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  • Classy Patent Troll Technicolor Now Eying New Devices From Apple, HTC and Samsung


    Cinema aficionados and learned professionals in the film industry may have a soft spot in their heart for the innovations Technicolor brought to early cinema, but to Apple, HTC and Samsung, the company is now another patent troll nipping at their heels.

    Technicolor is the latest company in financial trouble hoping to leverage their army of 40,000 video, audio, and optical patents against tablet and phone makers. Technicolor has a team of 220 people literally tearing apart every new phone and tablet in hopes that they discover features that infringe on the company’s aforementioned patents.

    "We usually send manufacturers a big file, with photos of the guts of their products, pointing to where they've been using our technology without paying for it. Once those images have sunk in, we can start negotiating." — Beatrix de Russe, executive vice president of intellectual property at Technicolor.
    To be fair Technicolor’s patent trolling ways involve technologies the company actually developed and didn’t just procure by purchasing dying companies. They also favor licensing deals that are quite fair in comparison to other patent trolls attempts at ridiculous cash settlements.

    In fact calling Technicolor a patent troll might be unfair concerning their behavior is a shining example of how companies should leverage their patents (Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and everyone else should take notes). Technicolor currently has licensing deals with “all major manufacturers” but, declined to comment on who the licensees are and who infringed on patents in the past. Technicolor’s patent strategy is long-term as licensing agreements are their largest source of revenue. Selling patents would initially increase cash flow, but that well would eventually dry up.

    "If we start selling our patents, revenues will dry out. It’s a very short-term vision...

    We’ve got a reputation for charging reasonable licensing fees and preferring friendly negotiations. That doesn’t mean we don’t drag people to court from time to time.” — de Russe
    Maybe Apple and the rest of the patent trolls, trolled, and prospective trollers should follow Technicolor's classy and refined patent techniques.

    Source: Bloomberg
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Classy Patent Troll Technicolor Now Eying New Devices From Apple, HTC and Samsung started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. chuk23chuk's Avatar
      chuk23chuk -
      I found this hilarious. Not sure why. Maybe I'll become a patent troll ._0
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      When other companies try defend their patents they're "trolls" but when Apple does it they're "defending their intellectual property"?
      Apple was very quick to buy a crap ton of Nortel patents, but it's not trolling when Apple does it...
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      When other companies try defend their patents they're "trolls" but when Apple does it they're "defending their intellectual property"?
      Apple was very quick to buy a crap ton of Nortel patents, but it's not trolling when Apple does it...
      Mainly because Apple still develops products. If you read the whole article he's actually quite fair to Technicolor.
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      I wish somebody would patent the phrase patent troll so tech websites would stop reporting on these things. there is NO SUCH THING as a patent troll !!

      If a company owns patents (regardless of how they got them) they have every right to sue.

      I want to know who here would not file a multi million dollar lawsuit against Apple, Samsung, MS and others if you had a legitimate claim.
    1. mustard05's Avatar
      mustard05 -
      You should be become a "nice" patent troll. Then Mmi could right an article about you! LOL
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      I find stories like these hilarious. While I find it perfectly acceptable to enforce your patents on companies using your technology. My interest is:

      1 - Why aren't you always enforcing your patents? If you aren't going to enforce them then why in the heck did you file them in the first place?

      2 - Why is it companies wait until the bell is literally tolling for their demise before they realize they have patents to enforce? Why do they wait until they've run out of original ideas in which to make money as a company? This is all they have left? Enforcing patents for survival? Glad I don't own their stock. Can you imagine their share holder's meetings?
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      I wish somebody would patent the phrase patent troll so tech websites would stop reporting on these things. there is NO SUCH THING as a patent troll !!

      If a company owns patents (regardless of how they got them) they have every right to sue.

      I want to know who here would not file a multi million dollar lawsuit against Apple, Samsung, MS and others if you had a legitimate claim.
      While I agree that Technicolor isn't a patent troll, I think that it's pretty legitimate to call a company that literally just buys new patents to make money a patent troll.
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      I wish somebody would patent the phrase patent troll so tech websites would stop reporting on these things. there is NO SUCH THING as a patent troll !!

      If a company owns patents (regardless of how they got them) they have every right to sue.

      I want to know who here would not file a multi million dollar lawsuit against Apple, Samsung, MS and others if you had a legitimate claim.
      .. And here we have a perfect example of a 'forum troll'.
    1. hank197857's Avatar
      hank197857 -
      interesting. when i was young, there were no microwave ovens, but there was technicolor. that company has earned whatever is due to them. it's hard to imagine john wayne without technicolor. elizabeth taylor, joan russell, richard burton, cary grant ... the list goes on. technicolor did so much for the careers of so many actors. even the name technicolor speaks to how far ahead of time it was. yes, the big screen paved the way for our little 4.5 inch devices. by the way, the apple store is down for repairs.
    1. StarrMatthieu's Avatar
      StarrMatthieu -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      I wish somebody would patent the phrase patent troll so tech websites would stop reporting on these things. there is NO SUCH THING as a patent troll !!

      If a company owns patents (regardless of how they got them) they have every right to sue.

      I want to know who here would not file a multi million dollar lawsuit against Apple, Samsung, MS and others if you had a legitimate claim.
      Had better not such, have to offender
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      [...]
      the company is now another patent troll nipping at their heels.
      [...]
      To be fair Technicolor’s patent trolling ways involve technologies the company actually developed and didn’t just procure by purchasing dying companies.
      [...]
      In fact calling Technicolor a patent troll might be unfair concerning their behavior is a shining example of how companies should leverage their patents (Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and everyone else should take notes).
      If they are not a "troll", then why do you keep referring to them as one? Even your title, "Classy Patent Troll Technicolor Now Eying New Devices From Apple, HTC and Samsung" uses that term. Clearly they are not doing the same as what others like SimpleAir appear to be doing, yet they are still branded with such a negative label. What ever happened to objective journalism?

      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      When other companies try defend their patents they're "trolls" but when Apple does it they're "defending their intellectual property"? Apple was very quick to buy a crap ton of Nortel patents, but it's not trolling when Apple does it...
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Mainly because Apple still develops products.
      I too agree there is a bit of a double standard out there at times, especially on this site it seems, where it appears anyone other than Apple who attempts to defend their interests is placed into a negative light, but at the same time, the same people seems to have no problem when ever Apple does the exact same thing. Please make up your minds.

      Apple has a lot of patents that they have inherited from purchasing other companies that they are just sitting on, but I've yet to see the people who claim that it's wrong for others to do that give anything but praise when Apple takes the exact same type of offensive against others.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by alanjf View Post
      I too agree there is a bit of a double standard out there at times, especially on this site it seems, where it appears anyone other than Apple who attempts to defend their interests is placed into a negative light, but at the same time, the same people seems to have no problem when ever Apple does the exact same thing. Please make up your minds.

      Apple has a lot of patents that they have inherited from purchasing other companies that they are just sitting on, but I've yet to see the people who claim that it's wrong for others to do that give anything but praise when Apple takes the exact same type of offensive against others.
      I don't think it's right at all for Apple to buy companies that have patents for things like Bluetooth headphones and Liquid Metal and then not use them. I'm just saying that calling Apple a patent troll might be a little much when some companies are literally making their whole business patent trolling.
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      I don't think it's right at all for Apple to buy companies that have patents for things like Bluetooth headphones and Liquid Metal and then not use them. I'm just saying that calling Apple a patent troll might be a little much when some companies are literally making their whole business patent trolling.
      I personally find the fact that patents can be bought, sold, or otherwise transferred to be what's really screwed up about this system. Put simply, one should not be able to own an idea you have nothing to do with. It's your idea. Even if you go out of business, it shouldn't be treated like just another asset that get inherited in a buyout; one should be able to retain ownership of that idea. After all, if it's your idea, then it's your idea. One should still be able to license it out or what not, and still make money off it it, since it is your idea. No one else should be able to lay claim. With all that said, however, patents should have a well defined expiration.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by alanjf View Post
      I personally find the fact that patents can be bought, sold, or otherwise transferred to be what's really screwed up about this system. Put simply, one should not be able to own an idea you have nothing to do with. It's your idea. Even if you go out of business, it shouldn't be treated like just another asset that get inherited in a buyout; one should be able to retain ownership of that idea. After all, if it's your idea, then it's your idea. One should still be able to license it out or what not, and still make money off it it, since it is your idea. No one else should be able to lay claim. With all that said, however, patents should have a well defined expiration.
      I agree. Still, Apple only abuses patents as much as any other company. This is why I believe the term "patent troll" should only apply to companies that abuse patents as a main platform of their business model.
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      I agree. Still, Apple only abuses patents as much as any other company. This is why I believe the term "patent troll" should only apply to companies that abuse patents as a main platform of their business model.
      And I too agree with you. I believe that if the patent system actually worked properly, companies like the latter which you describe wouldn't be able to exist. 1) Patents should have a sane expiration system, and/or 2) some way of expiring much quicker if they are not actually being used and no proof can be offered that any R&D what so ever is being put towards it, in any way shape or form.