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Startup aimed at killing patent trolls gets Google on its side

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Startup aimed at killing patent trolls gets Google on its side
The US patent system has been getting pretty terrible reviews recently, especially from the tech community. The system seems like it is completely broken, and one of the major issues is the rise of patent trolls - companies that exist solely to gather patents in order to sue over infringement, and extort companies with settlements. Now, there's a new startup called Unified Patents Inc. that is aiming to kill patent trolls, and it has recruited a big supporter - Google.

Kevin Jakel, Unified Patents' chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal that the aim of the company is to recruit both big companies like Google and smaller companies that would usually be targets of patent trolls, ultimately "making a group of small companies no longer look like an easy target." The company intends to protect its partner companies in a variety of ways including helping smaller companies understand what to do when a patent troll is threatening a lawsuit, or offering to purchase a company. 

Unified Patents wants to create an "early warning system" to identify trolls, spread awareness, and mount defenses asking the USPTO to re-examine patents in hopes of having more patents invalidated. 

source: WSJ via BGR

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posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:26 5

1. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


They think Google is a patent troll, but they didn't realize they were the "troll" all along........

Why not Apple? :P

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:35 7

3. Blazers (Posts: 205; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Google and Apple aren't patent trolls. They actually use some of their patents. Where as a patent troll just sits on the patent (with no intention of ever actually using it) and waits for some company to use it so they can sue.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:42

5. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


What I meant by "They" is the company who start the "startup" and said Google is a patent troll, and that's the Unified Patents Inc.

I know Google and Apple aren't patent trolls, but they think Google is a patent troll, they didn't realize that they were the "troll", they are wrong when saying that right?

Same as Apple, if they said Apple too, they are the "troll" too!

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 22:43 5

10. Izoe (Posts: 106; Member since: 02 Sep 2010)


You misunderstood the article, they didn't say Google is a patent troll.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 23:04 1

11. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Yes, they didn't say Google is a patent troll, but they think it is, " Now, there's a new startup called Unified Patents Inc. that is aiming to kill patent trolls, and it has recruited a big supporter - Google.".

Did I misunderstood the article?

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 00:04 2

15. eisenbricher (Posts: 971; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


Let me summerize it for you.. Google is on the good side here. The new startup is aiming at defeating patent trolls' attempts, and Google is backing it.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 01:37 2

20. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


There is no "good" side, only winners and losers...

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 07:53

24. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Oh, so I misunderstood it, sorry about that!

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 23:09

12. alterecho (Posts: 1082; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Yeah. People forget Lodsys. The very meaning of patent troll.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 23:09

13. belovedson (Posts: 832; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


apple is known having patent trolls work for them

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 01:13

18. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


Reference, please?

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 04:05

21. tedkord (Posts: 4739; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Apple is a patent troll. Look at the flexible amoled phone they applied to patent. They have no intention of ever producing it, have done zero actual work on it, but they saw what Samsung was working toward, and applied to patent it in order to set up lawsuits.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:30 3

2. SuperNexus (Posts: 115; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


Good idea.
But must be done before.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 00:02

14. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5751; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I am still trying to understand what Unified Patents is going to do to undercut patent trolls. Are they going to cut the number of patent infringement lawsuits? If so, how? By pushing for patents to be re-examined? That happens as a normal course in present patent litigation. Weigh in on the patent examination process? Provisions are already in place for crowd-sourcing patent examinations. "making a group of small companies no longer look like an easy target."? That too already exists - there are 'friendly' patent aggregation companies who attempt to purchase patents in an effort to pre-empt trolls from picking up the patents.

What is the compelling value proposition of Unified Patents? Enquiring minds would like to know.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:39 3

4. Mxyzptlk (limited) (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Google has abused patents before. I see this as irony in some ways.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:45 1

6. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5404; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


No dude, Google didn't do it, Apple didn't do it too. So, nobody's fault this time!

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 01:02

17. loyals (Posts: 129; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)


@mxyz its actually good for both Apple and Google to support unified patents Inc...we have seen patent trolls causing much losses and trouble for true companies like Google,apple,Microsoft ! ...we should hope Apple and Microsoft join them soon !!

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 22:10 4

8. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


When making unexpected claims, it is social convention to give a specific example or two.

Allow me to give you an example. Apple has ludicrous patents which should not have been issued, (much less involved in lawsuits) as their existence is contrary to the Constitutional purpose of a patent. Their unilateral control over pinching to zoom is not going to advance science or art, so it should be invalidated.

Not that Google doesn't have equally awful patents, but I haven't seen them suing competitors for a billion dollars over them.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 01:30

19. Sniggly (Posts: 6998; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, we've gotten our unfounded dumbass statement of the day from Mxy. You can all go home now.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 04:06

22. tedkord (Posts: 4739; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


The rest of us in the real world see your stance that Google is a patent abuser but Apple is not as irony.

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 21:57 1

7. darkkjedii (Posts: 11232; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Institute it and attack. This crap is killing the innovation engine, and needs to be stopped...

posted on 08 Apr 2013, 22:11 6

9. Aeires (unregistered)


Patent system doesn't seem like it's completely broken, it is completely broken. When they announced first to patent and not first to invent, the entire system went downhill. Rich companies can now afford to create think tanks just to spawn patents they'll likely never build, but will use against others. The entire system needs a major overhaul.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 00:06

16. joey_sfb (Posts: 2907; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


To own a patent cost a few hundred thousands i wonder how many basement inventors could afford it.

The system is defunct but too costly too fix.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 07:22

23. Aeires (unregistered)


Like most things on this planet, it's been tweaked by the corporations to slant in their favor. Grease enough palms, aka campaign contributions, and you get legislature rewritten to your benefit.

posted on 09 Apr 2013, 14:14

25. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


First to file didn't the end of the patent system. It's the symptom, not the disease.

The patent system is, by and large, garbage. Economists say that software patents are basically a 10% tax. The system exists to protect progress, and it's become about protecting profits.

I say, reevaluate. The consumer technology industry moves so quickly that patents lasting over a decade are absurd. Being the first to market is enough incentive to innovate in a market where a company can go from barely making money off of smartphones to pulling in tens of billions in a couple of years.

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