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[News] Acacia-soft Continues Extortion Crusade

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Acacia signs non-exclusive patent license, settlement deal with SPG Solutions -
Quick Facts 

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| Acacia Research Corp. announced that its subsidiary, Credit Card Fraud 
| Control Corp., has entered into a non-exclusive patent license and settlement 
| agreement with SPG Solutions, covering a patent that applies to fraud 
| protection technology.   


More patent mess:

Allied Security Trust -- Let The Patent Wars Begin

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| You may remember a while back I wrote about Vocaltec selling some of its 
| patents to what appears to be a firm that will become a patent troll. 
| [...]
| The end result of these moves is likely going to be a bidding war for 
| patents. On the one hand there will be VC money fighting to buy patents and 
| on the other it will be Allied Security Trust.  
| If anything, this environment will make it more lucrative for companies with 
| valuable patents to sell. This new battle will certainly be interesting to 
| watch.  



Who is the world's biggest patent troll?

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| In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different
| answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild
| of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It's now out "to raise as much as
| $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from
| universities in Asia."  


Playing Microsoft Patent Poker

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| This time though, while Ballmer slinks away to try to con … convince people
| that Microsoft Unified Communications somehow offers people more than what
| Cisco's VOIP (voice over IP) been offering customers for years, a patent
| attack finally launches at Linux. Specifically, IP Innovation, a subsidiary
| of Acacia Technologies Group, has filed a patent infringement claim against
| Linux distributors Novell and Red Hat.    
| So was it just timing, or was it something more? Let's take a look at the
| players.  


Ideas Are Everywhere... So Why Do We Limit Them?

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| Gladwell uses this to talk up what Myhrvold is doing, suggesting that
| Intellectual Ventures is really about continuing that process, getting those
| ideas out there -- but he misses the much bigger point: if these ideas are
| the natural progression, almost guaranteed to be discovered by someone sooner
| or later, why do we give a monopoly on these ideas to a single discoverer?
| Myhrvold's whole business model is about monopolizing all of these ideas and
| charging others (who may have discovered them totally independently) to
| actually do something with them. Yet, if Gladwell's premise is correct (and
| there's plenty of evidence included in the article), then Myhrvold's efforts
| shouldn't be seen as a big deal. After all, if it wasn't Myhrvold and his
| friends doing it, others would very likely come up with the same thing sooner
| or later.
| This is especially highlighted in one anecdote in the article, of Myhrvold
| holding a dinner with a bunch of smart people... and an attorney. The group
| spent dinner talking about a bunch of different random ideas, with no real
| goal or purpose -- just "chewing the rag" as one participant put it. But the
| next day the attorney approached them with a typewritten description of 36
| different inventions that were potentially patentable out of the dinner. When
| a random "chewing the rag" conversation turns up 36 monopolies, something is
| wrong. Those aren't inventions that deserve a monopoly.

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