Nokia, HTC and RIM dragged into patent dispute
US firm seeks gadget import ban
Gadgets made by a host of big-name manufacturers, including Nokia and HTC, could be banned from import into the US, if a patent violation investigation being conducted the US International Trade Commission (ITC) rules in the claimant’s favour.
The government body has voted to investigate claims by patent purchasing firm Saxon Innovations of Tyler, Texas that the named technology firms have each violated up to three patents owned by the company.
BlackBerry maker RIM, Panasonic and AVC Networks – a Panasonic-owned firm that makes gear related to SD cards, DVDs and digital TVs – have also been accused by Saxon.
Specific details about which products are supposedly at fault and how they could have trampled on Saxon’s patents are scarce. But an ITC announcement has mentioned “handheld wireless communication devices”, “smart phones”, “cellular telephones” and “television remote controls”.
According to online reports, one of the patents that Saxon’s upset about is for a keypad monitor with keypad activity based activation. Another patent is said to cover a device and method for inter-processor communication using mailboxes owned by processor devices.
Both patents were initially granted to chip maker AMD, until Saxon bought them in July 2007.
It’s also rumoured that Nokia's N73 and N95 handsets could be at risk, in addition to the BlackBerry 8100 Pearl and Palm's Treo 700p.
Saxon Innovations is seeking an exclusion order, and cease-and-desist orders. An initial hearing into the alleged patent violation will take place during the coming months. ®
Just state you don't use their patented method
You use another one.
Then, as proof, ask the trolls to explain how their kit enables the result. If they don't get it right (or if it is different from how one of the other defendants do it), then there is no patent infringement.
After all, you can't get sued for making "a device that catches rodent vermin", do you. Or "fixing two bits of wood together".
Bad career mistake - Remember NTP?
These guys added RIM to the basket, who already have legal precedent for something like this; NTP tried to get the Blackberry banned and switched off in the US... only to find that Congress asked for them *not* to be shut down, and the USPTO to strike down some of the patents.
RIM's got a pretty strong standing on this, so Saxon is risking a USPTO patent revision with this. Good!
The test for these patent troll cases should be quite simple. If you are a company with patents and you have no product either in development or on the market using such a patent then you can't defend the patent.
This prevents technology patent trolls acting as parasites and gambling their money buying patents to then earn income by enforcing them.
Patents are out of hand, they were originally introduced to prevent the smaller company getting their ideas ripped off by the big companies.
Perhaps because they roll over and cough up more readily.
The accused companies should telll this firm to take a hike.
Down with the Trolls
There should be a rule that only the original inventor can renew patent grant indefinitely but only for always increasing fee. Lets say after 15 -25 years or so it would be better to turn it over into public domain.
If the patent changes hands the renewal option get limited and the fees for renewing it increase.
You should also be unable to renew it past 5-10 years.
This way if you buy it you better start using it right away.
This would be fair to the inventors i think and would keep us all progressing.
This buy and sit on it until you can fleece some one has got to go!
Pirate? Why not?