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Another patent troll vanquished, you can now rotate your smartphone without paying a license fee

Rackspace didn't capitulate when a patent troll demanded $75,000, instead it decided to fight, and won. Now Rotatable Technologies has been vanquished, it is now an ex-troll. It can no longer harm us!
September 23, 2014
Display method for selectively rotating windows on a computer display
Thumper, from Bambi, is famous for saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” And I am sure these are wise words, words to live by. But I bet you $100 that Thumper had never met a Patent Troll. Just to refresh your memory, a patent troll is a company that buys or acquires patents and then aggressively pursues licensing fees or files infringement lawsuits, as a means of business, to make money. They don’t do it to protect innovation. Those who run such companies are driven purely by greed, they are nothing more than legal highway robbers.

That is the way I see it, and that is the way Rackspace sees it. Back in 2013 Rackspace was sued by a company called Rotatable Technologies. Rotatable doesn’t make any products, nor does it innovate in any way, however it does own a patent (US Pat. No. 6,326,978) which it claims covers the screen rotation technology that you find in your smartphone. Because Rackspace has a mobile cloud app that can be rotated, Rotatable Technologies thought it could milk some money from the hosting giant. But it was wrong.

The only way to end the plague of patent trolls is by fighting every troll that comes at us.

One of the identifying marks of a patent troll is that it throws its litigation net far and wide. As well as suing Rackspace, Rotatable also sued a number of other companies including Apple, Netflix, Electronic Arts, Target and Whole Foods Market.

Rackspace didn’t capitulate to Rotatable’s demand for $75,000 and decided to fight. Thankfully Rackspace won. Rotatable’s patent has been deemed unpatentable and as a result, the company has been vanquished, it is now an ex-troll.

At one point in the proceedings, when things weren’t going well for Rotatable, the company even approach Rackspace and offered to withdraw its claim. But Rackspace remained firm and challenged the very patent that Rotatable wanted to use to get money from every company or person who makes a phone or app that could be rotated. Thanks to Rackspace none of us need to pay.

“According to recent studies, patent trolls lose 88 percent of the time when defendants go all the way,” wrote Van Lindberg, Vice President of Intellectual Property at Rackspace. “We are still fighting some of the trolls that have come after us and we expect to win those cases too. Without changes in the law we believe that the only way to end the plague of patent trolls is by fighting every troll that comes at us – and we encourage all others to do the same.”

Anyone got any nice words to say about patent trolls?