Bloomberg Legal reports that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has invalidated a patent held by B.E. Technology LLC for a Personalized Internet User Interface or home page which dates back to 1998 and which the company was using against Google, Microsoft and 6 other companies.
B.E. Technology filed 11 lawsuits accused smartphones and tablets of infringing their patent, but also included a wide variety of other devices, including Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles.
Google , Microsoft, Samsung and Sony all challenged the patent, submitting 5 petitions with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and was eventually able to show that a 1996 patent covered all of B.E. Technology’s claims, rendering it invalid.
B.E. Technology is also claiming infringement by Google, Microsoft and Apple, and in separate complaints against Facebook , Match.com and People Media Inc, Amazon , Barnes & Noble and Motorola Mobility for another patent on targeted advertising . The outcome of the appeal process for that patent is still expected.
Patent trolls previously massively inflated the value of troves of untested technology patents, but courts have in recent years become increasingly intolerant of bad patents and much more willing to invalidate them, meaning we are seeing less and less successful extortion attempts by these companies, hopefully meaning the whole patent troll industry will soon be a bad memory.