What do you do if you're a known patent troll and a major company announces a new device that is sure to sell millions of units? Try to sue the heck out of them, of course. That's exactly what's going on with Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire, the still-unreleased tablet from the online retail giant.

The story goes a little something like this: Amazon announces the Fire for an ultra-affordable price. Everyone is happy and wants this new device, so pre-orders are through the roof. Acacia hears about this amazing new technology and, being an innovation-stifling patent troll, decides to hit Amazon with some patent violations.

So, here's the long and short of it at the current time: Acacia is using several patents held by its child company Smartphone Technologies against Amazon, including one that basically covers every touchscreen device known to man.

Acacia are no doubt looking for a massive settlement from Amazon, so they can in turn go buy more companies' patents and use those to do it all over again. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

[via Paid Content]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Rob

    Tell them where to shove it, Amazon!

    • Jon Garrett

      I really hate the word patent troll. If a company owns a patent and another company uses it without permission or compensation, why shouldn't the company that owns the patent not be able to sue and HTF does that make them a patent troll?

      do companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, MS etc etc NOT do any research on patents when they're designing these devices?

      • ocdtrekkie

        Patents are designed to ensure the inventors get fair compensation for their original ideas. That is what they are meant to do.

        Do you think Acacia invented anything? Ever?

      • Lee

        You sound like someone who hasn't read many patents.

  • Father Phoenix

    This just goes to show that the patent system needs a MAJOR overhaul including IMHO removing patentablity for software. Copyright worked for it long before patents were tossed in and there is no reason it won't work now.

    • Deltaechoe

      Just goes to show you how a well intentioned idea can be bastardized and used to hurt the consumer

    • Franky

      My suggestion:
      A company should only ever be allowed to sue for a patent they are actually using in their own products.

      That would effectively ruin it for patent-trolls, once and for all. Acacia and the like won't start manufacturing devices.

  • Martin

    If this is true then surely they can go after any company making a touch screen device?? That means the Apple must be in their sights as well.....

  • L boogie

    Why am I not surprised at this type of news?

  • dannyb

    While they are trolls they have a powerful patent here. Looking at the patent it was filed about 11 years ago and the original owner was Palm who pushed some of the first touch screen tech.

    People have said that whomever has Palm's patents can do a lot of damage.

  • engineer2001

    Some patents are too broad and will be thrown out, right? Haven't we see that before? I can't imagine a patent that can ding all touchscreen device manufacturers for using a touchscreen. That would stifle innovation and hurt the industry and seriously hurt consumers.

    • dannyb

      Yea it is very broad but it was filed in 2000 so makes sense that it can cover a lot of products.

      Reading it it would not cover the IR touch screens.

  • stephen

    Ten bucks says Acacia is a shell company of Intellectual Ventures.

    • John

      You mean Insatiable Vultures.

  • Val

    Stupidity going overdrive.
    I'm wondering who holds the patent for the wheel or the fire, maybe one of these troll companies could claim the patent for those and sue everyone else under the Moon and Sun... :-)

  • wackadroid

    i thought up the kindle fire in 1995. wheres my $$$$$$??

    • Nocturnhabeo

      I stole some from the bank when I was playing monopoly last night Ill give you 20k to help start suing Amazon