jm + scanning + patents   2

Patent trolls want $1,000 for using scanners
We are truly living in the future -- a dystopian future, but one nonetheless. A patent troll manages to obtain "gobbledigook" patents on using a scanner to scan to PDF, then attempts to shake down a bunch of small companies before eventually running into resistance, at which point it "forks" into a bunch of algorithmically-named shell companies, spammer-style, sending the same demands. Those demands in turn contain this beauty of Stockholm-syndrome-inducing prose:

'You should know also that we have had a positive response from the business community to our licensing program. As you can imagine, most businesses, upon being informed that they are infringing someone’s patent rights, are interested in operating lawfully and taking a license promptly. Many companies have responded to this licensing program in such a manner. Their doing so has allowed us to determine that a fair price for a license negotiated in good faith and without the need for court action is a payment of $900 per employee. We trust that your organization will agree to conform your behavior to respect our patent rights by negotiating a license rather than continuing to accept the benefits of our patented technology without a license. Assuming this is the case, we are prepared to make this pricing available to you.'

And here's an interesting bottom line:

The best strategy for target companies? It may be to ignore the letters, at least for now. “Ignorance, surprisingly, works,” noted Prof. Chien in an e-mail exchange with Ars.

Her study of startups targeted by patent trolls found that when confronted with a patent demand, 22 percent ignored it entirely. Compare that with the 35 percent that decided to fight back and 18 percent that folded. Ignoring the demand was the cheapest option ($3,000 on average) versus fighting in court, which was the most expensive ($870,000 on average).

Another tactic that clearly has an effect: speaking out, even when done anonymously. It hardly seems a coincidence that the Project Paperless patents were handed off to a web of generic-sounding LLCs, with demand letters signed only by “The Licensing Team,” shortly after the “Stop Project Paperless” website went up. It suggests those behind such low-level licensing campaigns aren’t proud of their behavior. And rightly so.
patents  via:fanf  networks  printing  printers  scanning  patent-trolls  project-paperless  adzpro  gosnel  faslan 
january 2013 by jm
A one-line software patent – and a fix
Just another sad story of how software patenting made a standard useless. "I had once hoped that JBIG-KIT would help with the exchange of scanned documents on the Internet, facilitate online inter-library loans, and make paper archives more accessible to users all over the world. However, the impact was minimal: no web browser dared to directly support a standardized file format covered by 23 patents, the last of which expired today. About 25 years ago, large IT research organizations discovered standards as a gold mine, a vehicle to force users to buy patent licenses, not because the technology is any good, but because it is required for compatibility. This is achieved by writing the standards very carefully such that there is no way to come up with a compatible implementation that does not require a patent license, an art that has been greatly perfected since."
via:fanf  patents  jbig1  swpats  scanning  standards  rand  frand  licensing 
april 2012 by jm

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