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Patent Trolls Target Small East Texas Companies

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the patently-absurd dept.

The Courts 281

An anonymous reader writes "In a sign that patent trolls are getting desperate to keep their cases in East Texas — long known as the friendliest venue for their claims — some have taken to suing tiny, no-name companies that are run by East Texas residents. The hope is that, if at least one defendant is located in East Texas, the judge will keep the entire case there. Nate Neel, a Longview, Texas resident with a small open source software company called CitiWare, was sued by Bedrock Computer Technologies in June despite (he claims) having no customers or other meaningful operations of any kind. In response, Mr. Neel has posted a strongly worded letter to Bedrock's attorneys on his Web site. It will be interesting to see how East Texas judges respond to this abuse of process perpetrated against their own residents."

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Interesting defense (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805979)

I didn't realize that "I dun have no cuzmers" was a valid defense against patent violations.

Re:Interesting defense (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806039)

I didn't realize that "I dun have no cuzmers" was a valid defense against patent violations.

That's not all of his argument. Although his letter is unprofessional and poorly organized, he says:

To Sam Baxter - if you wish to acknowledge my email and realize your mistake on claiming CitiWare in your suit on Bedrocks behalf, then remove any claims against CitiWare / CityWare and I can remove this page and any publicity about filling an invalid lawsuit against a company that never used your patent or for that matter even developed any product sold or used (CityWare only used Open Source code under GPL for personal projects or other employers)!

He's probably flabbergasted that they didn't do any development, they just repackaged/administered GPL licensed open source products and now find themselves the target of a lawsuit. And like the article says, they don't care about him or what he says or the validity of targeting him, they care about keeping the case in East Texas District Court [technologyreview.com] .

This guy doesn't need a defense, he just needs to reside in East Texas and he's part of this case no matter how ill placed the blame is.

Re:Interesting defense (2, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806397)

This guy doesn't need a defense, he just needs to reside in East Texas and he's part of this case no matter how ill placed the blame is.

You stay classy, Texas.

Re:Interesting defense (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806449)

The Most Litigating Man in the World:

"I don't always sue people for patent violations, but when I do, I sue in East Texas. Stay classy my friends."

Re:Interesting defense (4, Insightful)

jtev (133871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806061)

Well, if he didn't sell anything, or otherwise distribute anything to anyone then there can be no harm to the patent holder. That means that it is not worth their wile for them to sue him.

Re:Interesting defense (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806105)

What is worth someone's wile or not is really up to them, isn't it?

Re:Interesting defense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806327)

That's a wiley thing to say

Re:Interesting defense (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806361)

Maybe he's a coyote.

Re:Interesting defense (1)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806511)

That's a wiley thing to say

Maybe he's a coyote.

+1 so unfunny it's funny

Re:Interesting defense (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806661)

I'm just glad someone made that joke before I did. I sat there for five minutes, just staring at the comments and wondering whether to make a coyote joke or not. Now, my worries are over.

Re:Interesting defense (2, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806429)

They are suing him and others. But he is the only one it the courts venue... What they get from suing him is securing a friendly venue. But in Texas, judges are positions voted on. Piss off the residents, and look for a new job.

Re:Interesting defense (2, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806725)

They are suing him and others. But he is the only one it the courts venue... What they get from suing him is securing a friendly venue. But in Texas, judges are positions voted on. Piss off the residents, and look for a new job.

Federal Judges are appointed for life, and can acquire Secret Service protection without too much difficulty.

Re:Interesting defense (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806803)

Federal Judges are appointed for life, and can acquire Secret Service protection without too much difficulty.

Umm, I thought it was the US Marshals Service that protected Federal Judges?

Re:Interesting defense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806139)

It's funny the niggers who didn't get enslaved get high speed internet while the niggers who were dragged on from west africa, their bretheren don't get shit. Also for the record it's not black people who are the problem it's just American black and hispanics who have come to leech of the of the American civil war that are to blame. You can't even blame them because if it wasn't for crafty jews who have made their way well out of the holocaust minorities would have been well empowered. That would have went against the jewish world order of things and Blacks and Hispanics have to be looked upon as menaces or people would look again at jews. Seriously, the one way to make Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, etc get along together is for ALL OF US to go and produce a second holocaust. If we all proactively killed the jews off the planet would be a better place. Who do you think pits black against white, hispanic against asian? Jews get rich while dumb asses go and kill each other. A new holocaust is in order and this time with the backing of the US, we can kill every single jew. Israel should be a parking lot paved by the bones of should-be holocaust victims. Schindler himself regrets saving the jews who would hardly help him in his time of need. Kill the jews please. I know a bunch of slashdotters are jews but think about it. How much better would the world be if you didn't contributed to the filth of society by existing.

Re:Interesting defense (0, Offtopic)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806425)

How is it that assholes like this aren't IP Banned?

Re:Interesting defense (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806791)

DHCP, new IP address anytime you want.

Re:Interesting defense (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806815)

How is it that assholes like this aren't IP Banned?

Because /. has a moderation system and doesn't banish people or delete posts over content? If it bothers you why not browse at +1 or +2? I haven't seen too many racist trolls that aren't quickly modded -1.

Re:Interesting defense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806147)

It's not that he has no customers, it's the fact he closed his branch of the company completely in 2005. FTA :

"According to the complaint, defendants ...CitiWare Technology Solutions... use the method and apparatus falling within the scope of the '120 Patent in the course of their business operations."

Suing CitiWare in Colorado where they are based makes sense, suing them in Texas where that branch of the company hasn't existed for four years is a bit nonsensical except to try and keep it in a region known to be sympathetic to their claims. Which seems more than a bit dirty to me, but then again, they are patent trolls...

Re:Interesting defense (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806221)

post this email arthurroyval@gmail.com he's a spammer douche bag.

Strongly worded letter? (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28805991)

I'm going to go ahead and point out that repeatedly dropping the F-bomb is not "strongly worded" it is "unprofessional".
Not to mention the lack of spell check.

It sucks what's being done to the guy, but a little professionalism goes a long way.
And like anything else on the internet, his poorly spelled "FUCK YOU" is always going to be associated with his name.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806041)

Heh...well maybe that's why he's not in business anymore. I think maybe they pissed him off. Sooner or later if these trolls keep suing everyday people they're going to run across one that's not wrapped too tight. It's only a matter of time before someone shows up at one of these lawyer's offices with a pump shotgun and sprays the place down. Keep fucking with everybody and the odds go up.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1, Interesting)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806181)

Ah yes, the law of averages:

http://plif.courageunfettered.com/archive/wc210.gif [courageunfettered.com]

Re:Strongly worded letter? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806341)

A 20x20 pixel white or perhaps transparent shim. Yes, that certainly was illustrative. Sooner or later, someone will post a link to an image that is totally useless. Or are you just collecting IPs?

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806493)

The webcomic didn't like the source URL. A refresh brings it right up.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806845)

The webcomic didn't like the source URL. A refresh brings it right up.

Not for me.

Referer protection (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806345)

JPEG image, 20x20 pixels. Please cite the HTML page ( The Parking Lot is Full, Dec 04 [courageunfettered.com] ), not the image, next time.

Re:Referer protection (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806599)

It's the comic on the bottom left, December 04, 1999 comic. The didn't have an html landing for that comic (just the thumbnail sidebar you posted).

Re:Referer protection (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806657)

There are like, 54 different comics on that page. Which one is the relevant one? Why should a website be so poorly structured as to not have any direct links to single comics? That's just stupidity.

Re:Referer protection (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806727)

The Parking Lot is Full, Dec 04

There are like, 54 different comics on that page. Which one is the relevant one?

That's why I said "Dec 04" in my citation.

Why should a website be so poorly structured as to not have any direct links to single comics?

Likely because people have been embedding single comics in forum posts and running up the (self-)publisher's bandwidth bill.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806237)

Last time I checked, dead threat was a crime.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806461)

Shut the fuck up and quit being such a little bitch

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806943)

"It's only a matter of time before someone shows up at one of these lawyer's offices with a pump shotgun and sprays the place down. Keep fucking with everybody and the odds go up."

Shotguns don't "spray" very well. Center of mass, people, center of mass.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (2, Insightful)

fuscata (1406613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806057)

Agreed, and I'd say he's setting himself up for a not-so-frivolous defamation suit.

And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (5, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806065)

Why respond professionally to something that is clearly a scam? He's not the CEO of Google with shareholders to worry about FFS, he's just some guy who had a little company and closed it down and is now doing a day job. So he said "fuck". Well stop the press!

Re:And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806175)

Respond strongly, sure, but calling them crooks? That's defamation unless he can prove it in court. He's going to get his ass nailed to a cross for it otherwise.

Re:And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (4, Insightful)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806219)

They are lawyers, it's a given that they are crooks.

Re:And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807059)

They are lawyers, it's a given that they are crooks.

Sadly, this joke will never go away and is definitely not true. Just look at all those smart individuals with law expertise helping (often for free) the little guys out there. And no, it's not always other lawyers out for a quick buck targeting those people (could be law enforcement for example).

For slashdot, an example of notable good lawyers would be the people at EFF.

Re:And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807119)

They are lawyers, it's a given that they are crooks.

All lawyers are crooks except the one trying to help you out of your mess!

Re:And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (1)

sheepofblue (1106227) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806631)

Always reply professionally. In this case he comes across as someone that is fairly clueless. If he had responded in a professional manner he might have gotten some free "good" publicity

Re:And what Bedrock is doing *IS* professional?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807019)

Well at least he didn't say "Belgium"...

Re:Strongly worded letter? (5, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806217)

Well I disagree here.

Professionalism means conduct in exchange for service or work completed.

All he got in the mail was a lawsuit notice.

Professionalism has nothing to do about this whole matter.

Might I point out that the other party of this dispute TRULY DOES lack professionalism as well as ethics.

Simply because you wrap it all up in nice grammar, letterhead and mail it to someone does not make it professional or ethical.

-Hack

Re:Strongly worded letter? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806249)

there comes a point where you just have to tell someone to go fuck themselves. no amount of chivalry would change anything in a case such as this.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806267)

fuk you

Re:Strongly worded letter? (4, Interesting)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806371)

The other part of the story is that his letter is going to end up in front of the federal judge. He might be entitled to sanctions to compensate him for the wasted time and expense in responding to a lawsuit that was brought against him with no basis in reality, but federal judges tend to disdain juvenile responses to serious matters. Like many things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to respond to a ridiculous lawsuit - this guy chose the wrong way and it will most likely end up costing him.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806693)

Even in Texas, a judge is probably going to be bright enough to know that
he should treat responses written by lawyers differently than those written
by some working stiff.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806973)

The other part of the story is that his letter is going to end up in front of the federal judge. He might be entitled to sanctions to compensate him for the wasted time and expense in responding to a lawsuit that was brought against him with no basis in reality, but federal judges tend to disdain juvenile responses to serious matters.

What's serious about this lawsuit? It's completely ridiculous. That's not serious, that's laughable.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806383)

Indeed. I'd be pissed off too, but all this guy has achieved is to make a fool of himself. There is a classy way to put someone in his place which will earn you respect from others, and this isn't it.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (3, Funny)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806491)

I miss spelled fuck you onetime and never to this day have been able to live it down. You'd never guess there would be so many grammar Nazis in Sunday School.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (2, Informative)

Oswald (235719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806525)

Seriously. I was on the verge of googling his (repeated) use of the word slim to see what hip, young lingo I needed to add to my repertoire. Then I realized he just can't spell "slime".

Re:Strongly worded letter? (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806689)

Not to mention the lack of spell check.

Sew true, eye all ways ewes a spill chucker!

Re:Strongly worded letter? (5, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806785)

Precisely. I am a connoisseur of strongly-worded letters, and his is not one. A strongly-worded letter strikes fear into the heart of the recipient using only on-topic attacks of the recipient's argument itself. Ad hominem attacks always have the effect of derogating your own position by the implied concession that your opponent's argument is too iron-clad for you to respond to it directly. There is a time and place for ad hominem attacks, but at least spell them right.

Picture yourself as the judge. There are two people in front of you, neither of whom you have met. One of them says, "He infringed my patent by operating a business that manufactured millions of units of products utilizing the claimed technique." The other one only says, "Fuck you, slim[e]!" Right off the bat, you are going to be biased against the guy who can't be bothered to explain why he didn't infringe the patent. He just looks like a puerile, sophomoric idiot.

Now, try it again. This time, however, the second guy says, "The suggestion that I infringed his patent is almost too absurd to form a response. Not only was I never in a manufacturing business, but no activity I have ever undertaken has utilized the technique claimed in the patent. Even the slightest bit of factual research could have reached that conclusion prior to bringing this lawsuit against me." Now, the first guy is the one who looks like a lazy buffoon.

And that's how you word things strongly. And, if you really want to have some fun, use the puntacular phrase "patently ridiculous." Judges love puns!*

* - Well, not really. Some do, but only if you use them judiciously.

Re:Strongly worded letter? (2, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806971)

He's not in business anymore. Therefore he is replying as a person and not as a business. No need for professionalism, unless there is some rule that persons have to communicate like lawyers and businesses.

Texas is a Ghetto of Injustice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806005)

Anyone who has lived in Texas long enough will tell you that our "justice" system is nothing more than a institutionalized way of raping and taxing citizens.

Seriously. Texas' legal system is designed to fuck you every-which way. Got an old insurance policy in your car (which is still active).

You owe $400 dollars and don't even bother bringing your insurance to court until the very day these theives are ready to reschedule your case.

Texas "Justice" is nothing more than legal rape.

The U.S. is a Ghetto of Injustice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806171)

"... our "justice" system is nothing more than a institutionalized way of raping and taxing citizens."

Also, the U.S. financial system, such as Goldman Sachs, is nothing more than...

Texas (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806011)

Does anything come from TX that is good and decent? All the people there seem to be flag-waving conservative rednecks. And they foisted GWB on us. I hate Texas.

Re:Texas (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806239)

"Does anything come from TX that is good and decent?"

Tex-Mex food and Tejanos in general. This problem solves itself once all the white men are run out of Texas, which demographically will be in about 25 years. Eventually they will all be concentrated in Idaho, and we can nuke that from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Re:Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806767)

Yes, Tejanos.

May their clown music and fender vents save us all!

Re:Texas (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806865)

This problem solves itself once all the white men are run out of Texas, which demographically will be in about 25 years. Eventually they will all be concentrated in Idaho, and we can nuke that from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

I find it hypocritical that you got positive moderation for this when a similar post aimed at a different race would have modded down as the racist garbage that it is.

Re:Texas (2, Funny)

Lil'wombat (233322) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807055)

If I owned Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas

Re:Texas (4, Funny)

robot_love (1089921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806295)

I feel obligated to say that, while I have seen repeated admonitions not to "mess" with that particular state, hating it should be fine.

Re:Texas (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806367)

I thought Connecticut was responsible for that one...

Dog Food (4, Insightful)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806017)

Brings a whole new meaning to the expression 'Eat your own dog food!'. I guess after they have finished consuming their local businesses and the employment rate plummets then maybe the local legislators will think again about supporting this kind of bullshit.

Re:Dog Food (4, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806059)

This doesn't really have anything to do with local legislators. Patent disputes are usually handled in US District Court, meaning that the reason why the Eastern District of Texas has been so friendly to patent trolls is because an unusual number of federal judges in that district are unusually biased in favor of plaintiffs in patent disputes.

Re:Dog Food (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806151)

East Texas laws need to be locked down to prevent the BS from happening.

Re:Dog Food (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806257)

Pretty sure you mean federal laws there..

Re:Dog Food (5, Insightful)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806395)

I guess I don't get the whole thing with filing patent cases in East Texas.
A poster a few comments above said Federal Judges in E. Texas seem to favor patent plaintiffs.
Seems odd - somebody has got to be seeding the panel of judges, and it has to be for the purpose of making money on patent law suits.
It wouldn't shock me if some law firm was giving huge election contributions to biased politicians to get these biased judged appointed.
Follow the money - and you'll probably find out why E. Texas is how it is in regards to patent law.

Re:Dog Food (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806977)

Thank you. I was wondering the same thing. There are two possibilities. The one you suggested, where some group (probably a law firm) is getting people appointed to the East Texas District Court in order to continue this pattern.
The second is that there is a small group of long serving judges in the East Texas District Court who have bias in favor of patent plaintiffs. If it is the second, a list of these judges should be published and Congress should be encouraged to impeach one or more of them. May I suggest that some group compiles such a list and then starts a campaign to get Congress to impeach the worst violator in the bunch.

Re:Dog Food (3, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806417)

I wouldn't worry about it too much. This entire comment thread is based on patently false notions of the legal system underlying this situation. First you have the suggestion that local legislators are in favor of patent troll lawsuits. Then, when that's explained to be wrong, you have the suggestion that 'East Texas laws' (whatever those are - East Texas is not its own legislative jurisdiction with its own laws, it's just a federally-created judicial district for the federal courts) should be changed to stop this from happening. I hesitate to imagine what ridiculous idea is going to come up in response to your correction. We can only hope that it's a Godwin-approved car analogy.

Re:Dog Food (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806083)

Local legislators don't have much control. The Federal courts are run by Federal Judges who are appointed by the President. Usually Senators from the state can have some say on what Judges are appointed, but once appointed, the Judge is in for life.

Note that is rare for a newly appointed Federal Judge in a District Court to have any patent experience whatsoever.

Amazing patent (5, Interesting)

paulhar (652995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806053)

Having just read the patent claims it seems that this patent is on the ability for a linked list to be cleared of expired items. Truly a ground breaking, patent worthy invention!

Re:Amazing patent (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806273)

Your comment just violated my sarcasm patent for "making a comment worded in such a way that it sounds positive while still carrying an implied negative meaning opposite of the actual wording used."

Re:Amazing patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806375)

Your comment just violated my patent for "informing a /. poster that they have violated one of my patents."

Re:Amazing patent (2, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806483)

Your comment violated my patent on "taking chain jokes one step too far going from funny to redundant"... oh wait...

Re:Amazing patent (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806515)

Your comment just violated my satire patent for "Making a comment worded in such a way that it sounds like a real claim while still carrying an implied negative meaning in opposition of the sentiment."

Re:Amazing patent (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806573)

Too bad it won't stand the Blinski test....

Re:Amazing patent (2, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806953)

Yes it sounded to me like they patented Lisp and it's garbage collection method. Seems like they would be vulnerable to art priori and lack of novelty.

Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806075)

Patent trolls?

You mean someone has patented In Soviet Russia jokes, hot grits, and goatse redirects?

Re:Damn! (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806431)

Those would be troll patents. This is about patent trolls. But English has a patented word order, so if you're not a native speaker this can be forgiven.

Editorial suggestions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806101)

His letter looks like a refugee from Geocities, circa 1998. I say, go with that! Needs more animated GIFs.

Karma (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806271)

funny how things work out, isn't it?

Good (1)

Brownstar (139242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806329)

Hopefully now that actual citizens of East Texas are being targeted, the citizens will start to vote these types of judges out of office.

Re:Good (2, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806385)

Hopefully now that actual citizens of East Texas are being targeted, the citizens will start to vote these types of judges out of office.

-1, Did Not Do The Research

Federal judges are appointed for life, not elected.

Re:Good (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806539)

Hopefully now that actual citizens of East Texas are being targeted, the citizens will start to vote these types of judges out of office.

-1, Did Not Do The Research

Federal judges are appointed for life, not elected.

-1, Did Not Do The Research
Citizens of Texas own lotsa guns, and Texans still have no great love for anything Federal.

Re:Good (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806893)

Citizens of Texas own lotsa guns, and Texans still have no great love for anything Federal.

One would presume that includes no great love for federal prison? Threatening a federal judge with bodily harm or death, or causing same, is something that will get you hit with the shit-hammer.

Re:Good (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806903)

Citizens of Texas own lotsa guns, and Texans still have no great love for anything Federal.

And yet the good citizens of the great State of Texas allowed the Feds to murder [wikipedia.org] 76 people after lying to obtain a search warrant and bumbling the execution of it in a manner that was all but guaranteed to result in violence.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806463)

This is Federal court, champ.

Judges are appointed for life by the president at the time --- according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , Reagan appointed 1, Clinton 3, and G. W. Bush 4 of the judges,

abuse of process (2, Insightful)

vginders (521915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806333)

> "It will be interesting to see how East Texas judges respond
> to this abuse of process perpetrated against their own residents."

abuse of process? Does such a thing exist in the USA?

Re:abuse of process (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806707)

In theory it does [oup.com] . In practice, not so much.

turn it around... (4, Interesting)

nycguy (892403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806399)

Should the FSF open an office in East Texas and launch lawsuits for violating the GPL from there?

Re:turn it around... (1)

spikeb (966663) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806453)

yes

Ha (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806435)

I'm very glad when I hear news like this one.
I'm glad because hopefully is this kind of trials that will make people realize how stupid software patents are.
I do hope more of this happen, but I feel sorry for those who are the victims right now.
If is there any kind of consolation, it resides on knowing that you are contributing to the fight against this shit.

To the brothers and sisters who stand and fight, I leave a word:

Don't stand down, don't give up. You are the heroes of the modern age.

Some lack of Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806467)

God Bless America......

Some land of the Free!

Dangerous Activity (2, Insightful)

gravos (912628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806577)

Filing a lawsuit against an individual or small business (ie, any entity that is not a corporation) who has not harmed you is kind of like walking up to a stranger on the street and punching him in the face. You'll probably get away with it a few times, but eventually you'll pick the wrong person and get what's coming to you.

The plaintiffs should be lucky this guy is content to put a 'strongly worded' letter on his website.

So Let's Change The System (1)

edizzle2 (1492041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806629)

Some interesting comments, I'd be interested in hearing what would you change with patents, or if abandon altogether - what could be used to replace them without causing disruptions for all the small software shops that currently use patents to protect their innovation?

Re:So Let's Change The System (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806773)

Small software shops did just fine before this patent mess.

They will do do better. They won't have to worry about XOR, linked list or VFAT patents anymore.

The idea that the "little guy" needs patents is so bogus and thoroughly disproven that anyone that dares bring up the idea should walk around with a paper grocery sack on their head.

Re:So Let's Change The System (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807051)

I would recommend that patents for software and business methods be eliminated and merely rely on copyright to protect software. Patents should be reserved for things that have a physical component.

Good news in the long term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806885)

In many places in the US, there is a vote on whether judges are retained or removed from the bench. If the patent trolls piss off the local population enough, the local population may be motivated to remove the problematic judges from the bench. Since most of us can't vote on these particular judges, this must surely be a good thing. I really hope this patent trolls keep up this line of attack

East Texas troll friendliness is well known (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28806923)

I was reading about how Bilski is threatening software patents and how some sides are saying "It ain't over yet!" and are interpreting the interest taken by the supreme court as intent to overturn the Bilski decision. On the other hand, at least one supreme court justice is well aware of the questionable nature of the East Texas court and has expressed dislike for it. From that I can see that perhaps the SCOTUS would like to finally reign in the lower courts and the abuse that is propagated by the East Texas court.

I believe the Bilski decision represents a restoration of sanity to patent law and process as I am sure that others here will agree. When it comes to technology, interoperability and compatibility are absolutely critical to growth and development of new technology as increasingly one thing builds on another very rapidly. To patent software literally and directly imposes roadblocks, or more exactly, private toll blocks on technological progress. One could even argue that without reigning in such practices, the U.S. will be giving up its position of technological superiority because of such abusive greed.

mod do3n (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28806941)

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