Cloudflare hit by a patent troll. What now?
In the summer of 2017, we wrote about a battle between Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based internet security and content delivery network, and two lawyers, which had previously been before the court of intellectual property brought cases on behalf of numerous tech giants. The lawyers had come together to form Blackbird Technologies, a Boston – and Chicago-based company, which quickly amassed dozens of patents, and then went on to file dozens of patent infringement lawsuits against companies including Cloudflare.
The suit was typical in every respect, except how Cloudflare responded. To settle rather than quiet, because have decided some of the objectives of the Blackbird and other so-called ” patent trolls, Cloudflare, to fight back, in a very public way, blogging extensively, in an interview with news agencies such as ours, and, crucially, to any and all who might be able to help find prior art. The idea was not only to lapse of the patent, the Blackbird was to sue Cloudflare — but, invalidate all of the Blackbird ‘ s patents. Cloudlfare declared war.
To his credit, Cloudflare to be won. At least, the case against Cloudflare itself was eventually discarded, and in a post-mortem published yesterday, the company described in detail his game plan and many more details of his efforts to crowdsource prior art, which may be invalid Blackbird-patents.
It showed, for example, that it had received a total of 275 unique submissions of the 155 people on 49 different patents, and several publications on 26 patents. About 40% of these in connection with the patent have been asserted, Cloudflare, but individuals also appeared before the art submissions, which could help protect Niantic (the also tried the bat back to the Blackbird), as well as Lululemon and New Balance, both of which sued have been, previously of Blackbird on a patent, the Blackbird has in relation to a “sports bra with integral pockets.”
Cloudflare also went to the founder of the Blackbird, the filing of ethics complaints rooted in the code of professional conduct that prohibit attorneys from the acquisition of a legal action to assert a claim in its own name. Where these complaints could lead to, is a question mark for now, although it is worth noting that a Blackbird, the founder, Chris Freeman, formerly of Kirkland & Ellis, currently working, instead, to a Chicago company that funds litigation.
one way or the other, Cloudflare victory is a feel-good story in a vast sea of bad news, but it is also the question is: what comes next?
Some like to hope, that, Cloudflare, somehow, to continue your campaign against injustice and you will be disappointed, if so. Cloudflare has said from the beginning that as soon as its legal tangle with the Blackbird was to the end, it was always confirmed from the patent-troll-fighting business, a business decision, the company’s general counsel, Doug Kramer, in a conversation with us, the end of last week about the case. As he put it, Cloudflare’s crusade it was never intended to be “life-long advocacy” in the company’s other, more pressing problems (including “going public” – in September).
Still, passing the torch, will not be easy. Kramer realizes that he has received “a lot of calls from other General Council or the IP lawyers, and CEOs [who are also the targets of patent lawsuits], they said, ‘not something we here can do, other than roll over and write you a check?'” You are understandably trying way to travel by train from Cloudflare experience. “I don’t know, I haven’t seen anything so far, we have done it,” says Kramer.
This brings us to the point of yesterday’s post, the above was simply to crow about his victory Blackbird, no pun intended. It’s more the community was to rely on the Cloudflare, so much, Kramer says.And it was “clearly, there are other possibilities here,” says Kramer, who hopes that other companies will break a part of the Cloudflare blue, as well as your own.
Taking a stand for all of them. As Kramer, a patent observed, once a case is filed against a company, “the options are all bad options, and many companies take the least bad option,” write a cheque to settle the matter. It is the reason why companies such as Blackbird in full swing. “You will encounter very little resistance.” Kramer not necessarily the debt targets for the folding, either. Even if things go a firm manner, as with Cloudflare, a legal dispute can take years and can cost a company many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. “As a court process, we tapped this out of the park in the first place,” he says, “but it costs us more than if we’d only written to.”
But more companies need to take more Initiative when you see hope, in patents, used as they were originally intended to protect inventors of new and useful products, services and processes. And Kramer say that the “introduction of more resistance,” is a way to get there. Surely, he suggests, there are tools available, including “very active, intelligent, thoughtful people who have organized in-house positions, and the third, the slide-especially on the back of these practices.”
the Others are sympathetic politicians such as Eric Lesser, a senator from the state of Massachusetts, the prospect of patent-to ban trolls as a threat to his state of the economy and is doing what he can, and whose claims in connection with copyright violations.
Another, of course, engineers and others who build things, and not, as the rise of the company to profit through licensing or litigation, rather than through the creation of your own goods or services. In fact, not every company the financial muscle of a Cloudflare has raised more than $300 million from the investors prior to the IPO, as well as an anonymous donation of $50,000 to support their efforts in the fight against the Blackbird attracted. Kramer readily acknowledges as much. But even without these resources, he says, is the support of municipalities, which may be outside of the company up to an amount.
“We have come to understand that there is a lot of the people — the colleagues and friends, and like-minded people in the commercial area, and really only the man on the street at the tech companies are really being harassed” due to the misuse of patents by companies, you get to demand license fees and damages.
It is not a complete solution, to the steady increase in the number of patent cases over the years, but every piece of every advocate willing to make any piece of useful information that you can provide helps. Cloudflare “didn ‘ T fix [this expanded edition]. It still exists,” says Kramer. “But we were able to take advantage of the mood. Hopefully, it is the proof for the other, that there is support.”
Released on Wed, 06 Nov 2019 01:57:51 +0000