Tag: Samsung

Patent Trolls, Your time may finally be up

Patents are a valid protection against intellectual property theft. They are granted by the relevant authority on behalf of a sovereign state: for example, the US Patent Office in America, and the Patent Office in the UK. Once granted, patents assign exclusive rights to the assignee (inventor) for a limited period (usually twenty years) from the award of the patent.

This is a very strong protection of the inventor of a thing, as it prevents other, more established players from copying their ideas without licensing it. It is a valid and correct way of dealing with the protection of Ideas.

Unfortunately, over the last twenty years or so, the system has appeared to have begun falling apart and harming the very innovation that it was supposed to protect. Companies have sprung up that have a business model of buying up patents from dead companies and then suing other companies for infringements. Why do these people and companies chase these cases? Well, the rewards can be large for the victor and very damaging for the losing party.

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A Busy Week for Acquisitions

Most people have heard about recent Microsoft’s recent $26.2B acquisition of LinkedIn. You may also be aware of VMware’s purchase of Arkin and Symantec’s of Blue Coat, which they announced on June 13. My colleague Edward Haletky discusses these acquisitions here. CenturyLink announced its purchase of ElasticBox on June 14. June 16 brought further announcements of acquisitions, these being Samsung’s purchase of Joyent and Cavium’s acquisition of QLogic.

First, let’s look at the easier of the two purchases to understand, Cavium’s acquisition of QLogic. Cavium is most likely one of those companies whose product you are using all the time without knowing it. For example, if you own certain Linksys devices or your company runs a Citrix MPX or a Blue Coat packet shaper, you are using Cavium technology.

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