Feeds

Microsoft sues Acacia for suing Microsoft

Spat splits patent trolling jerk-circle as Redmond nixes reform

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.