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Samsung S-Voice, Google Now, and Apple Siri in the cross hairs of a patent troll called ATC

It's not very often that Apple and Google get sued for something, but that may well be happening in the next month. Instead of offering a service, patent troll ATC, who controls the patent for an off-site transcription system, is demanding that current users of the patent pay royalties.
October 5, 2012
It’s about time for everyone to heave that collective sigh of discontent yet again. It seems that every month, some barely known company is suing over a patent they happen to own. It results in a bunch of people caring even less about a company they hadn’t really heard of before. This month’s patent troll goes by the name of ATC, or Accredited Transcription Corp.

ATC owns the patent for an off-site transcription system. Incidentally, they only owned 66.6% up until today, where they were finally able to get the remaining 33.4%. Which means this company hasn’t had this patent for 24 hours and it’s already waving the patent troll flag. If you want to read up on the patent in question, you can do so here.

What’s even more bothersome about this is that the ATC is a non-practicing entity. For those who don’t know what that is, it is a company with a patent that will sue over that patent but not actually create the product for which that patent was given. In other words, ATC is a patent troll who doesn’t actually produce the technology they have the rights for.


Who is ATC going after with this patent trolling nonsense?

Now that we have identified how messed up this all is, it’s time to talk about who it affects. So far, Samsung’s S-Voice, Google Now, and Apple’s Siri seem to be in the hot seat as of right now. They will likely not be the only ones. ATC is on a witch hunt for pretty much any company that uses this technology so expect the list to grow as time passes. It isn’t often to see Apple and, well, anyone on the same side of a legal battle. It’ll be interesting seeing Samsung and Apple lawyers on the same side.

To be fair, suing for billions of dollars –because apparently patent holders can get a billion dollars for even the dumbest ideas now– isn’t ATC’s first punch. All they really want is for these companies to pay them royalties. If a royalties agreement can be reached, then there will be no court.

Unfortunately, despite the reasonable path ATC is taking, the whole scenario is still thoroughly ridiculous. Should a company even be allowed to sue for a product they do not manufacture themselves? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.