In a triumphant post to its blog today, Rackspace announced that Rotatable Technologies is now "an ex-patent troll." This new designation for Rotatable Technologies comes after the US Patent and Trademark Office declared its patent (6,326,978) unpatentable. Last year, Rotatable Technologies decided to go after Rackspace over the patent, demanding $75,000. Rackspace chose to fight not just the case but the patent itself.
What is patent 6,326,978? It was a patent covering "a display method for selectively rotating windows on a computer display including a window for a computer display having a frame and a display portion. The method allows the user to rotate the window about a preselected rotation point..."
The patent goes on at length to describe the mechanism by which just about every mobile device in existence rotates its display based on the device's orientation.
Rackspace says that at one point during the dispute, Rotatable Technologies offered to back down, but Rackspace still wanted to challenge the patent itself. The USPTO evidently agreed with Rackspace's assessment of the patent and invalidated it, thereby effectively squashing Rotatable Technologies. Rackspace notes that it is still fighting other patent trolls and will continue to do so, closing the post by rightly pointing out that barring changes to patent law, "the only way to end the plague of patent trolls is by fighting every troll that comes at us - and we encourage all others to do the same."
Source: Rackspace blog