Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New York Times tangles with patent trolls

New York Times tangles with patent trolls, article.

The New York Times Co. is engaged in a pitched legal battle with two such “trolls.” One is Helferich Patent Licensing LCC, a Chicago shell firm that claims to own the process for sending links to mobile phones — basically where a company sends a customer a text message. According to the Associated Press, the firm typically demands $750,000 to go away, a fee that it has already collected from dozens of firms like Apple and Disney.
Such demands place companies like the New York Times in a difficult position. The patents in these type of cases are often spurious but it can cost millions to prove that they are, meaning it’s cheaper to  simply pay up. If a company pays, the troll can then use the money to target other companies.

And here I thought the real estate loans business had ethics issues!

1 comment:

Alex said...

Here's another chestnut for you

Color Kinetics basically managed to patent common sense.

Cypress found a good solution to this problem, and integrated and patented it as their EZ Color solution.

Great, the two obvious (well, one not so obvious) ways of doing this are now locked away behind patents, so we all buy chips where one of the two licence fees are built in.