When last we left our hero, IPTT had called out IP Nav on their fairly recent comments on Patent Assertion Entities by stating that there are two kinds (only two!) and that they could be placed in the categories of “white hat” and “black hat” PAEs. Care to wager a bet on which they claimed to be? Hint: not the black one.
It seems the author of the paper, who is actually their PR guy, read the article and now has come forth to set IPTT straight. Before we delve into the particulars, Barry’s job is, in fact, to polish a turd. Whether he thinks he has a turd or thinks he works for one, it is his job to debunk negative press so we should all keep that in mind whilst reviewing his come-backers. He’s just doing his job, folks.
So to his comments we go:
1) By definition NPEs are patent owners. PAEs — Patent Assertion Entities — on the other hand may or may not be patent owners. The terms are not identical. IPNav is a PAE, but we are NOT an NPE.
Duly noted is the use of shouty capitals on the “NOT”. It has been my experience that the more vehemently one denies a statement, the greater the likelihood that the statement is true. See: Shakespeare’s Hamlet. (“Methinks the lady doth protest too much” is the relevant quote here, for those who don’t remember their Junior English class.) Nevertheless, I am acquainted with both terms but I do thank you for the refresher. Point: Barry.
2) My point with the black hat/white hat analogy was most definitely NOT “but they did it too.” My point was that black hat SEO is a scam, and deserves to be taken down. “Black hat” patent enforcement is likewise a scam that deserves to be taken down.
So we do agree then that “black hat” (can we stop putting that in quotes yet, or is the term still too new?) PAEs/Patent Trolls need to be taken down. Progress! I contend though, and this was my point, that when you start pointing out what other people are doing wrong in an effort to a) deflect from your own nefariousness or b) compare your nefariousness to something much more nefarious, you’ve lost your high ground, if in fact you had any to begin with.
Why not instead focus on the positive things that you’ve done for your inventors who surely could not find their way through the patent system were it not for you? This is what I had asked IP Nav to do. Show the world how good you are, instead of pointing to someone else and how bad they are! Point: IPTT.
3) Yes, patent owners are entitled to wave their patent around and threaten to sue people if they don’t want to take a license. People who us a patent without paying for it are thieves. You are not allowed to steal stuff. The patent is a right to exclude — the only thing you can do with it is stop other people from making the patented thing without your permission. That’s the only permission it grants you — the right to sue other people.
Sure, people who use a patent without paying are thieves. So are people who target inventors and smaller companies who are cash strapped and negotiate deals for their dubious patents, only to turn around and “monetize” them against companies for a price only slightly less than the threatened litigation that surely comes if they don’t pay up. These companies don’t want a knock down drag out court case, or can’t afford one, so they pay for a license. For a patent they don’t need. That’s not thievery of time and resources that could be spent on actual R&D and bringing products to market? Sorry, not buying it. Point: IPTT.
But wait, there’s more:
4) The percentage of revenue from licensing versus litigation would not prove anything. “Black hat” patent trolls get almost all of their money from licensing, because they often set the fee low enough that it’s nuisance value compared with litigation.
I disagree. I think it would show that you have made a good faith effort to try and get legitimate patents, should you have any, licensed in a straight-forward way. If you’re making the effort outside of litigation more often than you are simply filing cases, then that’s saying something. Yes, patent trolls often set the license fee just shy of the litigation pain point, as I stated above. But if you pony up those numbers too…show the data on what you license patents for then you can prove me wrong. Point: IPTT
There are many companies out there that take a “we’ll pay for it when they come after us” attitude toward infringing patents. I know. I used to work for a company like that, and it’s one reason I left the company. I disagreed with that approach.
I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with a company who stole intellectual property. It’s easy to see why that would drive a person to right some wrongs. But is that really what IP Nav is doing? If so, lets see some examples. Let the world know who you’ve helped, showcase the companies you’ve helped secure patents for and what they’re doing now that you’ve stepped in with your white hat!
What shows that IPNav is “white hat” and not “black hat” is that we are perfectly happy with a true “loser pays” system — we only enforce strong patents where there is real infringement. The scam artists would never go for such a proposal, because their model is based on never going to court.
No Barry, that IP Nav is perfectly happy with a true “loser pays” system shows only that you don’t intend to ever lose. It’s a straw man.
This is all about transparency, and I think if someone were accusing me of something that I was not, I would do everything within my power to show legitimacy, to show that I was not what others were claiming I was. This is why my “alter egos” side bar links to my online resume. Sure, there’s some things that I won’t talk about or share, like the fact that I am absolutely petrified of spiders and the fact that I don’t eat vegetables are both closely guarded secrets. Oh, drat. Were closely guarded secrets. *sigh*
But if I expect to be taken seriously despite my propensity to make a joke out of almost anything, I need to show my relevant cards. When companies such as IP Nav hide behind rhetoric and refuse to answer direct questions with anything but standard-issue turd polishing, that’s a problem.
Final point tally: IPTT 3, Barry, 1.