Now it may be me just jumping to conclusions or it could be the nature of the case, but it seems there is a Native American tribe suing Amazon.com and Microsoft in a Virginia federal court for infringing on a set of supercomputer patents its recently came into possession of, is the very definition of patent trolling.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe had the supercomputer patents bestowed upon them by a technology firm called SRC Labs LLC all the way back in August of 2017. Now, SRC Labs is looking to do a little sleight of hand by shuffling the patents off to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and use their sovereign status as some sort of immunity for administrative review.
Furthermore, it seems as part of the deal between SRC and Saint Regis Mohawk, the tribe would benefit from a percentage of any amount awarded based on the outcome of the infringement.
That’s right, a little less than two months ago, these supercomputer patents were being held by a limited liability corporation looking for a way skirt review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that has been known to revoke plenty of patents in its history.
Perhaps, SRC had been tipped that the maneuver was already be enacted by the company Allergan, who coincidentally partnered with Saint Regis Mohawk, striking a similar shielding deal for the eye care medication Restasis.
Unfortunately, for SRC, not only were Allergan’s claims invalidated by a ruling on Monday but so were their patents.
As of now, Fortune.com has reached out to Microsoft and Amazon and has received no comment on the suit, but both tech companies have proven to be courtroom battled tested and it seems reasonable to believe they will seek to have SRC’s patents invalidated as well.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this case and others like it as US lawmakers look to close this sovereign loophole soon.