Successful extortion of 7.1 billion! Patent hooligans who have been pestering Apple for 10 years win again – Don’t be targeted by patent hooligans

Rascals are not afraid, but afraid of rogues have culture.

Microsoft and Apple have fallen into the hands of educated hooligans on several occasions.

Over the years, the most painful rogue Apple than a technology company called VirnetX. Apple and it has been fighting for 10 years, and actually lost more than won.

This year a new verdict came out and the judge said that Apple needs to pay VirnetX more than $1.1 billion (about RMB 7.1 billion)!

In the United States, VirnetX is notorious for what people call “patent hooligans”.

Patent hooligans have always been a bummer for entrepreneurs. Knowing that it is playing a rogue, but can do nothing about it, often have to pay to settle.

How do they do it?


The patent rogue that made Microsoft and Apple admit their weakness

Patent rogue mostly refers to those companies that do not provide any products and services, relying on patent licensing and patent litigation to make money.

They have a large number of patents in their hands, but they are not the result of independent research and development, usually from low-cost acquisition of bankrupt companies or their own registration of vaguely defined patents.

Once the patents are in hand, they do not go into production, but when the right time comes, they will take out the low-quality patents in hand and try to make money.

VirnetX is no exception and does not produce any products and is bent on exploiting loopholes.

In 2010, Apple released the iPhone 4, VirnetX immediately stepped in and sued iOS for infringing on its four patents related to Face Time, VPN, and domain names.

Apple did not obey. The lawsuit was fought for 10 years, but eventually lost.

Then there was Microsoft, which shut down its instant messaging software MSN worldwide in 2013, replacing it with Skype, and VirnetX caught wind of it and sued Skype for infringing its patents.

Microsoft also chose to take the case to court, but only lasted 1 year before dutifully coming up with a $23 million out-of-court settlement.

This is not the first time Microsoft ate VirnetX’s loss. Prior to that, Microsoft was sued twice and had given it $300 million.

What’s even scarier is that VirnetX is just an ordinary member of the patent rogue army. More heartless patent rogues are PanOptis, Uniloc, VLSI…

For example, VLSI tore into Intel, in March this year, Intel was found to have infringed on two semiconductor manufacturing patents held by VLSI, requiring compensation of $2.175 billion! Until a few days ago Intel finally won the case, false alarm.

Because the patent hooligans were annoyed, the same sick Google, Apple, Intel and Cisco once teamed up to take the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to court, arguing that the latter’s regulations are biased in favor of patent hooligans.

In fact, compared with the giants, small and medium-sized enterprises are the real sufferers, and they are the silent majority.

According to a report by the U.S. patent organization UnifiedPatents, in the first three quarters of 2018, the U.S. district courts received 80% of the overall cases of patent suits against MSMEs.

In a weak business world, companies like Apple, which have the strength and energy to fight patent hooligans for 10 years, are destined to be the minority, and small and medium-sized enterprises lacking in strength can only compromise with more bottomless opponents.

The same applies to the domestic market.


Domestic enterprises also suffer from patent hooligans for a long time!

Patent hooligans are not only abroad, they are as rampant in the country.

Compared with their foreign counterparts, domestic patent hooligans are less likely to find trouble with large enterprises (probably because they can’t afford to mess with them), and small and medium-sized enterprises are always their ideal prey.

The reason is simple: China has a large number of MSMEs that are very easy to take advantage of.

A typical MSME usually spends most of its energy on its business, and seldom devotes itself to patent layout, or even does not have in-depth research and analysis on the industry patent technology. It is not known that every innovation point from the budding stage of the product to the final product should be patented, otherwise, if you are not careful, you may be targeted by patent hooligans.

And once targeted, the business owner is extremely passive.

If responding to a lawsuit, it takes a lot of time and energy. The judicial cycle of intellectual property cases is very long, often a year and a half, which very much affects business operations.

Even if you decide not to compromise, it is very difficult to win the case. Patent hooligans come prepared, and the experience and preparation time of MSMEs in responding to the lawsuit are insufficient.

Therefore, most MSMEs have to pay settlement or licensing fees to buy peace of mind.

In 2017, Shanghai police cracked a case of extortion by means of IPR litigation.

A suspect named Li Yunsong had a stockpile of six or seven hundred patents in his hands, which were mostly imitations of other brands with very low technical content. After acquiring the patents, he would conduct market searches to find infringing products and demand compensation from the other party through litigation, or purchase his patents.

Since 2009, Li Yunsong has been making a fortune in sulking, and most of the small and medium-sized enterprises that were attacked chose to rest on their laurels. For example, a company named Hangzhou Hongyan, which was sued by him for more than 10 patent infringements, was forced to take out 50,000 yuan for settlement due to the high cost of responding to the lawsuit.

The reason why patent hooligans are so rampant has a lot to do with the general environment.

China has become a large patent country, which has a large number of patents of low quality available for patent rogues to hoard and gather for malicious lawsuits.


All entrepreneurs must learn to save for a rainy day

It is not easy to start a business, not only the difficulty of doing a good job in the main business, but also the personnel, taxation, marketing, and qualification licenses in the process of starting a business, all of which are hurdles that must be overcome.

The patent rogue that we are talking about today is just one of the pits that companies may encounter in the field of intellectual property.

In addition to patents, the pits of trademarks and copyrights are also overwhelming.

Take art copyright as an example, the first generation of the milk tea industry, “Luger Lane”, fell into a big heel in this area.

Due to the initial failure to do a good job in art copyright protection, the iconic patterns of Antler Lane were copied in large numbers, and more than 7,000 cottage stores of varying quality emerged nationwide at one time, which directly dragged down Antler Lane.

There is also software copyright. Nowadays, all walks of life need to embrace the Internet and are making websites, APPs or software, but if they do not do a good job of soft copyright registration, perhaps they have not appreciated enough and will be imitated by their peers.

And with the copycat ability of some shameless players in China, the copycat software can definitely be fake. When the situation is: use your image, steal your business, but also bad reputation…

So entrepreneurs have no choice, either for a rainy day, or sit back and wait for death.

As long as you are conscious of the layout in advance, entrepreneurs can avoid most of the trouble.

The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers.

For the average entrepreneur, there is no need to go to such trouble, but it is important to be aware of such precautions.

The next question is: who to find to do?

All along, the platform providing enterprise services is mixed, unprofessional, price is not transparent, the service process is confusing, and even the problem of false services is very prominent.

So for enterprises, a platform that can provide efficient, standardized and transparent services is very important.

That’s why, in March this year, after SkyEye upgraded its enterprise service platform “SkyEye Enterprise Service” to become the first enterprise service standardization platform in China, it quickly became a hit in the industry.

Screenshot from TianEye Enterprise Service website

According to media reports, the newly upgraded TianEye Enterprise Service reached its first order in about 30 minutes on the first day of its launch; in the first half month of the platform’s operation, nearly 40% of users have placed zero inquiries. Up to now, SkyEye Enterprise Service has provided enterprise services for 3 million business owners, covering 173 industries and more than 500 cities and counties nationwide.

As an enterprise service platform, SkyEye Enterprise Service is not an old seniority, it is a “back wave”, but it can make 3 million business owners of different industries pay, in the opinion of Brother Dagger, the key lies in the cost performance.

First of all, in order to ensure that the businesses providing enterprise services in TianEye Enterprise Service have enough professionalism, TianEye Enterprise Service has set strict service provider access standards, with a pass rate of only 50%.

This can be achieved because TianEye Enterprise Service is based on TianEye Search, which has a user coverage of over 300 million and includes information of over 230 million social entities nationwide, and is capable of strictly vetting businesses and only allows limited companies/joint stock companies/group companies that have the ability to provide services and relevant qualifications, have been established for more than 2 years, and are in the middle and upper reaches of the industry.

Some of the service providers providing patent application services in Tianwei Enterprise Service

So a Zhengzhou business owner who had looked for an agent online said, “If I knew at that time that Tian-eye Check could do this business, I would definitely choose Tian-eye Check for better credibility.”

While ensuring professionalism, the advantage of Tian-eye Enterprise Service also lies in its efficiency and one-stop solution for different needs of different enterprises.

As mentioned above, in the process of starting a business, you will encounter all kinds of problems, such as personnel, taxation, marketing, qualification permit, and so on. However, many platforms can only provide enterprise services in a certain field due to their ability and other reasons.

SkyEye Enterprise Service is an “outlier”. At present, TianEye Enterprise Service covers 87 major industry categories (97 in total), with a coverage rate of 89.7%; among the service categories, it covers 9 major categories such as tax services, business services, intellectual property rights, IT/software, and 370 sub-categories.

The services cover most categories and industries. Screenshot from Tianwei Enterprise Service App

Secondly, in terms of service process and pricing system, TianEye Enterprise Service has also made a standardized innovation, which is extremely user-friendly.

In the past, some platforms not only had confusing processes, but also charged fees at sight, which was very pitiful.

An assistant general manager engaged in Internet finance in Beijing complained that she previously approached an agent for an address change, only to have the agent sell the same address to another company, resulting in her own company being blacklisted. “Now in dealing with address anomalies, the agent is unwilling to take care of it, and says to shell out another year’s money to run a new address and unlock the anomalous address.”

Another example is the registration of the company, the price negotiated with the agent is 400 yuan, for the process, and the excuse that you need to charge “carving fees”, “transportation costs”, and then charge 400 yuan.

In order to eliminate hidden charges and other problems, SkyEye Enterprise Service has set up a standardized process and a new pricing standard.

Standardized pricing system

All users can clearly know the process, schedule and price of the service before they choose to use it, and they can also track the progress of the service in real time after placing an order.

“It’s very convenient, just submit the information directly. SkyEye is much more convenient than the previous agent because it can find out which trademarks have been registered and what status they are in; it also provides the process of registering a trademark and you can see the progress of the process. The fee is also cheaper than the previous agent.” A business owner in Foshan said.

Standardization and visualization of service process

Finally, in addition to the above advantages, the experience of using SkyEye Enterprise Service is also beyond many people’s expectation.

In addition to setting standards for service provider access, service process and pricing, SkyEye has also set a new standard: knowledge diffusion. Compared with the previous three measures, this action is subtle, but very impressive.

For example, some business owners are not sure what is a soft-authority, how to register, and what it is for, but after searching in Tian-eye Enterprise Service, you can see a video explaining the expertise, and business owners can quickly understand the knowledge, and if they still don’t understand, they can ask the platform’s professional consultants, and finally decide whether to buy the service.

Video explanation, FAQ. Screenshot from SkyEye Enterprise Service App

At the same time, before purchasing the service, as the platform will sort the service providers according to the actual feedback results from users, business owners can also easily find better quality and more suitable service providers for themselves, which is quite a relief.

An enterprise service platform, if it can make users save money and worry, its services have the highest cost performance.

Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, it is crucial to know how to find the enterprise service that saves money and heartache.

It is not easy to start a business, and every stage of the business cannot be sloppy.

Like research and development products, each innovation point should be paid attention to, carefully judge whether to register a patent, and then through the reliable corporate services, really do a rainy day. Otherwise, if you are slightly negligent, you may be taken advantage of, and the taste of being blackmailed is destined to be unpleasant.

It is better to have more layout beforehand than to be laid out by others afterwards.