Skip to comments.Is Blackberry Settlement Coming To Computers Too?
Posted on 03/09/2006 5:19:17 PM PST by US_MilitaryRules
Is Blackberry Settlement Coming To Computers Too?
The $612 million settlement last week will seem small compared to more than 150 computer/semiconductor manufacturers and consumer electronics companies worldwide now being sued or put on notice for industry wide patent infringement that is validated by recent licensing or court settlements by Intel, AMD, HP, Casio and last week Fujitsu.
Publicly traded Patriot Scientific Corporation co-owns and markets core microprocessor architecture technology patents which affects every computer manufactured since 1994 and semiconductors which run faster than 120 MHz. These microprocessors put into everything from office copy machines and automobiles to DVD players and PDAs has been almost universally ignored until recently when Intel, AMD, HP, Casio and just last week, Fujitsu decided to receive amnesty in the form of a license.
Unlike NTP, the BlackBerry plaintiff, Patriot has developed technology as well as co-owns a patent portfolio. Currently, Matsushita, NEC and Toshiba the others are being sued in U.S. District Court for industry wide infringement More than 150 other companies have already been put on notice.
Trading with a market cap of $25 million a month ago, Patriot's stock, in anticipation of an industry-wide earthquake, has soared to a market cap of over $600 million today.
CEO David Pohl and representatives of the company are available to comment.
I think these people are predators and opportunists.
But it may take decades to unravel the chronology.
Who NTP or Patriot?
Ugh. The "we just found a long-lost patent and now we're suing you for billions of dollars" crap is getting old.
Patent Trolls should Die.
Crap! Why didn't you post this a month ago... I would have traded all my gold for Patriot stock!
You sound like the ultimate capitalist! Don't invent anything. Are you an a rab?
Yea I guess MS, Intel, Amd, Sun, IBM, etc... should just give their tech away! They have plenty of dough!
Doctrine of laches should limit recovery.
If the patent holder wanted to mitigate harm, it should have given public notice of the alleged infringements sooner. The failure to do so has caused people to engage in actions that they would not otherwise have engaged in. Any harm that others are alleged to have done to the patent holder must be balanced by harm it has done to them by failing to assert its rights sooner.
Pssst.... don't think too fast. Check our the recent drama with SCO.
But what would I know?
Hold on here... there are some BS "business process" patents out there, but otherwise I am all for the patent holders. Blackberry, before they had customers, could have licensed the patent for peanuts when they started out. Instead they ignored it, and now it is costing them $600 million. Either you beleive in the patent system or you don't. As long as it is a valid patent, then I am all for the patent companies.
The RIM/NTP fiasco got the NTP lawyers an extra 200 million by dragging out the lawsuit 1 more year. GOD help us when the rest of the world discovers patent/trademark shakedowns!
One major problem with the patent system is that one can get a patent on an idea that is not 'obviously' going to be useful because the necessary technologies don't exist yet. Because the usefulness of the idea wasn't obvious at the time of the patent, it's considered valid. Even if the invention in question would be an obvious application of the technology once it's developed, that doesn't erode the validity of the patent.
Further, part of the idea of the patent system is supposed to be to encourage people to develop new and varied approaches to doing things. Some patents are so overly broad as to basically encompas entire fields of endeavor and preclude anything else.
For example, Ralph Baer got some patents for video game devices. He did much original work on the subject, and deserved some patents for it. He attempted, however, to enforce his patents against all devices which move player-controlled objects around a television screen and have them interact when they hit. IMHO, that's going too far.
I would say that some of Ralph Baer's patents were definitely infringed, and would say he should have been within his rights to demand payment from anyone whose machine detected object collisions based upon whether two or more objects were "displayed" simultaneously (the time the electron beam was turned on to show the first overlapped with the time to show the second). Using 1970's technology, it would have been bothersome to do collision detection by other means (e.g. value comparison on position registers or level comparison on position control volages), but companies should have had the right to do so without having to pay royalties to Mr. Baer.
Thanks for the analysis. I know very little about the subject of patents, but it sounds like you do.
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