Big Bang: the "stupid patent" on teledildonics has expired

Twenty years ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 6,368,268: "Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks," a minor classic of a majorly fucked-up genre, the bullshit tech patent that simply adds "with a computer" to some absolutely obvious and existing technology or technique. Read the rest

Appeals court kills the dirty trick of using Indian tribes as a front for patent trolls and claiming sovereign immunity

In late 2017, we learned that patent trolls (especially pharma patent gougers) were paying US Native Indian tribes to act as fronts for them in order to block review and cancellation of bogus patents -- the tribes have a treaty right to "sovereign immunity," which protects them from some forms of litigation. Read the rest

EFF has comprehensively killed the bullshit podcasting patent

Back in 2014, a patent troll called Personal Audio LLC embarked on a campaign to shake down podcasters large and small for millions, but then they made the mistake of tangling with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read the rest

The Internet of Connected Sex Toys is every bit as horrifyingly insecure and poorly thought out as you imagine

The rush to put networked sensors and controllers into sex toys is grounded in foolish, convenient untruths, like the idea that the incredibly sensitive data generated by these systems can be anonymized and then analyzed for insights without exposing users to risk. Read the rest

After industry adopts open video standards, MPEG founder says the end is nigh

Leonardo Chiariglione is founder and chairman of the International Standards Organization's Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG), whose standards have dominated video playback since the earliest days; MPEG's primary rival is the Alliance for Open Media, an ascendant open standards body that requires that members promise not to enforce patents that overlap with its standards, meaning that anyone can play back AOM video without paying rent to MPEG members. Read the rest

Indigenous tribes fronting for patent trolls sue Apple

A couple weeks ago, we learned that pharma giant Allergan had transferred title to its most profitable eye drugs to New York's St Regis Mohawk band in order to invoke the band's "sovereign immunity" in proceedings that sought to invalidate its patents and make its drugs universally available at low costs. Read the rest

America's worst patent judge gets a scorching language lesson from the appeals court

Judge Rodney Gilstrap serves the Eastern District of Texas court, the venue from which patent trolls have extorted billions in useless menaces money from US industry; Gilstrap hears 25% of the patent cases brought in the USA, and has a track record for making epically terrible rulings. Read the rest

Pharma giant Allergan pays Mohawk tribe to serve as human shields against patent challenges

Allergan has disclosed that it transferred title to six of its contested eye drug patents to the St Regis Mohawk band in upstate New York, in a bid to use the band's sovereign immunity to prevent generic pharma companies from dragging the company into court to show that its patents are invalid. Read the rest

Crowdfunded by listeners, EFF perma-kills a bogus podcasting patent

Five years ago, a patent troll called "Personal Audio" started demanding money from podcasters, claiming that their patent on mailing cassette tapes of people reading magazines (a ridiculous patent on its face) also covered podcasting. Read the rest

Donald Trump, Jr is a patent-troll and his biggest client now does business with the US government

Oklahoma's Anyware Mobile Solutions was founded in 1997 to make PDA software, but after its sales collapsed, it changed its name to Macrosolve and devoted itself to suing people for violating a farcical patent that they said covered filling in questionnaires using an app. Read the rest

Public universities and even the US Navy have sold hundreds of patents to America's most notorious troll

Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy. Read the rest

The Trolls: hilarious comedy about...patent trolls?

The Trolls is a new indie feature about plucky entrepreneurs who have their lives destroyed by patent trolls, so they patent the act of being a patent troll, and turn the tables! Read the rest

Patent fighters attack the crown jewels of three of America's worst patent trolls

Unified Patents raises money from companies that are the target of patent-trolling and then uses it to challenge the most widely used patents in each of its members' sectors: now it's going for the gold. 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.

Read the rest

Patent trolls' favorite East Texas court awards costs against one of them

The plaintiff-friendly East Texas district has long been patent trolls' favorite place to file lawsuits, but one was so egregious that even their favorite judge has not only shut it down, but awarded costs against them.

Ars Technica's Joe Mullin reports that US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, "who hears more patent cases that any other federal judge," ordered that eDekka's behavior was exceptionally bad and that the it should pay the legal fees of the companies it sued.

…until this order was issued, Gilstrap had never before ordered any patent plaintiff to pay up for filing massive numbers of lawsuits, even after it became the easier to win such awards after the Octane Fitness case.

These changes in the patent trolling landscape made the court's friendliness to them seem more explicit. Perhaps it just took a while to sink in? Read the rest

Patent trolls: The Eastern District of Texas must die so that we all may live

Ever since VE Holding, a 1990 Federal Circuit decision, patent holders have been able to sue their adversaries in practically any court in America, leading to competition among jurisdictions to see which one bend the furthest backwards to deliver patent-friendly decisions and so tempt the nation's most litigious companies to sue in their local courthouse. Read the rest

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

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