Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Tech Updates

TikTok Parent ByteDance Joins Patent Troll Protection Group LOT Network

8 min read


The LOT Network has announced today the inclusion of TikTik Parent company ByteDance against patent trolls, the non-profit organisation which supports companies of all sizes as well as industrial sectors to protect itself against patent trolls in order to create a shared pool of patents against these.

In recent years ByteDance has gained a fair share of patents and is involved in a patent struggle, including its rival Triller. However, this is not what LOT Network membership means. ByteDance joins a group of companies which include IBM, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Lyft, Oracle, Tencent, Target, VW, Tesla, Ford, Xiaomi, Waymo and Zelle. This group included a number of different firms. A total of over 1300 members now belong to the group.

The six-year-old team, LOT CEO Seddon told me, had such a record year and in 2020. 574 firms joined the group and brought its immunised patents to more than three million, of which 14 percent was registered with all of the other U.S. patents.

The core characteristics of LOT were also that it doesn’t lose all control over the patents it provides for representatives, which end up making upwards of 25 million USD in annual revenues. They may still purchase and trade now as then, but those who instantly grant a free patent to each other group member, when they make a decision that just to sell to whatever the industry calls a ‘patent claiming entity’. This basically transforms A LOT to some of what Seddon describes as a “flu shot” against patent trolls.

“We’re essentially like a herd, we’re herd vaccination, efficiently,” Seddon says. “I’m really like herpes. “And when a company enters into the company, people recognise that perhaps the non-member community is reduced by the one. It’s like people who have not had shrinks from the vaccine—and they’re, hang on a minute, which helps make me more risky. And ‘wait for a minute, I wouldn’t want to become the objective.’ I’m a larger threat.’

He makes the argument that ByteDance is a great example of just a corporation that can take advantage of LOT membership. Even when patents could be a pure sign of innovation for a company, they are also quite effective protection tools for corporate lawyers. However, building a patent portfolio could even take a small corporation year. But an effective and rapidly growing business becomes a clear goal for patent trolls.

“Of course, you’re a target once you’re a huge corporation,” says Seddon. “People are becoming jealous and that you are endangered. And your funds, as well as income as well as your success, are so covetous. One way companies could even protect as well as safeguard their innovation is by means of patents. Installation companies that also acquired IBM 250 patents earlier this month, as well as Airbnb, which had been sued for patent infringement by IBM throughout early 2020, are examples of how their company grew so quickly that their revenues grew so soon because they can naturally expand their patent portfolio.

ByteDance has been in a scenario in which it is presently likely to become such a goal by patent trolls, congrats to TikTok’s achievement. In order to expand its portfolio quicker, the company began purchasing patents on its own but now joins LOT to enhance its security there.

Seddon notices that “[ByteDance] is a genius and strives to get forward with the wave. “To build a comprehensive I.P. strategy, it’s an effective global company. PAEs have only been a U.S. issue in history, but ByteDance now must be concerned that PAEs are a problem in China and also in Europe. By having to join LOT, they are protected against more than 3 million patents, and their investment decisions must they ever be in the hands of the PAE.”



Lynn Wu, IP Counsel Director as well as Chief Executive Officer of ByteDance, concurs. “Innovation is central to ByteDance’s culture as well as we consider protecting our diverse creative and technical community also to be essential,” she says nowadays. “We promote other firms to help people make the industry more secure by joining LOT Network as champions and for fair need for I.P. Working together, we could even safeguard the sector from exploitation as well as continue to promote innovation that is key to the development and achievement of the whole community.”

There is also another reason why companies are really interested in joining the team presently, but that is because these patent enforcement entities, who’d already faded somewhat into the background throughout mid-to-late 2010, can return back. Here’s a slightly ominous presumption: many enterprises appear to suppose we are in a downturn. When we have reached a recession, many proprietors will begin to look at their patent portfolios as well as sell a few from their more valuable patents to remain on the floor. As beggars cannot be selected, it implies, when that troll is the highest bidder, they will often sell to the patent troll. A patent troll sued Uber last year,

It was after the last recession — although this effect usually takes a couple of years. There is nothing fast moving in the patent world.

Now, if LOT members sell trolls, they cannot sue other LOTs. For instance, take IBM that last year joined the LOT.

Seddon said to me: “IBM managed to join LOT last year, and IBM effectively tells almost everyone, ‘I have joined LOT, look,’ and they’ve put most of their patent portfolios in LOT. IBM’s licencing and trying to sell to PAE’s is an important part of the process. And they tell everyone, ‘Look, I got to sell my patents to everyone I would like, and I’ll sell them to the potential buyer. They conclude to everyone,’ And if you ever do not join LOT and then you get sued by a troll, was it my fault or your fault? As well as I sell it over to a patent troll? You may have obtained a free licence if you join LOT.'”


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