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Firm Seeks To Ban Mobile Companies' Imports To US 137

snydeq writes "Texas-based Saxon Innovations has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission to bar six companies — including Research in Motion, Palm, and Nokia — from importing handheld devices into the US. At issue are three patents that Saxon purchased in July 2007; a patent for keypad monitor with keypad activity-based activation; a patent for an apparatus and method for disabling interrupt marks in processors or the like; and a patent for a device and method for interprocessor communication by using mailboxes owned by processor devices. Saxon, with five employees, purchased about 180 US patents formerly owned by Advanced Micro Devices or Legerity in 2007, according to its ITC complaint."
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Firm Seeks To Ban Mobile Companies' Imports To US

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  • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:10PM (#26491955)

    ...but filing ITC complaints is cheap.

    The whole point here is that enforcing these patents against all of those companies is an expensive proposition with no guarantee of returns. However, they can get Free Money by extorting those companies to pay them royalties, backed up by the threat of an import ban from the ITC, and even if their complaint is rejected, they've spent practically nothing.

  • Are you on crack? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:36PM (#26492191)

    What ARE you talking about? Who could forget the WWI flying ace who played Commodore Schmidlapp on Batman? [wikipedia.org]

  • by russotto (537200) on Friday January 16, 2009 @09:03PM (#26492417) Journal

    ...because they're crap. I looked at the first patent and the first few claims looked suspiciously like the (certainly not novel) idea of connecting up a keyboard matrix in such a way that pressing a key triggers an interrupt on the row lines, which triggers a wake-up event and a keyboard scan. I couldn't tell about the later claims. Then I looked at the interrupt mask patent

    1. An interrupt mask disable circuit comprising:

    first logic circuitry operably coupled to receive an interrupt request and a mask signal and to provide an interrupt signal when the interrupt request is active and the mask signal is disabled, and to provide a non-interrupt signal when the mask signal is enabled regardless of whether the interrupt request is active or inactive; and
    second logic circuitry operably coupled to receive a mask activation signal and a mask override signal and to produce the mask signal, wherein the mask signal is enabled when the mask activation signal is active and the mask override signal is not enabled and wherein the mask signal is disabled when the mask override signal is active regardless of whether the mask activation signal is enabled or disabled.

    You've got to be kidding me. AMD patented a common interrupt mask circuit... in 1994? Apparently it isn't only with respect to software that the patent office is out of touch.

  • by KarrdeSW (996917) on Friday January 16, 2009 @09:13PM (#26492517)

    Can we require businesses that patent the ideas to have real, actual products to retain the patent?

    Well, since one of the things the complainant has to prove in the ITC is that they have a domestic industry practicing the asserted claims, yes, we can.

    Patent trolling companies cover this by purchasing common stock in a company that practices whatever idea they are suing over. Stock represents equity which represents ownership of said 'domestic industry'. It's messy, but it works.

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao.hotmail@com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @09:20PM (#26492569) Homepage

    Anybody remember the 'sosueme' audio file?

    You must mean Sosumi. [wikipedia.org]

  • Domestic Industry? (Score:3, Informative)

    by UnrealisticWhample (972663) on Friday January 16, 2009 @09:27PM (#26492615)
    They don't even have an actual website. If you go to , all you'll find is an under construction message. Pretty much all you can find about them online is related to suing people. I miss the good ole days of the 1790's when Thomas Jefferson would deny a patent if the inventor couldn't demonstrate a working product.
  • by Zordak (123132) on Friday January 16, 2009 @10:08PM (#26492845) Homepage Journal
    Still, somebody must be practicing the invention. You can't just pull the classic troll trick of having a thousand questionable patents and filing shotgun suits. It has to be more targeted because you (or somebody related) have to actually be doing it.
  • by Hangtime (19526) on Friday January 16, 2009 @10:34PM (#26493047) Homepage

    U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ding ding ding

    I'm from Texas and I think every judge in that district should be removed.

  • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @07:14AM (#26495925) Homepage

    The iPhone doesn't have a keyboard because Steve Jobs hates buttons.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas