Innovation Asset Blog

Rackspace hoping inter partes review sinks frivolous patent dispute

Internet hosting giant Rackspace has elected to do a bit of public service on behalf of its technology sector brethren, according to GigaOM, by standing up to an entity that has plagued mobile application developers with a series of nearly identical patent infringement claims. Rackspace plans to pursue the new inter partes review option made available via the America Invents Act to challenge the fundamental validity of the patents in question.

Rotatable Technology has not been shy about asserting its intellectual property rights, according to GigaOM, and has sued the likes of Apple, Netflix and Target regarding a screen reorientation technique that has been been a standard smartphone feature since 2007. Rotatable has generated a considerable amount of income through these various infringement filings as a number of defendants simply elected to pay a $75,000 settlement fee to avoid more lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

Rackspace general counsel Alan Schoenbaum believes now is the time to push back against these "extortion" tactics regardless of the eventual cost.

"Rackspace has decided to stick up for ourselves, the open source community, app developers and every other company in the mobile applications world," Schoenbaum wrote on the company blog. "[The inter partes review filing] gives us a chance to show why the patent is invalid and should not have been issued in the first place."

The documents compiled and submitted by Schoebaum's team contain a wide array of prior art that Rackspace officials believe demonstrates the obviousness of the screen rotation invention and thus renders Rotatable's holdings void.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.