Indian developer Kootol Software Limited seems to be following in the footsteps of patent troll Lodsys after sending out many patent infringement notices to big name firms like Google, Microsoft and Apple. The company is charging patent infringement by Twitter developers in addition to an original patent infringement claim against Twitter that the service copied its patent pending technology for transmitting live messages via a subscription feed. Kootol chiefly suggests infringements of its patent pending application in the United States entitled US Patent Application No. 20100030734 which describes a “universal knowledge management and desktop search system.”
Some experts have speculated that Kootol’s motivations are two-fold. The company is poorly financed, so the patent trolling may be an effort to scare companies into paying fees while their patent application is still pending. Ultimately, Kootol appears to have Twitter as its ultimate target. With the Lodsys case as an excellent example of how to fend off these type of suits, it will be interesting to see how the situation develops.
The patent wars are growing ever larger in scope, with patent trolling becoming more of a global problem thanks to companies like Kootol. Kootol has patent applications pending over the disputed Twitter technology in both US and European offices. In addition to Twitter, Kootol cites Facebook and LinkedIn as also relying on its proprietary feed technology.
An interesting point is that Kootol cannot actually sue any of these alleged infringers while the patent applications are still pending. It remains to be seen whether their patent application will be granted as-is, or whether the patent offices will require some modification of its scope. There is also the possibility that the patent application could be rejected outright. Based on communication from the US Patent and Trademark Office, at least, it appears that Kootol is very close to being granted a US patent.