No sooner has Blackberry maker RIM managed to pay enough blackmail to escape its first set of patent trolls, another, potentially more serious troll has come down the pike.
Visto Networks, set up long after RIM, now claims its patents are being infringed by Blackberry. Visto was set up in 1996, and is RIM’s only real competitor in the mobile email category.
Having failed to overtake RIM in the commercial arena, Visto now expects to lawyer RIM to death. Clearly they have no hope of putting RIM out of business, but the FUD created will certainly hamper RIM’s ability to compete with the very people who are suing them. This case will now drag on forever.
Thanks to the very agreeable judge in the last case, RIM has been shown to be willing to pay huge amounts of blackmail to be let alone.
Doesn’t everybody see, yet, that our patent system is way beyond broken?
My brother-in-law, G. A. “Bill” Wilcher, has produced innovative products for chlorination and dechlorination systems for over twenty-five years (you can see what he does at http://www.ardenindustries.com — very cool stuff). He refuses to patent his systems. He says, “I make them. When the lawyers call with their cease and desist nonsense, I tell them I’ve been in business making these products longer than their clients, who are clearly ripping off my designs. I never hear from the lawyers again. Why should I bother with patents?” Frankly, he has a point.