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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Makers of GNOME, the free desktop environment, sued by infamous patent troll

An notorious patent troll filed a lawsuit against GNOME over a photo management app it offers with its Linux desktop environment.

Florida man Leigh M. Rothschild was only recently awarded a patent relating to wifi image transfers, but he has a long history taking companies like Apple and Samsung to court. His LLC was named in 2015 as the single largest nonpracticing entity by defendant count; a NPE is a company or person who holds patents but makes no products, instead pursuing companies that do for settlements. One website counts 30 lawsuits filed since June involving Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, with more than 100 ongoing.

GNOME is possibly one of many targeted with the new patent. Ars Technica published an article about Rothschild in 2017; the EFF reported a case that went particularly badly for him, having already awarded his company its coveted Stupid Patent Of The Month award in 2015. Read the rest

New Hampshire court to patent troll: it's not libel when someone calls you a "patent troll"

New Hampshire's Supreme Court has ruled that calling someone a "patent troll" is not defamatory because "patent troll" is a statement of opinion and can neither be factually proved nor disproved. Read the rest

Insider sources say Apple is shutting its east Texas stores to escape the jurisdiction of America's worst patent court

The Eastern District of Texas is home to a crooked court that is in the pocket of patent trolls, handing down ludicrous rulings in favor of the trolls, whose "head offices" are tiny, unoccupied offices in empty, dusty office buildings, the rent on which entitles patent trolls to claim that their rights are being infringed in the demense of the Eastern District's terrible judges. Read the rest

How Epson's patent trolling is killing the EU market for replacement ink

If you're thinking of buying an Epson printer, think again (if you were unlucky enough to buy one already, consider switching): in an industry marked by the dirtiest of tricks to force customers to spend vast fortunes on ink that costs pennies to manufacture, Epson has marked itself out as a true innovator of sleazy tactics. Read the rest

Patent trolls celebrate as Trump's new rules breathes fresh life into parasitic grifter capitalism

A golden age of blackmail began in 1996, when the US Patent and Trademark Office created extremely generous criteria for when software could be patented, allowing every shitty grifter to register a patent for $SOMETHING_OBVIOUS (with a computer) -- thanks to the USPTO's laid-back approach to searching prior art, several people could patent the same obvious thing. Read the rest

America's most notorious patent troll, now bankrupt, values its bullshit patents at $1

For more than a decade, Shipping and Transit LLC (AKA Arrivalstar) has been aggressively pursuing dubious patent claims against public transit companies, shippers, and other businesses whose practices overlapped with Arrivalstar's absurd, obvious patents on using GPSes to figure out where stuff was. Read the rest

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

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