back to article Motorola Mobility loses another patent suit to über-troll Intellectual Ventures

Motorola Mobility has suffered another defeat at the hands of patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures, with a Delaware jury finding that Moto infringed a patent describing a way for handheld devices to connect to docking stations. Law360 reports that the jury only deliberated for about an hour before deciding in Intellectual …

  1. martinusher Silver badge

    So my old Motion M1400 Computer is infinging?

    Oh wait...sorry, it can't was introduced a year before this patent was filed.....

    Trolls, dontcha just love them?

  2. Alan Denman

    Intellectual Ventures, which was formed in 2000 by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold....

    ..', is among the top five patent-holding entities in the US, yet it makes nothing and markets no products'

    A case of 'You scratch my back, and I'll stab theirs' ?

  3. Planty Bronze badge

    This is why microsoft are scumbags

    Their current troubles are a very entertaining train wreck. It's like a tech version of the osbournes.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: This is why microsoft are scumbags @Planty

      "This is why microsoft are scumbags"

      Are you actually trolling on an article about patent trolls, or are you just plain stupid?

      One of the co-founders of this troll corporation used to work for MS but so have a couple hundred thousand other people as well. This ElReg article wasn't about Microsoft at all.

      Your short post history is made of comments slagging Apple/MS and/or praising Android/ChromeOS... interesting (not really).

    2. ajsguinness

      Re: This is why microsoft are scumbags

      You're an idiot. The article clearly says this guy used to work for Microsoft. If you have nothing sensible to say, keep your trap shut.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is why microsoft are scumbags

      See, even Google employ idiots in marketing.

  4. Mark 85

    Ah...patent trolls...

    When is open season on them? Will a varmint hunting permit be enough?

  5. theOtherJT Silver badge

    I blame the jury.

    No, really, I do* How on earth could they not strike this down for obviousness given that there are about a bazillion examples of prior art? The only explanation I can think of is that they just didn't care and wanted to go home as soon as possible.

    *unless the jury aren't allowed to do this - my understanding of US court procedure is a little vague. If this is within the judge's power, then I blame them instead.

    1. Cuddles

      Re: I blame the jury.

      As I understand it (IANAL), juries are not allowed to do any research or use any of their own knowledge, they are only allowed to make decisions based on what they are shown in court. If the defence didn't present any prior art then it doesn't matter how much might exist, the jury can't say anything about it. The article suggests that the defence relied entirely on arguing that the patent was invalid because it was too obvious, and didn't mention prior art at all. If that's the case, the fault would appear to lie entirely with Motorola (and the trolls for bringing it to court in the first place of course) - there's nothing judges or juries can legally do if you don't give them the relevant information.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: I blame the jury.

        Oh it's worse than that. If you actually KNOW anything about the subject being litigated, you pretty much can't get on the jury. So MEs and EEs wouldn't be able to sit on the jury. A bunch of actors? No problem. But even their tech crews would be suspect.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: I blame the jury.

          If you actually KNOW anything about the subject being litigated, you pretty much can't get on the jury.

          As Frank Marsh wrote in his post, this is often the case, but not always. Some lawyers are better at challenge than others, and some just aren't paying attention. The last time I sat on a jury, it was for a criminal case involving assault on a police dog, and one of my co-jurors was a blind woman with a service dog. She had both specialized knowledge of dogs trained for service and could reasonably be presumed to have some bias in their favor (and for a peremptory challenge, counsel doesn't have to give cause for rejecting a juror). And the defendant was mounting an affirmative defense - he argued that he had hit the dog, but only after it attacked him without provocation, which goes right to the juror's personal experience. His lawyer wasn't very good.

          More famously, and more apropos in this case, you have Velvin Hogan, the foreman in Apple v Samsung, who was widely accused of bias for various reasons, not least because he is an electrical engineer and a patent holder. So someone on Samsung's team didn't do a terrific job with voir dire there.

      2. Frank Marsh

        Re: I blame the jury.

        IANYL, though I am a patent lawyer. What the jury is allowed to consider is limited to what the plaintiff and defense lawyers introduce at trial.

        Obviousness is a determination made based on prior art, so Motorola absolutely did do their best at introducing prior art to invalidate the patent.

        (and yes, technical knowledge of the patent subject matter will often get you kicked off the jury)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their Patent '7054

    uses the word "effectuating". Which is not a word- they were looking for "effecting".

    In my book, that should be grounds for invalidation of patent. Useless leeching twunts.

    1. Frank Marsh

      Re: Their Patent '7054

      I agree with the "leeching" characterization, but effectuate is a real verb. For the most part, we lawyers only use it to look like pompous windbags, but it is out there for the using.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Their Patent '7054

      The phrase "is not a word", when used in reference to English, is almost always an unsupportable and ignorant prescriptivist claim. Pretty much any pronounceable string of letters (under the typical conventions of English pronunciation and orthography, such as they are) is actually or potentially an English word.

  7. Frank Marsh

    Quid pro quo

    So the US government gave out a patent (a 20-year monopoly) on this "invention." However, in my humble opinion (which is my own, not my firm's or clients', and formed after only brief review), what was disclosed by the "inventor" in the '462 patent was simply putting a processor in a headset but not in a docking station, so that the docking station only functioned when the headset was plugged into it.

    The patent is quite short, and it appears that the inventor didn't have to solve any technical challenges - he simply came up with a marketing concept. The actual technical problems were left to the actual engineers, like the ones at Motorola.

    And yet in return for this brief disclosure, he (or, even worse, Intellectual Ventures) gets to extract money from every company that uses a processor-less docking station with a phone.

  8. Bus News

    Repulsive picture

    Posting the repulsive picture of the troll is in bad taste and unprofessional.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Repulsive picture

      Allow me to extend to you my heartfelt feelings on this matter:




      There, that's better.

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