TechRights reports [techrights.org]
Unified Patents, Inc. Puts $2,000 Bounties on Prior Art, Seeking to Defang Texan Patent Trolls That Are Active In Spite of TC Heartland
There's now money in invalidation of patents (not just for defendants' lawyers in courts or petitioners at PTAB [USA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board]) rather than endless pursuits of more and more patents; Unified Patents offers the money, targeting patent trolls for the most part.
There are two things that are dying out/ebbing away in the US: software patents and patent trolls. There's a strong correlation between those two things, but for the most part they're now being tackled by Alice [wikipedia.org] and TC Heartland [eff.org], respectively. Both are landmark decisions by the US Supreme Court and they impact the USPTO [US Patent and Trademark Office]/PTAB and courts, respectively (the latter is also impacted by Alice).
There's an upcoming conference [patentdocs.org] that covers PTAB and includes Unified Patents. We are very supportive of Unified Patents, behind which there are reasonable people who care about patent quality; they're -not- patent maximalists and some are in fact scholars/academics.
Based on this update from yesterday [unifiedpatents.com], there's now a $2,000 bounty on patent prior art which can stop a patent troll that's based in Texas. To quote:
On March 9, 2018, Unified issued a new contest in Patroll (a prior art crowdsourcing platform) with a $2,000 prize for winning prior art submissions that invalidate US Patent 7,526,477. The '477 patent, directed to a method and apparatus for enhancing electronic reading by identifying relationships between sections of electronic text, has been asserted in multiple litigations by Red River Innovations, LLC, a Texas-based NPE [non-practicing entity].
Another similar (same cash award) bounty was announced yesterday [unifiedpatents.com]:
On March 9, 2018, Unified issued a new Patroll (prior art crowdsourcing platform) contest with a $2,000 prize for a winning prior art submission that invalidates US Patent 7,177,838. The '838 patent, directed to a method and apparatus for conducting electronic commerce transactions using electronic tokens, has been asserted in multiple litigations by GTX Corp., an NPE.
As a reminder of its accomplishments, Unified Patents also published this reminder yesterday [unifiedpatents.com]--the latest reminder of how it successfully uses PTAB to thwart bad patents/software patents:
On March 9, 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a final written decision in Unified Patents Inc. v. Digital Stream IP, LLC, IPR2016-01749 invalidating claims 1, 4, 6-13, 20, and 22 of U.S. Patent 6,757,913, owned and asserted by Digital Stream IP, LLC. The '913 Patent, which describes a wireless music and data transceiver system, has been asserted in multiple litigations against such companies as Best Buy, GM, Mercedes, Nissan, Honda, and Sirius XM. Only Sirius XM remains in active litigation as the majority of these cases settled after Unified filed its IPR.
Good riddance. A lot of these are exploiting a ridiculous court in Texas. They know that time is running out because after TC Heartland it's a lot harder to keep court cases there. [...] the Eastern Texas District Court/Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) is losing its status yet again. Patent trolls and bullies are unable to wage legal war in there.