dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Cable Companies and Modem Vendors Fight Patent Troll
Patent firm seeks millions of dollars from all major cable companies
by KathrynV 01:01PM Sunday Jun 01 2008
A patent troll called Rembrandt IP Management has been trying to unsettle the cable television market by filing patent infringement violations against all of the major cable companies as well as a number of network broadcasters. Those lawsuits have been consolidated and the companies are fighting back with claims that Rembrandt “set up a shell company to resell another vendor's cable modems with the intent of ‘hijacking’ the DOCSIS specification”. Basically, they’re trying to prove that Rembrandt is guilty of a bad faith effort to obtain patent royalties from selling a DOCSIS modem solely for the purpose of gaining patent infringement fees. Should the cable companies fail to prove this and Rembrandt wins in court, the earnings could be upwards of $10 million annually from cable’s broadband services alone.

view:
topics flat nest 

Glaice
Brutal Video Vault
Premium
join:2002-10-01
North Babylon, NY

Trolls...

These sort of trolls need to be put out of business and among other things...
jc100

join:2002-04-10

Re: Trolls...

Well yes and no. I don't like that they sit there and try to extort money. However, the same principle still stands. These people own the technology and are free to use it or approve usage of it in any way they see fit. Just because they do not want to sell said technology, doesn't give others the right to take it. Let's say you invented a car that ran on grass. You refuse to sell the patent and keep it a home brew operation. Joe schmoe comes along and copies your car, and starts selling it. Is that right?

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

Re: Trolls...

Yep, it's right. If you did nothing to actually invent the car that runs on grass but then go sue Ford who independently invented a car that runs on leaves, you should pay Ford huge punitive damages.
jc100

join:2002-04-10

2 edits

Re: Trolls...

Well, that's assuming they didn't invent said technology or bought the rights to it. Let's take this example farther. Say your car that ran on grass made lots of money. However, you wanted more. You sold the patent to your wealthy friend. He didn't invent the idea, you did. However, you relinquished your rights to use the idea further. He now owners that title. Pretend he didn't want to market the car just yet. Let's say wealthy neighbor is waiting for gas to go to 10 dollars a gallon to make further cars. However, someone comes along and steals his car and makes a copy of it. His car being the only existing, working prototype. He A) didnt invent that car (you sold him it and the patent). B) He only bought title to it. Should he have no claim to go after the company that stole and copied it? See, t his is where your logic is failing you. Selling a patent and buying a patent are one in the same. They own the rights to that idea and no one can come along and use it to make something better. It sucks and stifles creativity and future developments but it's life.

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

4 edits

2 recommendations

Re: Trolls...

Read the article, your example isn't what happened here.

They're stealing patents of other Cablelabs partners while refusing to give up theirs. Only CONTRIBUTORS to the DOCSIS spec are eligible for royalty free DOCSIS stuff. Rembrandt nor the company that they supposedly bought their patent from, Paradyne contributed to DOCSIS, thus they aren't entitled to goodies in the DOCSIS patent pool.

So basically by Rembrandt making their own few cable modems to claim they're losing money to people like Motorola, they're infringing on patents of other companies.

IOW, in order for Rembrandt to get royalty free DOCSIS stuff, they have to give up their DOCSIS stuff.

Same goes for their claims over ATSC. They're obligated to the original AT&T free license terms.

They're blood sucking leeches and their executives and their lawyers should be jailed for racketeering.

In your example it would be like you want to build a car based on a "Unity Car standard" developed by manufacturers to insure interoperability.

You invent the way it runs on grass, but you want to use Yokohama tire tread designs, Chevrolet designed fuel injection and a Sony patented CD player.

You take those patents from the Unity Car royalty free patent pool while refusing to put your grass burning technology into the patent pool for others to use...a violation of the Unity Car project agreements.

Or the company you bought the grass burning technology from already put it into the patent pool but then you later suddenly claim exclusive rights to grass burning technology and that everyone else in the group is infringing on your grass burning stuff (again, while you're using all of their technologies). It's bullcrap.

DOCSIS is built on this free patent exchange and if these scumsuckers succeed in stealing other's contributions while forcing others to pay for their supposed contribution, it will end these types of industry partnerships and we will be back to K56Flex vs X2 type standards wars and licensing schemes all over again.

You can't have standards when a company is permitted to steal from and extort money from other contributors to the standards.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: Trolls...

Generally I appreciate how patents are suppose to work...sharing how an idea or concept works in exchange for exclusive rights to it for a fixed period of times. But it's times when companies do like you describe, do like Rambus did a while back and try to get their technology adopted as a standard and then spring the patent card, or submarine a patent until it's very well adopted as a unoffical "standard" and then surface the patent, that really irk me about the patent process.
said by Dogfather:

Read the article, your example isn't what happened here. ...
this isn't really an "article" so much as someone's editorial posting on the topic of these lawsuits. you only have to read the first half of the first sentence to get that sense.

i certainly agree that you're entitled to your opinion, but for anyone to suggest that this post is some sort of unbiased news-reporting that can be relied on for its factual accuracy would be a bit of a stretch.

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

Re: Trolls...

No guy, there are links in the item to MULTIPLE news sources as there always is for DSLR items.

HEDP

join:2008-04-27
Miami, FL
Principles my arse.

Either you got the cash or not, the free market will not wait till you decide to earn enough capital to promote a product or service. If it's your idea good on you, but no idea can be kept to your own, who ever makes the better product in the long run shall win no matter how many different versions of the original product exist.

The patent system is BS, it's corrupt and it serves no purpose other than to block companies who have the cash or new businesses from entering the field with a similar idea but are afraid because a certain individual already has something similar and are afraid of getting sued.

Ideas are just that just because you thought of it first does not mean it's property you own.

Ronald J Riley

@omcastbusiness.net

Patent Pirating Industry Spin

You have put an interesting spin on this. Another way of looking at it is that we have an industry engaging in racketeering in an attempt to steal other's inventions.

When I look at this issue I see inventors offering the market a product which does not have the liability of being hot merchandise like the other products on the market.

It is interesting that you have offered an estimate of the scope of theft which is occurring in this case. Ten billion a year is most certainly larceny on the grandest of scales. Since this is an industry orchestrated theft it seems likely that the perpretators may be subject to up to treble damages.

Now that would be poetic justice.

Ronald J. Riley,

Speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
President - Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL

Re: Patent Pirating Industry Spin

Ronald,

Hopefully you're speaking in support of the Cablelabs partners, and not Rembrandt. Seriously, not every one of these cases is a situation where the "offender" is really the one who's the bad guy.

And that's certainly the case here. RIT is crap, and if you really care about inventors then you shouldn't support them.

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

Punish the trolls with catastrophic punitive damage awards

When a patent troll fails they should have to pay 10-100X the damages they were seeking. Also make their lawyers liable as well since they participated in the conspiracy to defraud the court with their patent troll schemes.

Treat the patent trolling just like insurance fraud.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

1 edit

Seems like old times.

This lawsuit regarding DOCSIS technology seems like old times. Rambus played a similar game with the computer industry about Five Years ago as related to patents on Rambus Memory Technology. See the excerpt below from: SOFTPEDIA.

Despite the verdict, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled that the memory manufacturer has withheld essential information from the JEDEC council while outlining the technical standards in memory manufacturing. According to the Commission, Rambus tricked the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) into including standards already patented by Rambus.

I have posted to the link below for those interested in the complete story.

»news.softpedia.com/news/Rambus-W···11.shtml

We need a law that prevents companies from making patent claims on inventions that are actually prior art and or technology that was developed by a consortium.

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

Re: Seems like old times.

i wonder how many people it takes to pull a stunt like that. More than a handful I'm sure.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

1 edit

Drawn to Invention

The company motto is "Drawn to Invention" is just another way of saying "Drawn to Sh*t Like Flies". If we had a Congress and Senate that was not so busy back stabbing each other maybe they could do something useful like straighten out this mess. But NOOOOOOO! there are too many people to screw. If they where to say anything about this issue they would probably blame it on Bush anyway.

»www.rembrandtip.com/index.html
--
Send a prayer to Allah, eat Beans.

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL

Rambus again

It's the same deal as with Rambus.

Work on a joint venture where IP is shared, then decide to take the fruits of that partnership, patent it and then sue everyone elese.

Sadly in that case for some reason Rambus came out with at least some victory. Total crap, as this is.

Shove it Rembrandt IP.
--
TheGlobalMind.com | Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go? | Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cuchulainn
The Roar of the Masses Could be Farts

join:2000-11-09
Chevy Chase, MD

Re: Rambus again

said by GlobalMind:

It's the same deal as with Rambus.

Work on a joint venture where IP is shared, then decide to take the fruits of that partnership, patent it and then sue everyone elese.

Sadly in that case for some reason Rambus came out with at least some victory. Total crap, as this is.

Shove it Rembrandt IP.
Exactly what victory did Rambus come out with? My recollection is that they got bitch-slapped. So did Qualcomm much more recently.
EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA

Re: Rambus again

Wasn't the Qualcomm lawsuit about another patent holder making claims against Qualcomm, not the other way around?

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL
said by Cuchulainn:

Exactly what victory did Rambus come out with? My recollection is that they got bitch-slapped. So did Qualcomm much more recently.
I seem to recall that one court sided with Rambus but I might be remembering that incorrectly. I haven't exactly paid much attention to them of late.

Although I do recall the extortion they were getting from a few mfg.
--
TheGlobalMind.com | Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go? | Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson

joe skchmoe

@charter.com

don't worry

The Chinese will copy it and sell it (better and cheaper) and the so called "patent owners" will just look and whistle...'cause that's all you can do when the bigredbrother does somethin' like that.
SunnyFL
Premium
join:2001-02-08

Stupid

Lawsuits seem to be the cat's meow in the corporate world.

Is it really about money or just flexing their ......


dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

I can see it now

Patent compliance fee . . . . . . . . . . . $4.60

tsv

@htc.net

secret code

Tip of the day..."patent troll” is secret code for yes I’m using your patent, but I don’t want to pay. Dont be taken in. The US Patent system is a godsend to the real innovators...the patent holder. If you own the patent, you invented it.

When corporate America agrees to not use our inventions without consent, American inventors and small entities will agree to stop suing them.