RIM gets hit with yet another patent suit

RIM
By Adam Zeis on 11 Dec 2012 09:32 am EST
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WiLan has hit RIM with yet another patent suit, this time pertaining to Bluetooth. The suit has been filed in the Southern District of Florida and claims that BlackBerry devices including the PlayBook infringe on U.S. Patent No. 6,260,168 related to Bluetooth technologies. WiLan is seeking damages and looking to halt sales of the offending devices. Other details are a bit sparse on this one, but we'll keep you posted when and if anything come of this one. 

Source: Reuters 

40 comments

QuIcKsIlV3r

just what they need right now.... NOT

jstirtzinger

Wi-Lan...another blight on tech innovation. I despise these patent troll shell companies! Make real contributions to the economy and sleep better at night! They are also suing Apple & HTC
http://www.wi-lan.com/news/news-releases/news-release-details/2012/WiLAN...

kw9700

And that site also shows that WiLan just lost a lawsuit against LG, on appeal too!

991514982a

Yeah these patent troll companies are a detriment to the industry.

Sad:

About 62 percent of all patent lawsuits filed this year up to December 1 were brought by patent assertion entities (PAEs), which are created to extract licensing fees from other companies rather than make products based on the patents, according to Colleen Chien, a law professor at Santa Clara University.

The study also found that 61 percent of defendants had been sued by a PAE that had sued eight or more times. Startups are a particularly popular target, with more than 20 percent of companies lacking any funding when finding themselves on the receiving end of a patent lawsuit.

"Patent trolls now behind most patent infringement lawsuits" on CNET (news.com)

dentynefire

If you ask for a patent you are asking for protection from competitors, RIM needs to lead a charge against these guys who abuse patent protection.

Qaxl

Can't they have a rule against patent trolls ?

If you patented a technology, Bring it to market within a year or two, or else the patent will be invalidated. This also goes for all the big companies who hoard patents and never use them.

And also make public all patents that haven't been materialised yet and re-auction them. So in two years any company with a patent not materialized has to give up their patent to the patent office, and then any other company including the original one can bid on it and get another 2 years to try and materialise it.

PLTM

That make 1000% sense. That is the exact solution is would look at if I was in the position of authority.

dentynefire

not sure a year or two is fair but you should be able to show that you needed the patent. If you are spending money on R&D your patent shouldn't be taken away if you haven't gone to market yet but if you sue you should be required to show intent or work being done relevant to the patent.

Seems like the patent office doesn't care because the more patents being submitted the more money they make. This is a conflict of interest

Qaxl

Ofcourse the nitty gritties could be worked out, like show of intent, time to market etc. but the patent office still gets to make lots of money by re auctioning of said patents.

Suppose I patented a bottle that would instantly cool the drink it contained when someone opened the cap.

I had no intention of making such product, nor resources.

Coca Cola wants this technology, and so does Pepsi.

But i cant deliver because I just filed a patent and nothing else.

So after 2 years or something, the patent office takes over my Patent, and allows bidding on it. Coke and Pepsi both Bid, Pepsi wins, and now owns the patent.

I still get 10% of bid money, 90% goes to Patent Office.

Pepsi fail to bring it to market in 2 years time, but they have been working on it.

Patent Office gives them an offer, either Pay 50% more and gain one more year, or bring to auction, win auction and keep for 2 more years.

Since they had been working for so long, they don't risk an auction, they pay 50% extra fees and Bring it to market within the next year.

Ian5986

Oh wouldn't that be great - Alas, many companies including the one I work for have very good ideas that they are developing, file a patent yet are not satisfied with the finished product that can take a number of years to improve to a satisfactory / safe standard.
The patent if approved protects the technology (having said that,we have been having problems with the Far East and patent infringements that are rife over there).
18 months after the initial patent application has been filed, the patent application details become available to the public domain!

I agree it is wrong for companies to file patents for items they have no intention of using in an attempt to prevent competition, but, Intellectual Property is critical in sustainability and growth in any manufacturing business - without it, we would be surrounded by potentially lethal and cheap derivatives of an original patent.

menaknow

The Patent system needs to follow the example of the pharmaceutical industry.

You discover a drug, you have the patent for a limited amount of time to sell your brand drug to recover your R&D cost and make a profit. But after such time then the generic drug comes out.

I know that it isn't a perfect system but it is better right now then these patent suits which is just greed.

And for patents that are technology based, they need to have a shorter lifespan. Drugs and the diseases they treat do not move at the pace of technology. A drug 10 years down the line will still be relevant, technology however...

RobertM24

I think you are confused. The whole scenario you are talking about is a highly patented industry. These generic drugs come out after the patent expires (or through some other loophole). It's exactly the same same as the tech industry, all patents expire period. I don't think many individuals who are against patents would consider the drug industry the "golden boy" of handling IP considering it is one of the highest patented industries I can think of...

I dont think your point regarding lifespan works either, the purpose of the patent is to protect the inventor. You are saying that because the patent becomes obsolete quicker the inventor should have an EVEN SHORTER benefit from it? I would say the opposite (based on your argument) who cares about the length of the patent because in 5 yrs, they are at new heights and no one cares about a patent for some obsolete technology. It helps innovation (in a sense) in the tech market because the companies are trying to one-up eachother

Raestloz

In software, patents actually do more harm than helping innovate. Once an idea is patented, nobody can improve upon it for the next 20 years, unless the original can improve it, which might lead to another 20 years of monopoly.
Have a look at Apple's "pinch to zoom" technology. Such a basic gesture, and Samsung can't incorporate a "pinch to zoom" system because the patent is over the actual idea of "pinching", not the code underlying it. This means nobody can use it but Apple, causing everybody else to re-invent the wheel for the same cart. This explicitly impedes R&D for better things.
Or, the patent for "loading content without clicking", that forces browser companies to resort to "click here to load", causing major annoyance to every consumer.

apache1680

As great as that sounds that would mean the US government would have to give up patents their not using & that's never going to happen anytime soon.

DrBit2011

And the name of the game is:: Hit RIM with patents law suits. Really, that peopple or companys sick me

Live Long and Prosper!

stevepar

Stocks up this morning!

Rex_kwon_do

The minute I saw the headline I checked the stock price before anything else. The price is going up just like it did with the "flaming phone" in the UK. Just imagine what will happen when something real like BB10 hits!

Aljean Thein

How do you check their stocks ?

Nefiasm

Just type RIMM in Google.

TheStoof

So...patent disputes mean others are scared?

thecsman

It probably means BB10 is considered an actual threat to market share now. And it's not even out.

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

1. Find a company that is struggling
2. File a suit
3. Everyone assumes the struggling company is the one in the wrong,
4. Cash

TomJasper

This is years away from seeing the inside of a courtroom, if ever. Not much to see here for now, just another patent troll reaching out to see if any $$ could drop in their lap. Yawn.

TheStoof

Might be a good sign for investors if patent trolls are suing in the event that it does well.

bbbruva

Yes it's definitely a good sign. It means they think RIM is relevant enough to target. It could also mean they have interest in decreasing stock value by creating uncertainty (i'm not in finance, that's my laymen's way of describing it.)

It could also be a good thing that they are going after a company as big as Apple too. Apple won't take it sitting down, any money Apple puts into defense of this will benefit RIM too.

But as someone said above, this is long from seeing a court so it should have no immediate affect on BB10 launch/sales.

simu31

US Patent No: 6,260,168: "Paging system having optional forward error correcting code transmission at the data link layer"

Isn't "paging system" a little... vague when refering to a phone or the PlayBook ?

Si.

jamesjmunro

Found this:

A method and system for performing optional or selective forward error correction (FEC) on data within the data link layer before the data is transmitted. First, a determination is made as to what data in the data link layer requires to be FEC encoded. Next, the data link layer data determined to require FEC encoding is protected by FEC and the remaining data link layer data is not FEC protected. A data application or any network protocol layer above the data link layer determines the portions required to be FEC encoded.

Inventor: Andrei Godoroja
Original Assignee: Glenayre Electronics, Inc.
Primary Examiner: David Ton
Current U.S. Classification: 714/752; 209/230
International Classification: H03M 1300

http://www.google.com/patents/US6260168

green_ember

I read the document and basically the patent covers deciding whether or not to add error checking to bit of data. No where did I see any kind of methodology for discriminating which parts of the data need the error correction code, just that it happens at a certain layer of the OSI model. Furthermore, the premise of the original document is clearly for use in a networked environment, even mentioning access to a network. Bluetooth is peer to peer, and while some may refer to that type of connection with no 'access point' as an ad hoc network, in reality, that's just a label. I don't think this patent can be applied to Bluetooth the way they hope it can, but with our legal system, anything is possible I guess.

Raestloz

Incredibly vague? I mean, basically it's a "method of determining if the data needs error correction or not". Considering that Bluetooth has a standard, it's amazing anything can be sued regarding Bluetooth. IIRC Bluetooth also has error correction system on its own?

John Bernard

They will try anything to knock RIM down, it's obvious especially Americans who don't want them to launch or succeed. It's coming no matter what they do and BB10 will take a huge chunk of the smartphone market. This news just made shareholders buy more!!! lol

Jerky223

Can you patent the process of Patent Trolling and sue the Patent Troll's?

kosmos2503

Haaa haaaaaaaa..... This is ultimate...!! Hilarious....
+10 ;)

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

That would be cutting corners. Cutting corners = rounded edges. Rounded edges are already patented. Watch out

TomJasper

In other words nobody owns or has a patent on Bluetooth but wi-lan pulls some old patent from 1998 trying to claim they own the rights to how some data is transmitted via Bluetooth, good luck with that,lol.

The word "pagers" is used extensively, can't remember last time I have seen a "pager",lol.

houshinto#IM

This is starting to get pathetic.

We all complain about bureaucracy in the workplace. Well patent law is increasingly becoming bureaucracy of innovation. Politician and Lawyers should do everything they can to cut it off at the knees unless they dare not cut off what will only become an ever more lucrative cashcow.

kosmos2503

This idiotic trend was started by the !$hit company.... Now the Trend is if u cant innovate sue others... Sick of this $hits now..

gwanstarr

I don't understand how any company can patent anything bluetooth unless you invented bluetooth?

The only person that should hold any related bluetooth patents should be Dr. Jaap Haartsen, who invented Bluetooth while working at Ericsson in the 1990.

I don't understand the ins-and-outs of the patent system, but logically, this would make sense to me. But then again, there have been many fruit patents that don't make sense to me......

TomJasper

Bluetooth itself is free from a patent standalone , in other words there is no patent on Bluetooth the technology. Wi-lan is trying to assert a method of transfering data via Bluetooth,very sill indeed.

MayhemMaybe

Those that can, do.

Those that can't, sue.

My biggest beef with this stuff is these Patent bottom feeders do nothing with the patents they hold, but try to either get money out of, or harm those that are creating products hoping that for no real work other than the lawsuit they can ride the coattails of the people actually doing things and turn some bucks.

Obviously they gain most when they can beat a company into submission and make them settle to some license deal where they get money for nothing and don't have to even spend their time in the court room.

Rootbrian

Shame on those basturd patent trolls. They won't be able to prevnt RIM from selling blackberry smartphones at all.