Monday, December 19, 2005

Rob Enderle: Visto Sues Microsoft

Rob Enderle posts at Technology Pundits about Visto's patent suit against Microsoft. Enderle notes that "the defense large companies like Microsoft has is akin to mutually assured destruction because these firms have deep patent portfolios they can use to go after the operating firms that go after them and it is likely Visto will find they are in violation of one or more of Microsoft’s patents."

Enderle does add that "this defense only works if the plaintiff is an operating company, if it is an IP company (a firm that simply owns patents that it licenses out) the mutually assured destruction defense doesn’t work and we are seeing something like that in the NTP vs. Rim litigation."

Enderle wonders whether Visto is moving towards an IP portfolio company considering that "Visto has historically burned through cash at an incredible rate and are known more for their ability to get additional cash infusions rather then anything approaching a successful business model."

Enderle concludes:

One thing is clear and that is that IP is increasingly becoming a problem for a lot of companies both big and small. However the large companies have the resources to lobby and force into law protections that could limit some of these activities particularly IP Trolling. As a result this little case could turn out to have broader long term implications than otherwise.