News Intel Ordered to Pay $2.2 Billion in Damages for Patent Infringement

husker

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"Intel's lawyers said in the closing arguments that VLSI has no products and that its only source of revenue is from the lawsuits, obviously implying the company is merely a patent troll. "

Ah yes, the old "well they weren't using it anyway" defense. I wonder if that defense would apply to money sitting unused in a bank vault.
 
Nov 13, 2020
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Just a FYI, VLSI Technologies Inc. was acquired by Phillips and then NXP Semiconductors.

The plaintiff here is VLSI Technologies LLC, a small entity that bought these 2 patents from NXP after acquisitions

According to the court filing VLSI owns a portfolio of 160 US and foreign patents which cover “a wide variety of technologies, including integrated circuit technology”.
It appears to take its name from a Silicon Valley business that was set up in the early 1980s and was ultimately acquired by Philips in 1999.
A check of the USPTO assignment database shows that the company acquired the patents in a series of transactions dating back to August 2016.
 
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Apr 23, 2020
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Ah yes, the old "well they weren't using it anyway" defense. I wonder if that defense would apply to money sitting unused in a bank vault.
Those really aren't comparable at all. For patents specifically, a company holding patents purely for legal action or pursuit of royalties ("patent trolls") are at risk of losing the ability to enforce those patents due to misuse. It's also really difficult for most companies, even ones as large as Intel, to be actively aware of patents held by trolls and not competitors. It's easy for them to hide in the cracks as an unknown with an unused patent, waiting for a company to create a potentially infringing product that provides an opportunity to sue. It might not carry the day in court, but the lack of use is a valid point. VLSI only obtained the patent to use in lawsuits like this, and not for any commercial interest.
 
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frogr

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What about the patents of a company like ARM which doesn't produce products but licenses their patents for royalty. Are their patents enforceable? What if they sold (not licensed) their patents to a different company, do the patents become unenforcable?
 

Co BIY

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How can it have damages when it has no competing products ? These are very advanced Patent Trolls not the garden variety. Still leaches who add nothing to society.
 

InvalidError

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Ultra-generic and trivial patents like the 759 really piss me off. Computers have had on-the-fly-modifiable clock frequency for 30+ years - I'm sure I'm not the only one who abused the "Turbo" button on a 8088-80286 as a slow-motion cheat in some games. All the patent does is "same crap, we just add software control" which could have been done all those years ago too if anyone wanted to bother with it and I bet somebody somewhere did just for lols.
 

Chung Leong

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Those really aren't comparable at all. For patents specifically, a company holding patents purely for legal action or pursuit of royalties ("patent trolls") are at risk of losing the ability to enforce those patents due to misuse. It's also really difficult for most companies, even ones as large as Intel, to be actively aware of patents held by trolls and not competitors. It's easy for them to hide in the cracks as an unknown with an unused patent, waiting for a company to create a potentially infringing product that provides an opportunity to sue. It might not carry the day in court, but the lack of use is a valid point. VLSI only obtained the patent to use in lawsuits like this, and not for any commercial interest.
Of course such an argument won't carry the day in court. The notion that seeking enforcement of patent rights somehow constitutes misuse is absurd. The Patent Act specifically states that is not the case.
 

InvalidError

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The notion that seeking enforcement of patent rights somehow constitutes misuse is absurd. The Patent Act specifically states that is not the case.
The Patent Act was written based on the premise that most participants in the system are honest actors who develop patents with the intent of either making something themselves or helping others make stuff. If it had to be re-written from scratch today by competent non-biased legislators, it would likely have many anti-trolling provision to prevent people and companies from acquiring patents for the sole purpose of extorting money for things most competent people in the field of application would consider obvious or trivial.
 

ginthegit

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As an Electronics Engineer I find this frustrating and unfair. This Intellectual Property nonsense is terrible. It, as Intel says, should only stifle those that steal tech that is being utilised, not this IP crap. People writing up IP with intent to just make royalties or Litigate are just stifling innovation, and the laws around IP should be changed... Especially when none of those involved in making the IP claim never have any intention of doing something practical with it. IP should only be applied and applicable when a working prototype is made and working...

This IP crap is just nonsense when used in this way, and China will just take advantage of it.
 

InvalidError

Titan
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Especially when none of those involved in making the IP claim never have any intention of doing something practical with it. IP should only be applied and applicable when a working prototype is made and working...
The patent law itself requires that patents be granted only for non-obvious inventions and the ability to change clock frequencies on stuff has been around for far longer than the clock change [under software control] patent has been. I really wish all of those "same old crap but under software control instead of human/mechanical/electronic/whatever other control" BS got invalidated in bulk.
 

Chung Leong

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The Patent Act was written based on the premise that most participants in the system are honest actors who develop patents with the intent of either making something themselves or helping others make stuff. If it had to be re-written from scratch today by competent non-biased legislators, it would likely have many anti-trolling provision to prevent people and companies from acquiring patents for the sole purpose of extorting money for things most competent people in the field of application would consider obvious or trivial.
Such provision would run afoul of the Constitution's prohibition on bill of attainder. What you're calling for, really, is that rights should be striped from lawyers for no other reason than that they're lawyers.
 

ginthegit

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Such provision would run afoul of the Constitution's prohibition on bill of attainder. What you're calling for, really, is that rights should be striped from lawyers for no other reason than that they're lawyers.
I am married to a Lawyer, and this is her Quote,
" Lawyers Interpret laws in a way that favours lawyers and make it deliberately difficult to interpret it in a straight forward way!" Her being one agrees that your statement should be made true, and that Lawyers should be sticking by a spirit of the law principle rather than bending it to their favour.

So yes, lawyers should be stripped of this ability to muddy laws with conjecture based reasoning and affective based thinking...
 

husker

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Making more robust locks (laws) begets more creative ways to circumvent those locks (laws). Locksmiths (Lawyers) are required on both sides of this endless and imperfect struggle.
 

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