or incentive.

      The (now defunct) company I worked for at the time hadn't paid much attention to patenting anything and had grown very successfully for many years to be a major player in the IT field. However, it realised it was potentially on the receiving end of patent suits from others (of potentially dubious merit) and wanted its own defence shield, so it went on a patenting spree with patent lawyers desperately trying to identify any tiny incremental change that might be written up as an "invention" and filing screeds of essentially trivial patents with enough content to get them past the USPTO even if they wouldn't stand up in court later. The company got sufficiently caught up in "due diligence" to protect its ageing technology that it lost interest in tracking the direction of technological advance and consequently fell apart when its legacy customers started to move off in droves to new companies offering innovative solutions. In other words, its obsession with patents acutally led to a loss of innovation.

      There are some genuinely novel and valuable innovations that deserve patent protection, particularly when a great deal of time and/or investment is required to bring them to market. However it seems that many, or perhaps most, patents in this field have nothing to do with protecting innovation - they're at best defensive and at worst designed to stifle competition. Neither of which was intended by the "concept of intellectual property" and simply leads to a ludicrous increase in the cost of doing business.

      1. DT

        Ability to counter the point with any actual examples = 0/10

        Argument not clear? Elephant in room = your comprehension

  6. JaitcH

    Potentially the Courts will get pissed off with all this in-fighting

    Court time is limited and with everyone claiming to have invented EVERYTHING and then Jobs (his name is on many patents) and Apple the come along claiming they did all the work - even years after the original patents were filed - was actually that of themselves, even when Jobs was out in India smoking funny tobacco learning that short haircuts are best.

    The Courts should buy a big rubber stamp with VOIDED on it and pay a visit to the Patent Office.

  7. Lars Silver badge

    Just get rid

    of software patents.

    1. JaitcH

      Remember when Americans wanted to patent the Human Genome, just like Harvard mouse?

      Luckily then President Clinton signed legislation preventing it.

      Smart guy, that Clinton.

  8. John Tserkezis


    "Guardian offers a helpful public service: a "Who's suing who in the mobile business" flow chart"

    Intersting view as to who the real trolls are. Not entirely what I was expecting.

    Would be interesting to see how long it takes everyone to work out this is counterproductive for everyone.

    The "He who dies with the most money, wins" philosphy needs to be stamped out. One jerk wins and leaves a trail of destruction behind him. Remember by this stage the consumers who have lost out will NOT forget, and will end up trusting future companies less.

    You're left with no-one wanting to step foot onto the market because the think they won't last, and the few that ARE left over monopolise the market.

    Welcome to the darker ages. And you can thank the trolls for that.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    R.I.P. Snookies

    No great loss really, but they did have cheap drinks.

    I'll chalk it up to bad karma from the neighbors. I don't recall seeing any trolls creeping around the happy hour, but then again if I were in their line of work I'd probably be working banker's hours too.

  10. thesykes

    Crazy system

    So, from what I can gather, Alchemy Inc. can think of a process whereby lead can be turned to gold with some incatations and waving a magic wand, patent this theory and then do nothing about it. Then, years later, another party can actually achieve the impossible (this could be Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Apple or Bob round the corner), actually perfect the process, spend time, money and resources in doing so, only for the patent holder to crawl out of the woodwork and grab their pound of flesh?

    If the patent holder cannot provide any evidence of the patented idea being actually implemented, it should be kicked out. This could be a working prototype, documentation proving they have attempted to have the idea adopted by a company with the resources to do so, not just a commercial application.

  11. davefb

    These arent little companies

    These are patents from big companies(in some cases), bought ( due to going bust ?) by trolls , who then threaten big companies after the fact ( i mean for crying out loud, E71 is named in this case) who find it easier to pay up.

    Which means they then go for the next company.

    The trolls have not done any R&D , well I supposed except for some patent-lawyer-research.

    Theres probably no risk either, because it isn't like they're a big manufactoring company who has something to lose in a court case.

  12. g e

    Patent implementation

    What's wrong with having to prove that within five years of filing (not being granted) you attempted 'substantially' to implement your patent or it lapses?

    Oh. Common Sense. That's what's wrong...

  13. staffer

    not going to pay

    "patent troll"

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”.

  14. NX1977

    ZZZZZZZ - only in America

    Patents should time expire to promote innovation.

    What, are Apple et al hoping? That royalties from licensing through fear will keep them going for another 10/20+ years?

    It's not working for some, is it?

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