Startup aimed at killing patent trolls gets Google on its side

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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25 Comments

1. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

They think Google is a patent troll, but they didn't realize they were the "troll" all along........ Why not Apple? :P

3. Blazers

Posts: 760; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

5. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 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!

10. Izoe

Posts: 149; Member since: Sep 02, 2010

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

11. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 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?

15. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 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.

20. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

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

24. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Oh, so I misunderstood it, sorry about that!

12. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

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

13. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

apple is known having patent trolls work for them

18. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Reference, please?

21. tedkord

Posts: 17453; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

2. SuperNexus

Posts: 127; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Good idea. But must be done before.

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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.

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

6. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

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

17. loyals

Posts: 129; Member since: Nov 10, 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 !!

8. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 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.

19. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

22. tedkord

Posts: 17453; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

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.

16. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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.

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.

25. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 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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