logo
Sign in or Register

Already a member?

Sign in

Or sign in with your account on:

Not a member yet?

Register
    

 


White House and FTC Target “Patent Trolls”

  +Follow June 21, 2013 10:30AM
Share:
Tickers Mentioned:

TrollThe White House strengthened their resolve to protect intellectual property (IP) by releasing 2013’s Joint Strategic Plan On Intellectual Property Enforcement. According to the plan, IP is one of the biggest drivers of the American economy, accounting for $5.06 trillion in value added to the US economy, or 34.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.

This comes in conjunction with an announcement from FTC specifically targeting so-called “patent trolls.” Patent troll is a pejorative aimed at companies that tend to buy patents, sit on them, and then sue companies, often hoping the company will pay out a settlement rather than risk litigation. Academics James Bessen and Michael Meuer put the direct losses to the economy via patent trolls at $29 billion

 According to the Washington Post, Silicon Valley is ecstatic over the news. Venture capitalist Brad Feld said Obama “clearly understands the patent troll issue and is doing what it can to address the situation without having Congress have to change the law.” And it is very likely the FTC will vote soon whether or not to launch a full-blown investigation into the activities of the patent trolls.

The Phone Trolls

A renewed focus on IP could come as a major blow for companies like Intellectual Ventures (IV), often referred to as a patent troll. IV has raised some $6 billion to date via licensing and threatening litigation against large tech companies. On June 19th IV sued Google’s (GOOG) Motorola for second time, citing IP infringement with several of Motorola’s phones. Two of the seven patents cited in the lawsuit formerly belonged to Nokia (NOK) before IV snatched them up.

 In 2000 so-called patent troll NTP Inc. got Research in Motion (BBRY) to fork over $615 million to keep the Blackberry afloat. Research in Motion has also been sued by Canadian company WiLan (WLN), who still stay very busy in the phone patent litigtation game. WiLan brokered a major deal on June 19 with Korean phone manufacturer Samsung to utilize their patent holdings. Samsung reportedly was concerned if they didn’t enter into the deal they would be sued by WiLan. 

 This practice of targeting struggling companies like Nokia, buying their patents solely for litigious reasons (instead of developmental), and then using that IP as litigation ammunition are just the sort of practices the FTC and White House are hoping to curb. Obama stated in February that patent trolls “don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them,” and now it appears the government is starting to act on this sentiment.

The Search Engine Trolls

IV isn’t the only so-called patent troll making big bucks suing major tech companies. Vringo (VRNG), first know as a ring tone company, has become a surprisingly large player in the patent troll game. According to the Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law, Vringo used a patent they bought off of Nokia (again) for $20 million to successfully sue Google, AOL, Gannett (GCI), IAC (IACI), and Target for infringement on an information filter system. Vringo won several million dollars off of these lawsuits, although that was just a fraction of what they were seeking. Concerning Google alone, Vringo asked for $696 million. And in May  Google competitor Microsoft (MSFT) avoided getting sued by Vringo by agreeing to a handshake deal wrth $1 million.

Patent trolls are a divisive issue politically. Even initializing the FTC investigation into them will require bipartisan cooperation. But for several major companies that employ IP, a crackdown could be a huge boon. And the big tech companies, long wary of angering the trolls, aren't mincing words anymore. A Google spokesperson summed it up like this: “We’re fighting to stop patent trolls’ use of low-quality patents to extort money from companies that actually innovate and make real things."

[Image via Flickr]

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Signup for our daily newsletter and get our best articles emailed right to you!

Results for goog
Roberee
1 Apr 15 07:16:26
$GOOG $GOOGL Not so fast, it appears.
FinSentS SP500
1 Apr 15 07:14:56
$GOOG:US Google Lab Puts a Time Limit on Innovations #GOOGLE INC http://t.co/ZGlXS4KmLo #SP500
$AAPL
1 Apr 15 07:14:23
Monthly contests starts today on TraderMob win IPAD AIR stocks and Options contests $SPX $SPY $VIX $AAPL $FB $GOOG… http://t.co/gOyJTWVTjR
NDA
1 Apr 15 07:08:26
#GoogleDoodle $goog #AprilFoolsday2015
Bradley
1 Apr 15 07:04:06
Free Video Tutorial #psychology of #trading http://t.co/th4YrUzta4 $TLT $TNA $QQQ $SPY $GPRO $GOOG $AAPL http://t.co/L6cxFHZXnA
Clayton R.
1 Apr 15 07:04:05
$GOOG http://t.co/zzGEvirsQD Jefferies Praises Twitter's Periscope Acquisition, Gives Stock A Buy Rating http://t.co/2lldwQQofe
Stock Hobbit
1 Apr 15 07:02:08
Logging in now to live stock chat http://t.co/ndv5bWOOj4 $GOOG $AAPL $FB $EBAY #options #stocks #daytrading http://t.co/UrYb8wqEym
Bradley
1 Apr 15 07:00:12
What will the $DOW do tomorrow? http://t.co/RGFWb0kA5h $GOOG $AAPL $FB $EBAY #options #stocks #daytrading http://t.co/MjNKcbmqCw
OM_freebies
1 Apr 15 07:00:11
#OptionsTraining Video: #Payoff #Diagrams http://t.co/nuLmohA3zT $GOOG $GOOGL $TSLS $TQQQ $XLV $XNRG $NKE $DIA http://t.co/vdIWwHQPv5
SecretCaps LLC
1 Apr 15 07:00:05
Tech / SaaS Microcap Report on Research Solutions: http://t.co/HZCYDPsOG3 … $RSSS $GOOG $GOOGL $IWC ⏲ 4:39 PM via Web
$AAPL
1 Apr 15 06:58:07
RT $TSLA Algos BROKE 186 LEVEL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:51, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $A… http://t.co/gOyJTWVTjR
$AAPL
1 Apr 15 06:58:03
RT $TSLA Algos BROKE 187 LEVEL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:46, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $A… http://t.co/gOyJTWVTjR
Guru Algo Trading
1 Apr 15 06:52:34
RT $TSLA Algos BROKE 186 LEVEL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:51, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $AAPL $QQQ #HFT #Quant
Stayko D. Staykov
1 Apr 15 06:52:19
RT @Venture_Grove: PC-on-a-stick trend could boost a new market vertical $GOOG Google announces budget-priced Chromebits and Chromebooks ht…
NDA
1 Apr 15 06:51:28
oh happy birthday to #gmail @GoogleFacts @gmail @lifeatgoogle $goog 11yo
Josephine Son
1 Apr 15 06:48:31
RT @i8and8: Happy April Fools Day! Play PacMan on Google Maps $GOOG #ATARI http://t.co/KZwvM6ZJpx
Penny Stock Secret
1 Apr 15 06:48:08
Premium Alerts Ranked #1 For Gains 2834% Last Week http://t.co/NovWYe2RAx .. $GOOG $QQQC $ALIM
Guru Algo Trading
1 Apr 15 06:47:19
RT $TSLA Algos BROKE 187 LEVEL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:46, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $AAPL $QQQ #HFT #Quant
i8NYC.com
1 Apr 15 06:45:09
Happy April Fools Day! Play PacMan on Google Maps $GOOG #ATARI http://t.co/KZwvM6ZJpx
$AAPL
1 Apr 15 06:43:41
RT $TSLA Algos BROKE 188 LEVEL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:33, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $A… http://t.co/gOyJTWVTjR
Frank Aquila
1 Apr 15 06:39:25
Google Lab Puts a Time Limit on Innovations #tech $GOOG http://t.co/PI8tKqAvTr
Adam Maciasz
1 Apr 15 06:38:28
Search Google backwards for April Fools Day on http://t.co/J2tWgc2qHm $GOOG
Tad Doughty, CFS
1 Apr 15 06:37:34
Play Pack Man anywhere - today only from Google Maps. April fools day special lol $GOOG http://t.co/HRkUYs2j4n
Venture Grove
1 Apr 15 06:36:58
PC-on-a-stick trend could boost a new market vertical $GOOG Google announces budget-priced Chromebits and Chromebooks http://t.co/qZnMGcxlxW
Guru Algo Trading
1 Apr 15 06:35:56
RT $TSLA Algos BROKE 188 LEVEL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:33, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $AAPL $QQQ #HFT #Quant
Solo traders
1 Apr 15 06:35:15
$GOOG - Orange Urged to Consider European Partner for Dailymotion http://t.co/53crLGOVXK
Stocks News&Markets
1 Apr 15 06:35:14
$GOOG - Orange Urged to Consider European Partner for Dailymotion http://t.co/SFhauy9VWo
NASDAQ
1 Apr 15 06:35:11
$GOOG - Orange Urged to Consider European Partner for Dailymotion http://t.co/jWvizBvPKc
john smith
1 Apr 15 06:35:09
$GOOG - Orange Urged to Consider European Partner for Dailymotion http://t.co/1DD161wVpq
JoS. Dierks
1 Apr 15 06:35:03
@JimCramer u want a #gamechanger? $TWTR pen! Like $GOOG glasses....y am I just throwing an idea like that out there? Cuz idgaf..but u might
Live Stock News
1 Apr 15 06:34:29
$GOOG - Orange Urged to Consider European Partner for Dailymotion http://t.co/4JUG0xLJ4Y
Guru Algo Trading
1 Apr 15 06:33:40
RT $TSLA Algos triggered SELL in SIGMA-X, CROSSFINDER, ATS, LX @ 09:33, P/T 185.00 $GOOG $BABA $GPRO $NFLX $FB $AAPL $QQQ #HFT #Quant
SIAnalystWire
1 Apr 15 06:31:27
Google $GOOG $GOOGL Sees Decelerating Trends in 1Q, Wedbush Notes http://t.co/KmnnhV6j36
Trending Articles SA
1 Apr 15 06:30:04
Google Taunts Microsoft With $149 Chromebooks http://t.co/DkF1RjEnA5 $ASUUY $MSFT $GOOG $GOOGL
Searching4Alpha
1 Apr 15 06:30:01
$TWTR possible all day runner. Primed. Multiple upgrades this a.m. Gonna be strong out of the gate. $GOOG $AAPL $FB $MSFT $QQQ
WLST.com
1 Apr 15 06:29:26
Steady Technology Stocks - Freescale Semiconductor (FSL), Google (GOOG), NCR (NCR), AU ... - TickerLens $GOOG #wlst http://t.co/3KjoSipxyH
Vista Partners LLC
1 Apr 15 06:27:31
Vuzix $VUZI Reports Full Year 2014 Financial Results http://t.co/u5fbVAzXz3 #wearables #videoeyewear #smartglasses $GOOG #oculus $FB
Open Outcrier
1 Apr 15 06:26:48
$GOOG $GOOGL Wedbush with Cautious Comments in pre
IH News Desk
1 Apr 15 06:25:48
$SCO Short Sales Updated Wednesday, April 1, 2015 09:10:59 AM $UCO $GOOG $CRM $ALK http://t.co/3K8onzM32i
IH News Desk
1 Apr 15 06:25:47
$WMT Stock Forum Updated Wednesday, April 1, 2015 09:10:59 AM $GOOG $MAXD $SLV $ITB http://t.co/TmCUaqAkXi
Jacob Urban
1 Apr 15 06:22:53
RT @youngmoneymonst: Google Needs to Listen to Steve Jobs and Stop Trying to Do Everything http://t.co/OvL4DKJI3T $GOOG $AAPL
jodi gralnick
1 Apr 15 06:22:40
Messing with your mind: https://t.co/8XJ4vr84UV $GOOG
WeinsteinSA
1 Apr 15 06:22:16
Five Easy Ways To Improve Your Website SEO http://t.co/7W3m15V2Gp $GOOG $MSFT
.
1 Apr 15 06:21:37
RT @youngmoneymonst: Google Needs to Listen to Steve Jobs and Stop Trying to Do Everything http://t.co/OvL4DKJI3T $GOOG $AAPL
StockExpert
1 Apr 15 06:20:33
$VLTC Going to be Explosive here at the Open!!! @Carl_C_Icahn $AAPL $NFLX $FB $TWTR $GOOG $INTC $MSFT $BAC $SPY $DIA $QQQ $VIX $GLD $SLV $X
Young Money Monsters
1 Apr 15 06:17:23
Google Needs to Listen to Steve Jobs and Stop Trying to Do Everything http://t.co/OvL4DKJI3T $GOOG $AAPL
Richard
1 Apr 15 06:17:12
RT @MexTrader: #TRMX $TSLA Tesla's New Product Secretly Tested By 330 Consumers $AAPL $GOOG $PCG http://t.co/wYFxQMHd57
$ Hedge Fund AI $
1 Apr 15 06:16:01
Don't trade $GOOG!! Earn 6% a month using our 'Top 10 Hedge Fund' Artificial Intelligence - http://t.co/JnYV7VSLtQ $QQQ $USD
Breaking News Now
1 Apr 15 06:15:03
$GOOG: Wedbush Warns Of Decelerating Trends At Google: http://t.co/tU5tjOD3hr
Gary Nielson
1 Apr 15 06:15:02
The new Microsoft Surface 3 is way cheaper and smaller than the Pro version $MSFT $GOOG http://t.co/eslXE2Ir06
				
				
  +Follow June 21, 2013 10:30AM
Share:

Comments

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

About us

Equities.com is the most advanced interactive online social ecosystem for the financial industry, serving as a resource center and next-generation communication platform that connects self-directed investors with public issuers, market experts, and professional service providers and vendors. Registered members can leverage our exclusive proprietary research tools such as the Small-Cap Stars, which outperformed 90% of all small-cap mutual funds, and robust do-it-yourself E.V.A. research reports. The Equities.com Issuer Dashboard is the ideal tool to communicate and manage investor awareness campaigns to the investment community, as well as to access valuable resources to help your company grow.

Market Data powered by QuoteMedia.
Copyright © QuoteMedia. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of Use.