Low Life Patent Troll Owned By Softbank Tries To Stop A Company From Making COVID-19 Tests So That It Can Cash In…. WTF?

I am used to covering low life scumbag patent trolls. But this is the lowest of the low when it comes to patent trolling. This will take a bit of effort to explain so hang with me here. The patents in question ended up in the hands of this patent troll via this route:

Back in 2018, the disgraced biotech company Theranos sold its patent portfolio to Fortress Investment Group, a division of Softbank. Now two of those patents have wound up in the hands of a little-known firm called Labrador Diagnostics—and Labrador is suing a company called BioFire Diagnostics that makes medical testing equipment.

The testing equipment that is in question are machines that test for COVID-19. Yes. The pandemic that is sweeping the planet, putting millions into lockdown/social isolation/. and has resulted in the deaths of thousands. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I am going to say, and I think that you would agree, that suing a company who is trying to help to stem the greatest medical crisis in a generation for patent infringement is a really bad idea.

Needless to say, the blowback was epic:

Facing an avalanche of bad publicity, Labrador announced on Tuesday that it would grant royalty-free licenses to companies developing COVID-19 tests. The company also claims it didn’t know that BioFire was working on a coronavirus test when it filed its lawsuit last week. The company seems to be going forward with the lawsuit.

I find the possibility that they were unaware to be completely implausible. The fact is that they tried to cash in on the pandemic, got slapped silly with all the bad press from trying to do so, and backed off as fast as they could. But in a strange way, I’m not shocked by this. Why? Just look at the players involved:

  • Fortress Investment Group is a division of Softbank. These are the same humans who brought you the WeWork debacle.
  • The patents were bought from Theranos which is another epic debacle.
  • The patent trolls are represented by infamous law firm to patent trolls everywhere Irell & Manella who once claimed it could represent a monkey in a copyright infringement dispute.

This has epic gong show written all over it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: