Thursday, 13 June 2013 17:48

The patent trolls come to Australia

By

Litigious US intellectual property specialist Vringo is suing ZTE’s Australian operation for patent infringement. That’s how it makes its money.

Patent troll – “a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the product.” (Wikipedia).

One such company is Vringo, which sells ring tones and other mobile apps as a front for its real business, which is ‘the monetisation of intellectual property’. Vringo has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ZTE Australia, the local subsidiary of Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.

A lawsuit, filed in the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney, alleges infringement by ZTE Australia of patents relating to telecommunications infrastructure equipment and mobile devices. The ZTE products affected include base station and server infrastructure used in mobile networks, and also a ‘number of 4G mobile devices’.

Vringo is seeking a declaration that ZTE Australia has infringed its patents, and is seeking orders restraining ZTE Australia from ‘offering to sell, dispose of, import or use, or keep for sale or other disposal or use, relevant products without the license of Vringo’. It is also seeking damages and interest accrued on any sum found due.

Vringo buys patents – thousands of them – then actively goes after who it can, where it can, whenever it can to either beat them in court or, as often happens, reach an out-of-court settlement. Many people just pay up rather than go through all the hassle of prolonged and expensive legal proceedings, and Vringo has a team of lawyers specialising in this area.

Last year Vringo sued Google. AOL and three other companies over old Lycos patents it had acquired years ago. Lycos, now largely forgotten, was a major search engine in the 1990s. Vringo won the case and got $US30 million. That was a fraction of its ambit claim of US$493 million, but that’s how it works. That’s just one example – Vringo is engaged in constant litigation, and constant patent acquisition.

Why ZTE? Why Australia? The ZTE products in question were developed in China. ZTE is problematic in the US, where along with Huawei it is prohibited from doing US Government work. Litigating against it in China would be difficult, to say the least. ZTE Australia has a major contract with Telstra to supply vanilla low end mobile phones. Australia has a compliant legal system – just the sort Vringo likes to take advantage of.

Read 4088 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

GET READY FOR XCONF AUSTRALIA 2022

Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event

GET YOUR TICKET!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson sadly passed away in Jan 2021 and he was always a valued senior associate editor at iTWire. He was one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is the author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’He was in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism. Graeme will be sadly missed by the iTWire Family, Readers, Customers and PR firms.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments