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EFF Busts Illegitimate Subdomain Patent

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the method-and-device-for-breathing-in-then-breathing-out dept.

Patents 96

eldavojohn writes "Unlike a lot of community support protection programs, the EFF's Patent Busting Project is starting to bear real fruit instead of just leveling the finger at offenders. The USPTO is revoking an illegitimate patent granted in 2004 that sounds like automatically assigning subdomains. Sites like Wordpress, LiveJournal, or basically anyone with generated subdomains have been doing this for quite some time. If you have some extra cash, now's the time to pony up a few bucks so the EFF can carry on as one of the few organizations genuinely protecting your interests."

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96 comments

The obvious question. (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388457)

Just one clarification is needed.

Will donation money be used to send ninjas to the offending party?

Re:The obvious question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28388491)

Legal ninjas, yes. And the party is in the court room.

Re:The obvious question. (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388711)

Legal ninjas, yes.

You sure about that? I don't think ninjas are legal, not even in Japan!

Re:The obvious question. (0, Offtopic)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389423)

Are you fucking serious? God dammit, that ninja told me she was 18!

Re:The obvious question. (0, Offtopic)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390149)

Well, she might have been... Japanese ninjas do tend to look younger than they actually are.

Re:The obvious question. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390383)

Wow. The mods have no sense of humor today...

Re:The obvious question. (0, Offtopic)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28396537)

The topic of sex with underage Japanese ninjas frightens and confuses the moderators because, little known fact, many of them have recently been tentacle-raped. In fact, if you wake up one morning with amnesia, a bloody asshole, and sucker marks all over your body, you too may have fallen prey to some oversexed, tentacled horror. Don't be the next victim, protect yourself today with my patented Holy Water Suppositories!

Re:The obvious question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28393261)

Are you fucking serious?

I don't know, she never told me her name.

Re:The obvious question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28395975)

How the hell is this not modded Funny?

Re:The obvious question. (1)

commlinx (1068272) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388685)

Will donation money be used to send ninjas to the offending party?

Yes, David Carradine is no longer available.

Re:The obvious question. (2, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391685)

-1 Too early.

Re:The obvious question. (1)

fugue (4373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390693)

This is a funny question, but also insightful. That is--will the patent examiners who approved this one be fired for incompetence? This ruling means nothing unless it successfully pushes for accountability. Treat ninja as a proxy for some form of punishment, and answer me this: who is the guilty party, exactly? What will be done to them?

Re:The obvious question. (3, Informative)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392549)

will the patent examiners who approved this one be fired for incompetence?

Probably not because they probably weren't. The patent was issued in 2004 under the guidelines that obtained at that time. KSR v Teleflex [wikipedia.org] , which redefined the rules for determining obviousness, was only decided in 2007. If they issued this patent today (or at any time post-KSR), then we might be able to make a case for gross incompetence, but as it is, I think the examiners were just doing their job as it was defined at the time. Blame for the messed up state of affairs we used to have goes much higher up.

Re:The obvious question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28396735)

That makes sense. But before that, I believe that the client was supposed to do a literature search of some kind, no? Could the lawyers for the client be punished for failing to describe prior art?

Re:The obvious question. (1)

metaforest (685350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400233)

Yeah, but those are elected officials :(

Re:The obvious question. (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400557)

There are probably plenty of examples of prior art, but IÂll submit mine here, camarades.com, the forerunner of ww.com did this in march 1998.

their next patent request (3, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388481)

A method to autonomously direct the expansion and contraction of lungs for the purpose of oxygen extraction.

Re:their next patent request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389323)

A method to autonomously direct the expansion and contraction of lungs for the purpose of oxygen extraction.

So are you saying that when that gets patented we will need to "think about our breathing"?

Re:their next patent request (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390169)

Wow, 2nd post and you still got beat...

from the method-and-device-for-breathing-in-then-breathing-out dept

You've both been beaten by the "iron lung". (1)

Colin Douglas Howell (670559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28397767)

Actually, you're both around 80 years too late, thanks to the "iron lung [wikipedia.org] ". In fact, one iron lung inventor [wikipedia.org] did sue another [wikipedia.org] for patent infringement during the 1930s. However, he ended up with his own patents being invalidated, since it turned out all the claims in those patents had already been covered by earlier patents from others.

Re:You've both been beaten by the "iron lung". (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28423291)

Speaking of prior art, didn't God file that patent ages ago?

Re:their next patent request (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391463)

Clearly, the EFF is infringing my patent on "a method to detect and bust illegitimate patents."

They will be hearing from my other Slashdot alias, which claims to be a lawyer.

- RG>

Re:their next patent request (1)

metaforest (685350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28400237)

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Is it just me... (4, Interesting)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388483)

Is it just me, or is this essentially a fundraising article?

Donate to us, because we got a patent revoked.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388529)

It is just you. Although that is a good idea. EFF could use any funds you send them for other cases too.

Re:Is it just me... (4, Insightful)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388635)

Not to me - it's proof that they can actually do what they say. Although, depending on how you look at it, every article is a fundraising article.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388693)

One case is hardly proof, by that logic, if I can do run a km, I can run a marathon. I'm not saying it isn't a good thing that they got the patent revoked, I just think that this rather blatant advertising.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388887)

[GP] it's proof that they can actually do what they say.

[P] One case is hardly proof

If they say that they can successfully thwart illegitimate patent, of course it is. If I say I can do 'X', and I do 'X', have I not proved my claim? Do you think that there's some larger claim that they can thwart 42 patents? I haven't seen any.

I just think that this rather blatant advertising.

By whom? Infozine? Did you even read the article, or are you saying this purely based on the summary? I see you already got a response from the submitter himself, so I won't bother explaining to you here the difference between advertising vs advocacy.

what the fuck are you talking about (0, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389345)

they are doing what they have told they would be doing. SO ? what are you doing ? trying to garner points by playing devil's advocate unnecessarily ?

get out.

Re:Is it just me... (2, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391749)

It only counts as a Slashvertisement when the hivemind is upset that it doesn't promote the locally accepted viewpoint. When it's the EFF it's just good community thinking because all right-minded people agree with them.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

ReedYoung (1282222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403411)

No, it only counts as "hivemind" when people cannot explain why they believe something, which you know goddamned well is not the case here.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388763)

Not to me - it's proof that they can actually do what they say. Although, depending on how you look at it, every article is a fundraising article.

Whenever a non-profit communicates with the public through the press, the Internet, etc., the intended purpose, directly or indirectly, is to generate funds, yes. The reason being, if they don't keep in the public eye, donations will drop off. Out of sight; out of mind. They depend on those donations for continued operation. Without them they would cease to exist.

Re:Is it just me... (4, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388681)

It didn't read that way to me either.

But it occurs to me that even if it did, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Any organization that exists through donations really ought to prove that they're worth a donation. This is once piece of evidence that the EFF is worth your money.

Moreover, to those people who have already donated, this is a form of accountability. Articles like this tell those people that they have not wasted their money - it is being put to good use doing the work that organization was created to do.

Re:Is it just me... (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388755)

Is it just me, or is this essentially a fundraising article?

As a regular submitter, I assure you that when I wrote the fourth sentence as nothing but a request for donations I had no idea anyone would bother to read that far into the summary.

Disclaimer: I do not work for the EFF but I do send them a twenty every now and then.

Donate to us, because we got a patent revoked.

I was hoping it would sound more like "Donate to us because we can get more patents revoked." And really, who else is working towards that? Once the USPTO grants a patent, it's done. They don't get as much from me as I give to public radio or open source software but I'll give them some change to fight that fight.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390013)

I'm apologise if I caused offence, I always enjoy reading your submissions and in this case I was guilty of not reading the feature article.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389195)

Is it just me, or is this essentially a fundraising article?

Donate to us, because we got a patent revoked.

They're showing how they are fulfilling their mandate. What's the problem?

I would think that a lot of big companies would be filling the EFF's coffers, working together to take down the wolves that pray on those they can separate from the herd. Of course that won't happen, because many of those big companies occasionally become the target of the EFF.

So what ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389283)

does 'being a fundraising article' damage the article or the cause or the organization ?

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389375)

Well, is it just me, or you would like the donations rather go your way?
What have you done for that?

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392117)

Is it just me, or is this essentially a fundraising article?

Donate to us, because we got a patent revoked.

It could be worse. It could have been a Cory Doctorow novel.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392545)

Asking for money isn't evil.

After all, the EFF patent attorneys who do the grunt work of getting the patents busted still have to eat.

I for one would be happy to donate to them if I wasn't already broke.

Thanks a lot economy.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

ReedYoung (1282222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402657)

You must be new here. In fact, your user ID # proves that you are, even more so than I am. In my months as a frequent but not regular /.er, I have noticed that most of those who frequently comment consider censorship to be fully included in the category "stuff that matters" and that those who self-identify, either implicitly or explicitly, as "nerds" tend strongly to oppose censorship. I suspect that you will either come around to this way of thinking, at least learn to appreciate its merits even if you continue to think the /. mainstream is "extreme," or you will just go away, perhaps after some interval of unfulfilling trolling or perhaps more quickly and less noisily, depending on your character, about which I don't pretend to know. We don't all necessarily intend to be unfriendly to disagreement, certainly not when it appears genuine and intellectually honest, but censorship is always worse than what it purports to correct. Always.

The similarity to censorship of granting corporate overlords unearned claims of control over "intellectual property" is trivially obvious, and therefore left as a gedanken exercise for the reader.

Finally! (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388487)

A sudden outbreak of common sense!

Re:Finally! (4, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390185)

You're referring to the fact that kdawson actually posted a worthwhile article?

The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (3, Insightful)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388611)

I'll donate to the EFF when they get a clue about spam. Their official position is that spam is protected free speech, and measures to fight it are far worse than the problem. They don't understand that spam is highly destructive to the net as a form of communication.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388767)

I'll donate to the EFF when they get a clue about spam. Their official position is that spam is protected free speech, and measures to fight it are far worse than the problem.

Perhaps because in many cases, they are. Anti-spammers often end up "destroying the village in order to save it", doing things like blacklisting legitimate mail users and then refusing to talk to them on the grounds that they are spammers. The one actual spam case I recall the EFF getting involved in, was one where sending an e-mail to a company was ruled to be a "tresspass against chattels". That sort of ruling would be far more destructive to communication than spammers; it would mean you'd committed a actionable offense any time someone didn't like an e-mail you sent them.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389839)

Option 1: Use spam filtering and potentially black list some users.
Option 2: Use no spam filter and be unable to find useful email in the hundreds of emails you will now be getting a day.

I definitely like option 1 better.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390539)

Spam filtering can be useful, but there are some blacklists that will add you as a spammer simply because your website is on the same ISP as an accused spammer. Any attempts to reason with them are met with "Don't like it? Change ISPs!" In other words, you need to go through the time and expense of switching ISPs every time that ISP happens to sign someone up who spams. If you're going to have a blacklist, you need some provision for allowing falsely accused spammers off your list and for minimizing collateral damage. Simply saying the electronic equivalent of "well, you live three houses down from a spammer so it is your fault that your house was hit with that grenade" isn't good enough.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28397835)

I think people need to think about their Spam solutions.

I use SpamAssasin which checks against multiple blacklists, this reduces the chances of a legit email being filtered.

People need to think about who is responsible for their spam filtering. Services like Gmail and Hotmail are the worse offenders when it comes to false positives because you never know when you have been filtered since their blacklists are private.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

ReedYoung (1282222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28402525)

Wrong. You need to think, about why your would-be recipients have chosen to use Gmail and other services which provide greylisting and other anti-SPAM technologies that might make your attempts to send e-mail challenging.

Services like Gmail and Hotmail are the worse offenders when it comes to false positives because you never know when you have been filtered since their blacklists are private.

SPAM filters are not intended for your convenience as a mass e-mailer, they are intended for my convenience and the convenience of every other unwilling recipient of e-mails from people like you, and your characterization of Hotmail and Gmail is therefore completely incorrect. As a former recipient of mail filtered by Hotmail's blacklists and current recipient of mail filtered by Gmail's, I can tell you authoritatively that they are not comparable. Maybe they were before Google acquired Gmail and then Postini, but I started using Gmail just about the time that they acquired Postini, in fact because of that, and they work very well together -- for their intended users, not for people trying to send me unsolicited commercial e-mails. Hotmail and Yahoo were both horrible at that last time I used them and I have no intention of ever going back. Gmail does not falsely mark e-mail intended for me as SPAM, and if the messages you send are treated the same by Gmail and Hotmail, either you are a SPAMMER or an incompetent.

It's also safe to say that you know as well as I do that none of the above rely entirely on blacklists and that the differences in their performance are due more to the quality of their greylisting algorithms than to blacklists, and that users have the opportunity to help fine-tune greylists by removing any false positives from our SPAM folders within 30 days, a more than adequate interval for anybody to whom e-mail is an important communication medium in the first place.

If your mail isn't getting to its desired recipients, that's your responsibility as a listserv administrator, or whatever job title has landed you this responsibility about which you're bitching. You know of the existence of greylisting, Postini, etc. Talk to your webmaster. Have one sentence inserted to the subscription web page, warning subscribers that because you send e-mail en masse (or use more weaselly language to explain why they need to take extra efforts to receive your "important" communiqués if that is your wont), your messages are likely to be marked as SPAM at first, until the user fishes your e-mails out of their SPAM folder and marks it "not SPAM." You, not those you desire as customers, need to think about why victims of SPAM messages chose these services in the first place. We are not computer science majors because we are not interested in using the computer for the sake of using the computer. We use the computer only to accelerate the accomplishment of productive work, not to add new tasks whose only impact on our chosen profession is to make our real work more digitized, which the rest of us understand is not a "value add" in and of itself. The services you're bitching about are for my convenience as a non-IT user of the computer, not for yours in the IT department. These "microcomputer" devices and the commercial software written and sold for use with them, have been advertised as having the potential to improve our efficiency and if you are not capable of living up to that promise offered by the IT industry across the boards in every product and service you punks sell, then it is time for you to find a new line of work.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405813)

WTF are you talking about, your post is totally irrelevant.

Their filter is their responsibility, how am I and everyone else who sends email to know if the mail gets through? Gmail is a bit better than hotmail (Although not as good as SpamAssasin) but I have had Hotmail block my emails on more than one occasion, unknown to me until about a month later. Which to be honest is not my problem I sent the message and if the recipient didn't get it that is partially their own fault. This is why allot of companies insist that staff use the company email service.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405837)

I forgot to point out, im not a mass mailer. So I don't know where you drew that conclusion from.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

ReedYoung (1282222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28414603)

I drew that conclusion from this:

Services like Gmail and Hotmail are the worse offenders when it comes to false positives because you never know when you have been filtered since their blacklists are private.

If that is frequently a problem for you, then you are a SPAMMER. Even if you're small-time, and therefore technically not a "mass mailer" by number of e-mails, you are still sending a significant enough proportion of your messages to uninterested parties to apparently be dark grey listed, by your own version of events.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28417231)

Ok, you clearly do not have even the faintest clue what your talking about here. Thanks for the clarification.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28397771)

and having to sift through thousands of emails perday just to get one legitimate message isn't disrupting communications?

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (-1, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388777)

I heard they're also really into kiddie snuff porn.

I mean, on principle. Sure, on principle.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389127)

They don't understand that spam is highly destructive to the net as a form of communication.

it's quite a risky stance to claim to know what the EFF understands and what it does not understand.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390247)

I've had this argument with several big-name EFF supporters (Cory Doctorow springs immediately to mind). If the EFF weren't anti-spam blocking, there would be no issue.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390387)

which in no way changes my stance that it is quite brave to claim to know what the EFF understands and what it does not understand. it's quite possible they have a different opinion to yours while at the same time understanding the issues involved.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391047)

I'd wager that the EFF isn't against all spam blocking. They're against institutional spam-blocking. If you want to do it for your users, on your network, for yourself, fine. But an ISP shouldn't be doing that without being very clear of what you're doing, and a way to disable it. Because spam blocking can often have false positives, and it can also create a situation where anything you don't like is classified as spam, rather than just v1@gr4 pitches. Spam filtering on a large scale is a step down the slope of censorship, which is why the EFF doesn't like it at the head end.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

IP_Troll (1097511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389185)

Not everyone is going to agree on everything and making donations a Boolean value is pretty silly.

Instead of punishing them for having a view point that doesn't completely match your own, how about rewarding them for doing a good job on the stuff you do agree on.

If you hate spam 70% of the time, hate patent trolls 30% of the time and would have donated $100, then donate $30.

yea, our biggest threat to internet is spam indeed (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389311)

please fuck off. eff is fighting a LOT of shit that you rant against in slashdot. so dont bring irrelevant bullshit like spam. so you got a few emails, SO what ?

Re:yea, our biggest threat to internet is spam ind (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390233)

I block tens of thousands of spams sent to my system weekly. That's a lot more than "a few emails". Your argument is the same as the spammers' "just hit delete".

Re:yea, our biggest threat to internet is spam ind (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391067)

I'll bet the EFF has no problem with your blocking spam on your own. What I'd bet they have issue with is someone else upstream from you blocking what they deem spam... who knows what that could entail? Political speech they don't like? Email should never go into a black hole... filter it however you want, but don't prevent it from going through.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (2, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389529)

The EFF is not there to fight spam. It has nothing to do with their mission. That's like a gun owner refusing to donate to the NRA because of they don't do anything to stop spam.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390215)

If they ignored spam, I wouldn't have a problem. They've actively fought anti-spam measures, though, and that puts them squarely on the wrong side of the line.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (4, Informative)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390477)

I'm giving up mod privileges to post this. But nobody has made this point, so I need to.

The flaw in your argument is your failure to recognize that the spam "solutions" that the EFF have opposed were worse than the spam problem. Solutions that restrict rights online or which are so vague as to permit abuse in non-spam situations are more dangerous than a few hundred pen!s oil ads.

The EFF are one of the few NPOs that I give to, because they actually are effective and coincide with my values. If they don't coincide with yours, fine. Don't give. I also advise that you don't trash talk them either, at least not here...

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28398531)

I also advise that you don't trash talk them either, at least not here...

Why? surely the EFF would not have a problem with it.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390749)

Funny.... I've been on the Internet for over a decade yet I don't have the spam problems that I hear people constantly complain about... About ~20% of all email I get is spam, and I get around 40-50 messages a day. Is that a lot? No, but I don't believe for a second that spam is a linear concept.

Could it be that you, or people that have your email, have been careless in its sharing? I knew LONG ago, circa 1996, to be careful with whom and where I release my email address. Can you say the same thing?

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (1)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391087)

If you don't subscribe to much of anything yes, you won't get as much spam. But it just takes one mailing list who accidentally or intenionally puts your email out there for you to get overwhelmed with spam.

If you have an unusual email name it's likely you get much, much less spam than others as the spammers try fishing with many common names.

It could also just be that your ISP is quietly blocking much of it.

And it also can depend on your provider. I get 90%+ spam on Gmail (almost all flagged into the Spam folder), but I get next to nothing on Comcast... except for some reason the Slashdot daily email keeps going into the Spam folder and I can't figure out how to get it out.

Re:The EFF isn't entirely protecting our rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28396669)

> They don't understand that spam is highly destructive to the net as a form of communication.

The EFF is as hip to the problems of spam as anyone. They get as much or more than anyone else, and are made aware of the consequences of spam every day.

Think of the problems for the EFF if the government starts implementing anti-spam solutions. All of a sudden, they have a foot in the door to complete control of the internet. If you can scan each mail for spam content, why not scan for other nefarious data as well?

Spam solutions have to be technical based on secure standards, not government solutions. The EFF sees the truth in that.

Any chance at getting money back? (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388737)

If someone licensed the patent for a period extending past the date of revocation, can they successfully sue for a pro-rated refund?

Re:Any chance at getting money back? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388993)

Yes. That is, yes they can sue, not yes they'll be succesful.

device-for-breathing-in-then-breathing-out dept.? (0)

rarel (697734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388747)

HA, checkmate Darth Vader, we got prior art!

Pony up the cash or you're toast!

At least (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388793)

it helps sets a precedent of what is patentable software technology. This helps other foundations that wish to fight patent trolls.

Re:At least (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391485)

The patent was invalidated on the basis of obviousness over the prior art, not because of it being software.

Re:At least (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392637)

Fortunately, 90% of all software patents fail any trivial obviousness test, as they're almost invariable just some standard procedure or method with "using a compuer" or "over the Internet" tacked onto the end.

Meanwhile, we'll just have to see how Bilski plays out....

extra cash? (2, Funny)

sdaemon (25357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28388823)

what is this "extra cash" of which you speak?

Re:extra cash? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390563)

"Got any spare change, man?"

"There is no such thing."

Fuck you Linus Torvalds (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28388871)

Rob Malda is a mongoloid who fucks little boys and dogs.

"prior" art? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389113)

Sites like Wordpress, LiveJournal, or basically anyone with generated subdomains have been doing this for quite some time.

Wordpress first appeared in 2003. This patent was filed in 1999.
Not saying it's novel or nonobvious, or that there isn't other prior art, but citing Wordpress is like saying "cars aren't anything new and Ford didn't invent anything. Why, the Toyota Prius has been around for quite some time."

Re:"prior" art? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389735)

Well, they obviously haven't been protecting it. Isn't that one of the requirements of keeping a patent?

Re:"prior" art? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390361)

Well, they obviously haven't been protecting it. Isn't that one of the requirements of keeping a patent?

Nope, that only applies to trademarks.

Re:"prior" art? (1)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391043)

No it is not in any jurisdiction that I know of. You're thinking of trademarks.

Re:"prior" art? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28401983)

Well, they obviously haven't been protecting it. Isn't that one of the requirements of keeping a patent?

Nope.

Re:"prior" art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389755)

Cars weren't invented by Ford.

Re:"prior" art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390063)

Well Ford invented many things, but not the car, as you seem to imply. Credit usually goes to this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Benz [wikipedia.org]

Would this money best be spent.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389203)

.. fighting against patents that companies are already sending blackmail letters over?

With the state of the 'patent market', my impression is that everyone files as many as they possibly can. It's not unlikely that many of these will never be sought to be used for patent trolling at all. It should be better to only go for those that are being used while being obviously illegitimate.

The list of the shameless "inventors" is (5, Informative)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28389205)

Brian Shuster, Johnson Leong, Matthew Price, Brian Lam, Desmond Ford Johnson.

So that their names show up in this /. post every time somebody googles them ...

Re:The list of the shameless "inventors" is (2, Informative)

fpgaprogrammer (1086859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390935)

If you actually do a google search for "Brian Shuster Ideaflood Inc" you find this article about a porn-baron with a patent for pop-up ads. Truly a modern day Nikolai Tesla...

(From http://www.out-law.com/page-3551 [out-law.com] ):

Ideaflood Inc. is an intellectual property holding company owned by Brian Shuster. He previously ran porn web sites that were accused by the Federal Trade Commission of deceptively charging customers. While he is said to have made millions from internet porn, with which he is still involved, he now sees Ideaflood's patents as his best potential revenue source.

His pop-up ad patent application was filed in 1998 and granted in 2002. Last week, Shuster modestly told MSNBC news, "I apologise for being a pioneer."

Re:The list of the shameless "inventors" is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391381)

7412514 Method and apparatus for improving bandwidth efficiency in a computer network

It's another good on. It involves "soft-ware"

fFrist stop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389355)

Re:fFrist stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389923)

Why do these posts always contain the word "BSD"?

Re:fFrist stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390245)

I wouldn't know... one of my Adblock Plus element hiding filters hides any <a> tags with a href containing "goat.cx", so I don't even see it.

Oh noes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28389367)

It's actually seed money for skynet.

What's with the asking for money? (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393781)

Every time there's a mention of the EFF on Slashdot there's a plea for money in the summary. I don't recall any other group getting such treatment.

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