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Patent Aggregator RPX Accused Of Extortion, Racketeering & Wire Fraud

On January 24, 2011, two representatives of Kaspersky Lab wrote a letter addressed to the White Collar Crime Division of the FBI, asking the agency to open a criminal investigation into the business activities of RPX. A copy of the letter obtained from a GametimeIP reader, and embedded below, details an alleged conspiracy involving RPX, a pattern of patent litigation and use of mail and electronic communications to solicit membership fees from Kaspersky. Continue reading

Mark Cuban Doesn’t Shop For Patents On Shark Tank

The return of Shark Tank to ABC has captured the interest of patent attorneys (among others) from around the country, fascinated about the ingenuity of the average Joe and the courage to translate their ideas into products and, occasionally, money.  This also offers another rare spot of sunshine into the normally opaque world of intangible … Continue reading

America Invents Act: Un-American Patent Reform

The current patent reform bills (S.23 and H.R. 1249) are proposed to promote “global harmonization.”  In other words, the changes they suggest would make our patent system look and act more like systems in effect in other countries.  This has led critics to sharply oppose this effort, and laid the groundwork for a partisan split … Continue reading

Microsoft Demonstrates How Lucrative Patent Licensing Can Be

An interesting addition to my earlier post about the patent licensing business, there’s another data point that demonstrates how profitable it can be. According to a Citi analyst this morning, Microsoft receives $5 from HTC for every phone running the Android operating system, meaning Microsoft has received five times more income from Android than from … Continue reading

The Inexact Science Of Patent Valuation

Last week, in response to news about Google acquiring a portfolio of mobile phone patents, I harshly criticized the move.  Others have been swift to point out that 1) the purchase price represents an extremely tiny fraction of Google revenues, and 2) the acquisition was primarily a defensive maneuver.  Both of these statements are likely … Continue reading

The Volatile Business Of Patent Licensing

Very few companies actually specialize in patent licensing, and most of those are privately held and avoid the limelight where-ever possible.  However, there are five companies in the patent licensing space that are publicly traded: Rambus, Acacia, RPX, Virnetx, and Network-1.  Notably, RPX made its big splash earlier this month when it debuted on the … Continue reading

Google Patent Blunder: Country’s Best Legal Department Green-Lights World’s Worst Patent Acquisition

The publication Corporate Counsel has, for the past six years (who knew?), been rating in-house legal departments on a variety of ambiguous criteria.  This year’s winner of the prestigious “Best Legal Department” award is none other than Google, Inc.  The ALM-owned publication likes the search engine’s legal staff because they’re “disruptive” and evidently like to … Continue reading

Walker Digital ‘Pokes’ Facebook (Again) – Two More Patent Lawsuits

Facebook might as well add an “Assert Patent” button to go alongside its “Like” and “Poke” features.  This week, Walker Digital filed two new lawsuits against the social networking giant, raising the total to five since November. Walker Digital has effectively now asked Facebook to license ten different patents, related to various kinds of technology … Continue reading

The Intellectual Ventures Investment List — An Unwelcome Revelation?

(With corrections — 11:30 AM 5/19/11) By way of IAM and PatentlyO, a fairly comprehensive list of investors in Intellectual Ventures published yesterday.  Rather than re-hash the list, I’ve just embedded the disclosure statement below.  In general, what’s interesting about this revelation is the fact that companies pushing hardest for patent reform, like Patent Fairness … Continue reading

Top 3 IP ‘Bullies’ And How To Handle Them

There’s something about the underdog, whether it’s Rocky Balboa, Rudy, or Bob Kearns, that makes us feel good inside.  Most of us like to see David topple Goliath … What if Kearns, instead of patenting an incremental improvement to a windshield wiper, had patented an incremental improvement to better facilitate e-commerce?  And what if, instead … Continue reading