Horace Goes Copyright Striking

How an obscure game character from the 8-bit era ended up at the heart of a very modern YouTube takedown fight

GNOME fires back at patent troll

A notorious "patent troll" — an acquirer of vague or trivial patents whose only real business is to shake down companies that offer implicated products — recently targeted GNOME, developers of a popular desktop environment for the Linux family of operating systems. GNOME fired back yesterday, asking a judge to dismiss the troll's lawsuit.

First: a motion to dismiss the case outright. We don’t believe that this is a valid patent, or that software can or should be able to be patented in this way. We want to make sure that this patent isn’t used against anyone else, ever.

Second: our answer to the claim. We don’t believe that there is a case GNOME needs to answer to. We want to show that the use of Shotwell, and free software in general, isn’t affected by this patent.

Third: our counterclaim. We want to make sure that this isn’t just dropped when Rothschild realizes we’re going to fight this.

We want to send a message to all software patent trolls out there — we will fight your suit, we will win, and we will have your patent invalidated.

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Inventor figures out how to sync music to windshield wipers

And you can bid on the invention's intellectual property rights next week.

Inventor/Artist (Inventist?) Ian Charnas has devised a way for windshield wipers to be in sync with the beat of the music you're listening to. Now, you can't just go out and buy his Dancing Wipers at the store. No, no. But you can bid to gain their IP rights on eBay next Wednesday.

His thoroughly entertaining 15-minute-long pitch video explains it all. You get quite a bit of insight into the creation process which is valuable and fun!

Know someone who has to have this? Is that someone you?

Mark your calendars for that eBay auction: October 16, 2019 Noon EST Bidding starts at $1. The Buy it Now price is $25,000.

Thanks, Mark! Read the rest

Appeals court orders confirms patent troll must pay costs

Following a 2014 verdict, courts may now punish patent trolls with the defense costs that their litigation incurs. An appeals court has now upheld an attorney fees ruling handed to Lumen View, a company that makes nothing of value, yet behaved as if it owned the abstract concept of matchmaking.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided, however, that the $300k awarded was too high, and returned the case to district court for another hearing. Joe Mullin writes:

In Friday's decision, the appeals judges agreed with Cote that Lumen View was out of line.

"Even if Lumen View’s litigation conduct was not quite sanctionable, the court reasonably determined that the case was exceptional," wrote US Circuit Judge Alan Lourie on behalf of a unanimous panel. "The allegations of infringement were ill-supported, particularly in light of the parties’ communications and the proposed claim constructions, and thus the lawsuit appears to have been baseless."

However, the judges found that Cote overstepped when she doubled the fees against Lumen View.

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Is patent trolling going out of style?

Patent reform, though limited, has been enough to hurt the market for certain types of patent, reports Ina Fried. Read the rest

'Destroy all Patent Trolls,' by Jonathan 'Song a Day' Mann (music video)

Man oh man, Mr. Mann. I didn't know if it was possible to adore the unfathomably prolific Jonathan "Song a Day" Mann any more, but yes, yes it is. Song a Day #1728, "Destroy all Patent Trolls." Lyrics: Read the rest

Apple loses UK patent battle

In the UK, Taiwan's HTC challenged four Apple patents covering "slide to unlock" and other touchscreen-related features. The High Court agreed today, describing them as either too obvious, or foreshadowed by earlier patents. Analysts expect the outcome to significantly influence the many other patent battles taking place between Apple and its competitors worldwide. Read the rest