Patent trolls and the case of MobileMedia Ideas LLC 2/4
Feb 22, 2013
According to research by Colleen Chien, a professor of Law at the Santa Clara University, until December 1st 2012, more than 60 percent of all patent lawsuits were introduced by patent-assertion entities or companies whose business model is to assert patents. They behave in this way, rather than build and research their own technology. There trend has been increasing more than 15 percent in 2011 and 37 percent in comparison to five years ago.
MobileMedia Ideas LLC is known as a patent-assertion entity, a company without any products of its own and thus a patent troll. MobileMedia Ideas LLC owns more than 300 patents. Some of these are patents from Nokia and Sony, two companies that also own a 10% stack of MobileMedia Idea LLC. The main owner is MPEG LA and its CEO Larry Horn, who is also CEO of MPEG LA. MobileMedia uses those patents to sue several smartphone makers (Cases against: Apple, HTC and RIM (Blackberry).
For example, companies like MobileMedia Ideas LLC retard innovation, are costly, and raise the ultimate product’s price with a very negative impact on the consumer. However, this is not the only problem. Another really dangerous aspect about trolls is that they are increasingly going after startups. “About 35 percent of startups that have raised $50 million to $100 million have been sued on a patent,” Chien said, “as have 20 percent of the companies that have raised $20 million to $50 million.”
These startups are fuel innovation and create new jobs, but they do not have enough resources to sue against trolls. That means a patent lawsuit can not only kill innovative startups, but also jobs.