Feeds

Microsoft sues Acacia for suing Microsoft

Spat splits patent trolling jerk-circle as Redmond nixes reform

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The hoop-snake world of patent trolling just took another bite on its own tail, with Microsoft suing Acacia Research over licenses Microsoft licensed from Acacia Research, but which Acacia Research has declined to license to Microsoft.

Currently under seal, the lawsuit has been filed in the southern district, New York, of the US District Court. Microsoft is complaining that Acacia, which is currently suing Microsoft over patent infringement, has violated a contract to license smartphone and mobile computing technologies to Redmond.

Microsoft probably has reason to feel at least a little aggrieved. Back in 2010, it opened the wallet and pulled out an undisclosed number of used-once notes to license 74 patents from Japanese company Access, via Acacia Research. At the time, Access claimed to have shipped a billion mobile phone browsers.

With licenses for Access' technology in hand, Acacia had already lobbed sueballs at Apple, RIM (now BlackBerry), Samsung and Motorola, among others.

Acacia then seems to have suffered a bout of amnesia about the Microsoft deal, and in October, it sued Redmond for violating the Access patents.

Microsoft's new filing is in defence against the new lawsuit.

According to Reuters, Microsoft counsel David Howard said: “Acacia's lawsuits are the worst kind of abusive litigation behaviour, attempting to extract payment based on litigation tactics and not the value of its patents.”

Certainly, Acacia has form as a megatroll: either under its own name or via sock-puppets subsidiaries, its targets over the years have included Intel, AMD and Via; Red Hat and Novell; Skype; the afore-mentioned Apple/Samsung/Moto/Blackberry group; Apple, PayPal and Victoria's Secret; Nokia, HTC and Sony.

In a schadenfraudic (it is a word, now) twist, the Washington Post is accusing Microsoft, along with IBM, of "killing" the patent reform moves initiated by the US government.

"One of the bill's most important provisions, designed to make it easier to nix low-quality software patents, will be left on the cutting room floor. That provision was the victim of an aggressive lobbying campaign by patent-rich software companies such as IBM and Microsoft", writes the Post's Timothy Lee. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.