Patent trolls swoop on Amazon Fire

It seems that every time someone comes up with something new in the US, there are a bunch of patent trolls waiting to pounce and demand their pound of flesh.

The latest victim is Amazon’s new Kindle Fire which is being seen as a rival for Apple’s iPad.

An outfit called Smartphone Technologies filed the suit in troll- friendly Texas Eastern District Court accusing the Fire tablet of violating four of its patents.

Smartphone Technologies is owned by Acacia Research, which does not invent things itself – it just makes a living buying and licensing patents. Acacia has been a bane to Apple and Research In Motion keeping the courts busy with its claims.

Acacia has also been behind a campaign to squeeze money out of Novell and Red Hat.

The patents named in the suit against Amazon seem to include several basic features commonly used on smartphones and tablets.

According to, one of the patents is No. 6,956,562, simply refers to a method for using a touch screen to enter commands on a handheld computer. On wonders how the patent office ever approved a patent which was that wide.

Another relates to a method for storing calendars on a PDA and was initially issued to Palm nearly ten years ago.