Out of 55 companies taken to court by patent troll Lodsys, Kaspersky was the only one to stand up to the troll
US patent troll Lodsys has ceased seeking damages from Russian security firm Kasperksy, after an 18-month legal tussle involving over 50 other companies.
Lodsys, which is alleged to have ties to the notable patent troll Intellectual Ventures, had argued a host of companies were using its patented method for improving products via feedback from the user to the developer. It covered simple things used widely across the software industry, such as error report functions inside applications.
The lawsuit facing Kasperksy was valued at $25 million. Out of 55 companies caught up in the suit, including HP, Samsung and Symantec, only Kaspersky had not settled, according to CEO Eugene Kasperksy.
“Based on our analysis we had to come up with crushing counter-arguments. And it was those counter-arguments that actually did finally crush our opponent, seeing Lodsys not even having the courage to show up in court,” the Russian said in a blog post.
“This case has shown once again that patent trolls can be resisted and defeated.
“The ‘big boys’ of the IT industry are indirectly involved in the development of the patent trolling industry, and facilitate the extortion of smaller companies.
“The continuation of the trend is fraught with scandalous transfers of mega funds from innovators to social parasites, provoking the collapse of the IT industry.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation praised Kaspersky on its efforts: “As these cases show, when they are actually forced to litigate, patent trolls frequently lose or give up, particularly when software patents are at issue,” said the EFF’s Daniel Nazer.
But he was not confident other companies would be able to fend off patent trolls like Kaspersky did. “Kaspersky Lab’s victory in this case will not stop Lodsys. Since it surrendered before a decision on the merits, Lodsys can continue to use its vague patents, and the cost of litigation, to leverage settlements.”
Patent trolls are now facing a backlash across governments and industries. The Obama administration has indicated it will heap regulation on the industry, whilst companies like Kaspersky and Rackspace have pledged to wage war on the trolls.
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