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The King of the Trolls Strikes Gold

Mar 26, 2010, 18:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

"Well, this is rather droll. The other day I was writing about the patent troll to end all trolls, Intellectual Ventures. And now we have this:

"Patent #7,679,604 — "Method and apparatus for controlling a computer system" — the broad motion-control patent I've been writing about all week, has passed through a number of hands over the years. First assigned to ArrayComm in 2006, it was subsequently handed over to Durham Logistics, a limited liability company which is itself managed by another obscure Las Vegas LLC called Memscom. But there's one more company at the end of that oblique line of ownership: Intellectual Ventures, an "invention capital firm" or patent troll, depending on your views on innovation and intellectual property.

"Why does that matter? Well, because that "method and apparatus" seems to give its patent holder power over most of the motion-control devices used in smartphones today. In other words, it's a choke-point for one of the most exciting and vibrant areas of computing around."

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