Patent trolls and RC4

Some news are not believable if you don’t read them on your own (and even then you rub your eyes wondering). Also see http://www.heise.de/security/meldung/Newegg-verliert-Patentstreit-zu-RC4-Verschluesselung-2053971.html and http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/11/jury-newegg-infringes-spangenberg-patent-must-pay-2-3-million/.

The online retailer Newegg lost a lawsuit against TQP Development and has been convicted to pay around $2.3 million US dollars compensation because they use SSL with RC4 – a quite common technology used by millions of websites.

TQP Development already collected about 45 million US dollar from around 140 companies through “compromise settlement” since 2008 (among them also Microsoft and Amazon) and already turned over to other “customers”.

Well – RC4 is considered to be not secure for SSL any longer and should not be used any longer anyway – but that someone can get off with collecting many millions of money based on a disputable background is another evidence for me that patents in the area of software are not more than the guarantee for continued income for companies whose only “merit” it is to have acquired the right patents soon enough. Anyhow I have never seen any products or services by “TQP Development”.

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