Unified Patents, Microsoft, Linux Foundation and OIN take on patent trolls

Without a doubt, the case that Gnome suffered a few months ago in connection with the case of the lawsuit by a patent troll, I leave precedents that have caused various groups and organizations to take action on the matter in order to put these maintained (to call them that in a rather mild way) in their place.

The patent trolls o Patent Affirmation Entities (PAE), have long plagued free software. However, over the years, other groups have stood up to prevent companies and organizations that actually use intellectual property (IP) patents from being robbed.

One of those groups, Unified Patents, an international organization of more than 200 companies, won the victory in the last two years taking the fight to the trolls. Deters patent trolls from attacking your members by making victory too costly for the troll. To do this, the group examines the patents of trolls and their activities in various technological sectors.

At a certain point I can understand the work of these pelafustanes can be understandable, it is something similar to what is done by the firms or groups that buy the portfolio of debtors from banks or financial entities in order to be able to recover something greater than what was purchased .

Although in this sector these Trolls their activity is to acquire patents to oppose them to third parties. However, it seems that there are as many variations of this basic formulation as there are companies, but in this case they should study the case a little more, since they can run into a wall.

The majority of patent threats, 80% according to Unified Patents, come from trolls.

“Attacks continue to increase. “The reason is simple. it's profitable. In addition to taking advantage of large corporations, patent trolls are now preying on small businesses that don't have the resources to fight them." It would be cheaper for them to pay intellectual property blackmail than to fight them in court.

Troll disputes over open source programs reached an all-time high of 721 cases in 2021. This is an increase of nearly 22% from 2020. These EAPs include Sound View, Sockeye Licensing, St. Luke, MicroPairing, Level 3, Finjan, WSOU Investments, and Unilco 2017.

Names change but the game stays the same

Buy patents, wait for someone to use your ideas to create a profitable program, and then sue.

Even before the official launch of the OSS Zone, Unified Patents and the Open Invention Network (OIN), the world's largest patent non-aggression group, launched lawsuits against shoddy patents belonging to EAP. The Linux Foundation and Microsoft have partnered with OIN to support OSS Zone and fight against these bad patents.

Microsoft recently joined the Open Invention Network (INO). “Since its founding in 2005, the OIN has been at the forefront of helping companies manage patent risk and we are honored to be a part of it.

The reaction from members of the open source community to this news has been tremendous., including the good questions we were asked about what our membership means to developers. We spoke to Erich Andersen at Microsoft for more details on some of the most frequently asked questions.

Unified Patents also encourages developers and researchers to seek prior art to break bad patents. Successful searches earn $2,000 for their winners.

I'm pleased to announce that Microsoft is joining OIN, a community dedicated to protecting Linux and other free software from patent risks.

It is very useful work. As Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, explains:

“This is a useful route when the claimed invention was already prior art, as evidenced by existing patents, publicly available code in free software repositories, or print publications that were available at the time a patent was pending. . It is essentially a question of verifying if an important element has escaped the examiner who authorized the granting of the patent as a new invention. »

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