A patent assertion entity (PAE) used indirectly by a producing entity to assert patents against rivals. The privateer is better positioned to damage the rival because it is not vulnerable to counterassertions (as a non-producing entity it cannot be liable for patent infringement) and need not be concerned with adverse publicity.  The producing company may […]

SmartPhone Patent Wars: A Lesson for Privateers

Today, we’ll take a short break from talking about patent trolls, and revisit another ongoing story in the patent world: the SmartPhone Patent Wars. Here’s a short video introduction (looks best in full screen):


Anti-Competitive Effects: Litigation & Extortion

The patent system’s friendliness toward patent applicants and owners necessarily favors patent assertion and litigation over market competition.  Particular factors include: The high presumption of validity accorded to issued patents, despite the very limited time (around 18 hours) examiners have to process each application and produce evidence it should not be granted. Under §103 of […]

About Patent Progress

Patent Progress provides useful information and timely analysis for navigating the high-tech patent landscape.  We address the patent wars, trolls and privateers that have engulfed the technology sector in an unprecedented storm of multi-jurisdictional, worldwide patent litigation, along with the conflicting incentives and systemic failure at the heart of the challenge.  Patent Progress identifies the misalignments and asymmetries […]

Anything Qualcomm Can Do, Huawei Can Do (Better?)

With the settlement of the Apple-Qualcomm litigation, the fate of the FTC’s litigation against Qualcomm has become the next topic of interest in the standard-essential patent (SEP) sphere.  There are a host of reasons why the FTC shouldn’t settle that relate to concerns about Qualcomm’s behavior and its impact on competition and consumers.  But beyond […]

The Inventor Protection Act Would Actually Harm U.S. Innovation

Yesterday, I went through the serious defects in the findings Rep. Rohrabacher based his Inventor Protection Act on.  Today, I’ll discuss the problems with the legal changes the bill seeks to make.

IPR Successes: Cleaning Up Messes

APTWater makes water treatment systems that clean up polluted groundwater and wastewater.  You’ve probably never heard of APTWater.  I hadn’t, nor had a friend who lives near their headquarters and works on water issues. Of course, that didn’t stop a patent troll from suing APTWater over their wastewater treatment technology.   APTWater wasn’t the only one […]

Why Pay For Delay When You Can Pay For Immunity

What do Seymour Cray’s high-performance computing research company SRC Labs and drug manufacturer Allergan have in common?  Both SRC Labs and Allergan sold patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, then licensed them back from the tribe, in order to use tribal sovereign immunity to prevent challenges to their patents as invalid.

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