Remember that little song and dance your Mother used to give you when you were a kid and the brat across the street told you to stick a rubber hose up your nose? What, that never happened to you? Anyway… “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you” is how it went. To this day, I’m unsure if she was telling me to suck it up, buttercup, or that I was about to be assaulted by a group of kids with baseball bats and rocks. I deserved
both neither, I assure you.
There have been a fair amount of synonyms for “patent troll” bandied about in my day, and it seems the trolls have taken that little ditty to heart, for they do not appear in any way hurt by the insults hurled at them. (Unless you count one of the two five-gallon hat wearing guys down in EDTX. Right, Ray?) Nevertheless, the Moms of patent trolls must’ve dug that lesson in deep because dayum, can they take it or what?
Topping my list of insults used to be Rackspace’s use of “the world’s most notorious patent troll” when referring to IP Nav. Can anyone over the age of 19 get away with saying “BUUUURN!!“? No? Then I’ll just smile sweetly and say “Good one!”
I dare say it, but they have been outdone. In a case against IWS, none other than Cisco Systems has filed for declaratory judgment and to add insult to injury, has said that they are part of “the most recently recurring plague on this country’s patent system”, according to a quote from a post on the Essential Patent Blog. Let’s say it together one more time, shall we? Just for giggles:
the most recently recurring plague on this country’s patent system
If I were IWS I’d be all “Did anyone get the license on that bus that just smooth ran us over?” Someone call the WWE because that is one pretty hot smackdown.
Truth is, I love those words because they are perfectly descriptive of the problem. Patent trolls stifle innovation and threaten start-ups and drain R&D money from corporations, all of those things are true to one degree or another. But at the heart of the matter, they are indeed a plague on the country’s patent system, a slick workaround to the alternative of working hard and using patents to build rather than tear down.
It’s refreshing to see these companies coming out swinging, all “We’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take it anymore!” It really does have to be an all out (or all in, as it were) approach with these guys. The first time you roll over and let them pat your belly, you’re forever in the one-down position. They may hit the tickle spot the first time, but before you know it they’ve collared you and are leading you around by your nose. Hierarchy is very important to bullies so you have show them who’s boss each time, every time.
Both the Cisco motion (which I see that HP has copied) and Rackspace’s against Parallel Iron are in the Western District of Texas but we might soon just call it the Wild Wild West(ern) District of Texas.
I’m not not sure what’s in the water out there, but I want some of it shipped to my doorstep toot sweet.