In keeping with its strategy for world domination in consumer electronics, Apple has inconspicuously transferred a dozen patents that it previously "owned" to a non-existent corporate entity called Cliff Island LLC.
Tech crunch have done a little digging and it appears that Cliff Island is a shell company, sharing a physical address with Altitude Capital, the main investor behind patent trolling company Digitude Innovations (ironic name, n'est pas?).
Cliff Island then "transferred" those same patents to Digitude who have now filed a suit with the ITC (International Trade Commission) in the US against basically all the smartphone and tablet makers selling in America (RIM, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon, and Nokia (note that Apple is not on this list). How mysterious.
Digitude was founded in 2010 and raised $50 million from Altitude Capital Partners, with aims to “acquire, aggregate, and license key technology areas within the consumer electronics and related technology fields in a patent consortium” — in other words, it buys up patents and then sues other companies until they settle and agree to pay licensing fees, because it’s generally less expensive than actually going to court.
So what we're seeing here is Apple suing its competitors out of the market, yet again, for patent law suites it already lost, but this time by proxy. And it's interesting that the patent transfers have taken place under some sneaky back-room sleight of hand. For new readers this might seem unethical even for Apple - what we know, is only the tip of the ice berg, unfortunately.
|The USPTO Apple exhibit - shows just how biased an |
Unided States institution can be
The whole article and its links to a Forbes piece on Digitude can be read at the Tech Crunch site. It's worth a look at just how out of control Apple has become, and the folks at TC deserve the clicks for their excellent effort in bringing this to light.
This seems to be a case where the US DOJ may yet be involved. Interesting times.
VIA: AndroidNZ, Tech Crunch