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Candidates Sued By Patent Troll For Using Facebook

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the status:-not-gonna-happen dept.

Facebook 138

WrongSizeGlass writes "Ars is reporting that the 'inventor' of the concept of 'providing individual online presences for each of a plurality of members of a group of members,' claims that four million Facebook business account holders, including at least three major presidential candidates, are guilty of infringing his patent. He's suing Facebook for infringing on his patent as well as the three candidates. A Patent Office examiner rejected the patent claims, but the rejections have been appealed."

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138 comments

Hurray! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193175)

Maybe now eliminating software patents will gain support?

Or will they try to use patents to silence their political opposition?

Re:Hurray! (5, Funny)

V-similitude (2186590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193227)

Except it's not really a software patent, is it? It's really just an idiotic patent, and looks like our system actually managed to catch it this time. So the summary really should read: "Idiot who filed idiotic patent can't handle rejection."

Re:Hurray! (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193293)

Suing without a patent in hand has got to be a pretty risky business model.

Rejected is rejected till its accepted. And its not going to be accepted. Prior art goes way back to CompuServe days, well before his 1995 filing.

Re:Hurray! (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193303)

more than a risky model, i suspect that he would face sanctions in court

Re:Hurray! (3, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193837)

Actually, this fellow seems interesting. Having read into a few articles, I saw this interesting snippet:

Prior to law school, Weyer was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho and now works as a volunteer engineer in Antarctic expeditions.

and this:

In an earlier case Weyer sued Network Solutions and Register.com for violating his patent on the selection of an e-mail address based on a domain name. He has also sued Harley Davidson, Bosch, and MySpace. Those cases have all settled.

It seems more like this guy is fraking the system over to allow him the freedom to go out and make a difference. You know, if I had a way to pick the pockets of fat cats while giving me the time to spend volunteering in third world countries or doing explorative expeditions - I just might.

Re:Hurray! (5, Funny)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194067)

It seems more like this guy is fraking the system over to allow him the freedom to go out and make a difference. You know, if I had a way to pick the pockets of fat cats while giving me the time to spend volunteering in third world countries or doing explorative expeditions - I just might.

That's a rather ugly parasite, if true. I see it as doing a lot of harm in order to practice token charity. Isn't the eighth circle of Hell reserved for that crap?

Re:Hurray! (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194279)

I dunno; is it bad to steal money from evil people who've gotten that money in unethical ways (like by stealing it from other people)? That list of companies he's sued isn't exactly a list of fine, upstanding companies that make the world a better place, with the possible exception of Bosch. In fact, if he managed to squeeze any money out of MySpace he should get an award.

Re:Hurray! (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194399)

is it bad to steal money from evil people who've gotten that money in unethical ways (like by stealing it from other people)?

I think so actually. But let's take this a step further. How do you know that the money was obtained unethically? What process do you use to make sure that theft only occurs from people who have obtained such money unethically?

Humans, especially the kind who steal, often have all sorts of rationalizations for why they do things. And a primary one is to rationalize after the fact that the victim didn't deserve the money or property of value.

This guy is potentially even worse. He's doing good. So it doesn't matter if the business came by their wealth unethically or not. It'd be easy for him to rationalize that he'll do better things with it than they could.

Since we're talking about hypothetical situations now rather than a real person, here's my take what's wrong with the Robin Hood fantasy. First, what attempt is made to figure out whether something is unethical or not? There's no way this guy has researched all of his targets.

Similarly, just because something is unethical doesn't mean it's grounds for theft. As I imply, I don't think there ever are legitimate grounds for theft. For example, I advocated allowing the Russian oligarches (of the 90s) to keep their ill-gotten oil properties with the provision that they pay protection money to the Russian government for a period of time. Continuing to flip oil properties on to the next set of cronies doesn't help make anything right.

Third, the moral calculus is very ugly. To Godwin this thread a little, it's worth noting that Nazi Germany rationalized the deaths of millions on the grounds it make Nazi society stronger. A vast amount of harm was justified by a little gain. You're in "break a ton of eggs to make an small omelet" territory with only your personal sense of morality (often confused with your personal sense of gain) as a compass. People who can justify big harms on the grounds of small benefits are some of the most dangerous people out there.

Re:Hurray! (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194407)

much of that money he is stealing is everyday tax payers that have to fund the court system, patent office etc etc etc. So damn right it is evil and makes him one of the worst sorts of parasites. Not to mention the companies he sues just pass on the costs to everyone else anyway.

Re:Hurray! (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194465)

Well in the case of Facebook at least, we don't have to worry about that as it's free for users.

As for funding the courts and patent office, first I thought the USPTO was self-funded by its fees, and second he's no more a parasite than all the other patent trolls out there, including all kinds of big companies like MS, Amazon, Apple, etc.

Re:Hurray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194551)

I dunno; is it bad to steal money from evil people who've gotten that money in unethical ways (like by stealing it from other people)?

Yes, it's bad. The popular phrase is "two wrongs don't make a right".

Ethics are largely a matter of opinion. What is unethical to you is not necessarily unethical to me. Some people think that allowing women to work and have command over men is unethical, does that give them a justification, either morally or legally, to then violate other laws and moral principles? Most rational people would say no.

Re:Hurray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195073)

he should go out and get a real job

Re:Hurray! (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193569)

SCO sued with a bunch of printouts and a complete inability to point out the offending code.

Re:Hurray! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193617)

SCO sued with a bunch of printouts and a complete inability to point out the offending code.

But they sued over copyright, not patents.

Just sayin'.

Re:Hurray! (3, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194269)

I for one hope this rejection is overturned. This patent is no less valid than countless other business method patents or software patents, such as the one-click patent, and prior art is irrelevant, as again, countless other patents have prior art yet are approved by the USPTO. This patent needs to be approved so this guy can get busy suing the Presidential candidates and lots of other politicians, and maybe then we'll finally have some real reform of the patent system.

Re:Hurray! (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194603)

Prior art goes way back to CompuServe days, well before his 1995 filing.

Unlikely, considering his claims require URLs, and they were only invented in 1994.

Re:Hurray! (2)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194869)

They "existed" well beforehand, the RFC 1738 was written to get things standardized, actually like most internet technology...

Re:Hurray! (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193939)

As long as WE are claiming SOFTWARE as the reason patents should be invalid, then we will NOT be stopping the REAL reason MOST patents should be invalid, which is that they are STUPID ... lacking any genuine INNOVATION.

Re:Hurray! (5, Funny)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195131)

WE SOFTWARE NOT REAL MOST STUPID INNOVATION

A-ha! I found your secret code. I think you're trying to say we are some sort of software simulation...

Re:Hurray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194427)

Except it's not really a software patent, is it?

No it's not. It's clearly an attempt to patent the axiom of choice.

Re:Hurray! (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193961)

Or how about, it'll get rejected again, and the goverment will use this to show that the patent system is infact working and not broken. ensuring the patent system can continue in it's current form.

Re:Hurray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194801)

Funny that.. Seems all these blokes are Republicans.

Is this one in East Texas? (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193195)

Now that East Texas has finally started rejecting patent troll claims, maybe Texas justice will take hold and they'll clean the gene pool a little by just SHOOTING idiots like this on their way out of court.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (2)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193351)

No; it's Central District California. Complaint [patentlyo.com]

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193779)

Crazifornia? Double the guard at the sanity temple and triple the cyanide dosage in the genepool cleaner.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194033)

And yet, for some reason, all of you assholes still want to move here. Don't. There's no jobs, especially not high-tech ones. There's no scenery. The beaches don't even have waves like they do at the Atlantic. All that Hollywood shit is fake. We don't have good marijuana. All we have are ghettos and military bases, and who wants to live in a military state? Oh, and gays. California accepts the gays because it is a state nobody wants to move to. Everything is also really expensive and totally not worth it.

Nope, don't move here. I can't even escape to Arizona because California took my car as tax money.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194301)

I can't even escape to Arizona because California took my car as tax money.

Is that what happens when you don't pay your taxes? Well, then, I'm glad their system is working.

And yet, for some reason, all of you assholes still want to move here. Don't.

So you're saying California was populated by assholes? And I thought it was just fruits and nuts! (I knew it. I'm surrounded by assholes! Space Balls)

There's no jobs, especially not high-tech ones.

So how is it that Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, AMD, and many, many others ...

There's no scenery.

Well, whaddaya expect--you live in your mother's basement!

The beaches don't even have waves like they do at the Atlantic.

And you have to pay a $1,000 fine for playing Frisbee or football on the beach.

All that Hollywood shit is fake.

And all that high-tech CGI is made by whom, where?

We don't have good marijuana.

You really are a dope, aren't you?

All we have are ghettos and military bases, and who wants to live in a military state?

Apparently assholes, fruits, and nuts.

Oh, and gays. California accepts the gays because it is a state nobody wants to move to.

But we don't want the Irish! (Blazing Saddles)

Everything is also really expensive...

The costs of doing business add up, in particular, local, state & federal: license & other fees; inventory & other taxes; rules & regulations; worker's comp; insurance; waste disposal. Businesses aren't stupid; they simply pass the costs unto the consumers. Wanna raise my taxes or impose more regulations? Fine; I'll just raise the prices on the stuff I'm selling to make up the difference.

... and totally not worth it.

Yeah, like, totally, dude. 2010 census data show[s]... places like Texas and Florida far outpaced California.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194307)

Are you trying to dissuade people from moving there to reduce competition for yourself, or just trolling? There's tons of tech jobs in California; I get calls from recruiters just about every day trying to get me to move to the Bay Area. There's surfing on the southern California beaches; I've never seen anyone try to surf at Virginia Beach or Nag's Head. And as for gays, California passed Prop 8, so apparently there's a bunch of homophobes there that can be mobilized to go to the polls.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (2)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194827)

The best thing about California is that people who live there never make sarcastic comments that sail right over people's heads.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194323)

Move to California? Hell no, the place that was once the American dream is now a nightmare because of rampant, uncontrolled, parasitic minorities and communists. Too bad the US doesn't use the military to round all of them up and dump them on some remote, deserted island.

Re:Is this one in East Texas? (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194835)

Round up all the people on California? Too much work. Detonate a couple of well placed explosives along a fault line, and you can get all those troublemakers to just slide right off into the Pacific instead. When that happens, that'll be the day I go back to Annandale.

Like GeoCities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193219)

Prior art ad infinitum since early 90s.

+FIRST ;-)

I'll settle (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193225)

My royalty payment is in an envelope, just behind my SUV [slashdot.org] .

Re:I'll settle (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193979)

I've patented paying royalties, so you now owe me as well!

Re:I'll settle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195003)

I've patented paying royalties, so you now owe me as well!

I sense an infinite loop...

rejections appeals? (4, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193237)

I tried that with the girls in high school -- it never worked.

Re:rejections appeals? (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193279)

I tried that with the girls in high school -- it never worked.

Who has jurisdiction to hear the appeal, the mother or the best friend?

Re:rejections appeals? (2)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193331)

I think you just redirected commentary on patent trolls to look like something from the Jerry Springer show. On second thought, the antics of patent trolls rival anything I've ever seen on Springer, so yeah, never mind.

Re:rejections appeals? (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193505)

I'd think it's the Dad with an extensive firearm collection. He can play executioner as well as judge ;).

Re:rejections appeals? (1)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194611)

Her sister, actually, hence why it was damn difficult to continue dating.. I overruled her sister.. eventually. Thanks for asking.

In relation to the article, your question provides an apt example of why the American system is so broken... an appropriate authority should be in place to determine a correct path - in particular for appeals - and where the party doing so has a personal interest in the outcome.. the outcome is unlikely to be fair and equitable.

Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193269)

are broke beyond repair.

Re:Patents (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193851)

Yes, dumbass. Patents are broke because this guy had his rejected and he's still suing for patent infringement anyway.

Ron Paul FTW! (-1, Troll)

jr0dy (943553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193277)

For once I am not bubbling up with fury that he was overlooked. I do, however, take issue with the phrase "the three candidates" (emphasis mine) in the write-up - perhaps simply "three candidates"? Or "the three candidates of ill repute"?

Re:Ron Paul FTW! (3, Informative)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193305)

From the summary:

... claims that four million Facebook business account holders, including at least three major presidential candidates, are guilty of infringing his patent. He's suing Facebook for infringing on his patent as well as the three candidates.

This particular usage is simply saying that they are referring to the same three candidates that were mentioned in the previous sentence, not that they're necessarily more legit than any other candidates or anything like that.

get over it for once (0)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193417)

Stop being a Paul-bot and RTFA.

Your favorite candidate has no chance of winning the one poll that matters, and he never will, thanks to his own history. And the fact that everybody knows this, does not mean there is some big Conspiracy to Keep Your Man Down. He did it to himself; the only thing everyone else is doing to him is telling the truth. It's why he refuses to do most campaign interviews: he knows he'll be called to account for his past actions.

He's no victim. Stop with the histrionics.

Re:get over it for once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193501)

not paul-bot

paulistinians

Everybody Just Calm Down (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193309)

Everybody calm down. Even if this is appealed it will be struck down for the useless crap it is. The appeals process is normal, and the "inventor" has a very real financial incentive to appeal. But keep in mind the patent examiner has lready struck it down, so it's not an actionable patent yet, and will definitely never be.

Re:Everybody Just Calm Down (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193657)

Everybody calm down. Even if this is appealed it will be struck down for the useless crap it is. The appeals process is normal, and the "inventor" has a very real financial incentive to appeal. But keep in mind the patent examiner has lready struck it down, so it's not an actionable patent yet, and will definitely never be.

No the summary and article are bad. This actually produced an issued patent, # 7,644,122 [uspto.gov] (which issued in 2010). But the patent is now under inter partes reexamination (# 95/001,411; you can look up that application number in Public PAIR [uspto.gov] ), and that reexamination of the patent has resulted in all claims rejected. The right of appeal notice (it's not exactly a final rejection; inter partes reexamination works a little differently than ex parte prosecution) is under appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. It may take awhile to get a decision though given the backlog at the Board.

When that is done, there is an appeal route to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. When the proceeding and all of the litigation is complete, the Office will issue a reexamination certificate, which would cancel all of the claims (if the rejections of record hold up).

Technically there's nothing stopping the patent owner from suing someone else in federal court, but such litigation would surely get stayed in light of the reexamination in the USPTO.

Re:Everybody Just Calm Down (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193965)

next we work on getting patents like this rejected on application, rather than when it's involved in a costly lawsuit...

Re:Everybody Just Calm Down (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194069)

It's is total garbage. It's a shame crap like this is allowed to cost the defendants even a bit of time and money. The courts should be able to shoot crap like this down before the defendants even have to hear about it.

Re:Everybody Just Calm Down (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194341)

No, the USPTO shouldn't issue these shitty patents in the first place. I hope they change their decision and un-reject this patent, so it can go to court. The only way we're going to get reform of the USPTO is if the wrong politician gets burned by their antics, otherwise they'll keep inflicting us with this BS.

Re:Everybody Just Calm Down (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194431)

Even if this is appealed it will be struck down for the useless crap it is.

He is hoping that it won't be struck down before Facebook's IPO and that Facebook might decide that it would be prudent to keep their IPO paperwork clean of pending patent litigation by paying him some money to go away (AKA "settling the case").

Nice IPO you have there, it would be a shame if you lost a few $B on the IPO because of a little lawsuit, wouldn't it?

Much better sources at Patently-O (4, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193337)

Political Candidates Sued for Patent Infringement [patentlyo.com]

Complaint [patentlyo.com]

P.S. And no it's not in East Texas; it's Central District California.

Re:Much better sources at Patently-O (4, Interesting)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193749)

Here is the plaintiff's website [everymd.com] .

Golly, I haven't seen a website using frameset/frame since 2000.

This page uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them.

Joking aside, there's this noteworthy paragraph from their February 21, 2012 [everymd.com] news release:

According to EveryMD's attorney Frank Weyer, the timing of Facebook's IPO Prospectus could not have been better. "Earlier in the litigation, we had offered our patent to Facebook for a minimal fee, representing a one-time fee of less than $.02 per Facebook member at the time--an almost negligible amount given the vast sums of money that Facebook intends to make off its users," says Weyer. "Instead, Facebook rejected that offer and tried to overwhelm us with their team of high-priced attorneys. We are now pleased that Facebook did not take us up on our earlier offer. Thanks to Facebook's IPO prospectus, we realize our earlier offer was greatly undervalued. It will now take a substantially higher sum to resolve this ongoing patent dispute."

Four candidates. (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193349)

Ahem. Four candidates.

Paul
Romney
Santorum

oh

and Gingrich. Everyone forgets him.

Re:Four candidates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193409)

You have some evidence that all four are being sued?

Re:Four candidates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193435)

Paul wasn't mentioned in the complaint. Neither was Obama, who is also a candidate. Perhaps they don't have FB accounts? (The complaint uses the qualifier "business" to describe accounts--not sure what this distinction means.)

(CAPTCHA: defended)

Re:Four candidates. (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193577)

It's one candidate and a bunch of unelectable lunatics.

Re:Four candidates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194507)

No, it's 1 lunatic, and 4 corporate whores, 3 of whom are playing the role of lunatics to get elected. (Actually, Santorum seems like he's genuinely a lunatic, not just playing the part to get the religious vote.)

Re:Four candidates. (2)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194783)

But Santorum is a lunatic and a corporate whore. I could show you a Venn diagram with lunatic and shill circles in it that all the candidates fit into, makes it easy to visualize. And since it's displaying a Venn diagram on the web, that is of course a patentable advance.

Should have sued Obama in 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194525)

Considering that Obama was a big user of social media, including Facebook, in the 2008 presidential campaign, this guy should have sued Obama back in 2008...

Re:Four candidates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194673)

It's any number of unelectable lunatics numbering from somewhere between 1 and 4, equal to the number being sued. Yes, I'm saying they're all of them unelectable lunatics. Santorum is a fundamentalist wacko, Romney is a cult-member, (don't feel bad, actually all four for of them are, as far as I'm concerned), Gingrich put out a contract on America a while back, and eventually America will remember. Oh, and what's that other guy's name? The guy who's too damn old and also too honest, and that's a shame, because America is about ripe for another experiment with isolationism like we had between WW1 and WW2. It worked out great then, when our "Europe's problems are EURPOE'S problems, not ours" attitude almost let Germany rule the entire planet. You do know that without our involvement, Germany would have been the first to have ICBM's AND nukes, and the Nazi's were running the show there, right? Good thing Ron Fool wasn't in charge then.

Sorry, I meant Paul. Ron PAUL.

The plain and simple fact is the debates don't matter, nor does the Republican primary process, since they're only fighting to see who gets to get stomped like a narc at a biker rally, by BHO in November. Enjoy the party, losers.

Can we say sanctions? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193395)

So this guy is suing for patent infringement over a patent HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE? How is this not instantly thrown out and the lawyers fined a hefty sum for this stupidity?

Re:Can we say sanctions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193459)

I'm sure Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, would be more than happy to explain. After all, they had no problem doing SCO's bidding these last 10 years.

Excellent! (5, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193439)

We need MORE patent trolls to beat up on the presidential candidates with completely bogus nonsense to help bring attention to the brokenness of the current system. Set up a WikiTrolls organization to sue every major politician.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193525)

going after possible presidential candidates and suing them over something stupid. Let me know how that works out (eye roll)...

Re:Excellent! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193573)

It sounds stupid, doesn't it? Suing people for having an 'online identity?' And yet it is no stupider or more obvious than the one-click patent from Amazon, which has withstood many attacks.

Re:Excellent! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193641)

My Mexican jumping bean died, and it's ALL NEWT'S FAULT! I'm filing papers and suing him 20 quadrillion dollars!!!

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193709)

They'll make sure patent trolls (read: small guys) can't hit real innovators and manufacturers (read: campaign donors). But I like your idealism.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194157)

Along with DMCA's on all the political websites?

Re:Excellent! (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194769)

No judge will side with the trolls when the victim is as high-profile as a presidential candidate. This will just give them an excuse to say "See, the system works!" Meanwhile countless little guys who can't afford legislation will be swept under the carpet.

how is that working with the SuperPACs? (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194867)

Even after the PacMen have gone batshit deranged on the corporations-have-Constitutional-rights-to-buy-elections-too Republican candidates, not a single candidate has changed his mind about their legality. Their only response is "We need more money for ours".

YES!!!!! (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39193697)

Huzzah! For once the politicians are feeling the bite of their badly influenced decisions!

Re:YES!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39193797)

Heh. It's not often one sees on Slashdot an example of the Law of Exclamation.

Re:YES!!!!! (4, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194035)

And this is a good way to get it fixed. Contact the candidates involved in the lawsuit. Encourage them to take the matter seriously and to look into the abuses of the patent system. Use Righthaven as an example of a Patent Troll.

We all know that a vast majority of our representation in the government is technologically ignorant. They probably don't know that this kind of stuff is a real and serious problem; they likely see this lawsuit as some crazy on-off event.

It's not. Contact these people. Make sure they understand.

Re:YES!!!!! (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195357)

RightHaven wasn't a patent troll.

God. Sometime slashdotters are so ignorant it's really sad.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194101)

Facebook was launched 2004, the patent was filed 2007. Looks like the infringing implementation actually is prior art.

Re:Great! (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194387)

It's a bit more complicated than that: In the 7,466,122 patent, there's this (added emphasis):

Parent Case Text CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This patent application is a continuation of pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/747,881 entitled "Method, apparatus and business system for online communications with online and offline recipients," filed Dec. 29, 2003, now abandoned which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/447,755 entitled "Method, apparatus and business system for online communications with online and offline recipients," filed Nov. 23, 1999, issued Dec. 30, 2003 as U.S. Pat. No. 6,671,714.

The "priority date" of Nov. 23, 1999 was also mentioned in their complaint.

THE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194299)

"as well as THE three candidates"

So Ron Paul does not once again not exist?!?

http://www.reddit.com/r/ronpaulcensored

Am i dreaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194317)

Is this even real did it actually happen am I on some sort of acid trip.
I think all patents should now be scrapped the whole idea is flawed and serves no purpose in our world.

Hidden Agenda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194321)

from the article I read it seems that the candidates are all Republican, with no mention of other parties being targeted, even though they have Facebook and online presence. Probably a disgruntled democrat needing another handout, time will tell...if he doesn't get squashed first.

Patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194369)

Let's hope nobody comes around holding a patent on "The moving of ones bowel, another person bowels or a group of people bowels."
We might all be in serious trouble for hitting the bathroom.

Not a Troll (1)

xkr (786629) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194419)

Just pointing out an error in the headline. A "troll" is "non-practicing entity" AKA NPE. This guy has a working web site and business built around the patent. I am just saying ...

Re:Not a Troll (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194709)

That's why he's certainly never going to profit from this move. NPE patent trolls survive only because they can't be destroyed with a coutersuit, when the larger company finds something in their patent pool that applies well enough to launch the suit. The proper trolls have no product that can be infringing, making them immune to that fear. The minute this guy gets any real traction, he's going to be countersued into oblivion. You can't play something almost like the patent troll game but while having a real product. The best thing that could happen this this company is that their patent is invalidated; they might stay in business that way.

Um, I've got one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194473)

Has someone patented hating all this patent nonsense yet? They have? Crap. I'm infringing hard right now.

Not a patent troll (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194575)

From the article:

The lawsuit was filed by Weyer's company EVERYMD. That company provides communications services to over 300,000 medical doctors.

But I suppose "Small company fights uphill battle against Facebook over willful infringement of their patents" doesn't make as good a headline.

Re:Not a patent troll (3, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194773)

How about "small company temporarily patents the obvious and loses a lot of money to lawyers" instead then? That's where this is going; the fact that they do have a product just means they can be counter-sued to death, a problem true patent trolls are immune to.

Can't be sympathetic for the small company when it's yet another variation on the " but on the web now!" patent nonsense. The idea that this was novel is 2007 makes the one-click ordering patent look like genius innovation; at least that hadn't been going on for a decade, all over the world, by the time of filing. I had a database-backed web site communicating among groups of people (the various divisions of my employer being one set) with an e-mail to FAX gateway in 1995. It was new then, but even at that point I considered it an obvious step, once the infrastructure was available.

More Like That (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39194913)

As more candidates get burned by IP issues, they ARE going to wake up to how bad the system has become. Since it affects them individually, you know they're going to want to fix the system. Mostly so they can use whatever they want royalty-free. Romney and Newt both have been burned by copyright issues in this season. If a multi-million-dollar presidential candidate can't get this shit right, you think an average Joe has any chance? So yeah, keep picking on the candidates. We'll see how long those pesky laws remain on the books...

Re:More Like That (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39195139)

Heh, it'd be funny to just start assaulting all the candidates with every crappy lawsuit one could come up with. I'm not even saying just throw random stuff, but more of watch not only the patent trolls but also DMCA law and all the horrors associated. It'd be a dream to see an entire campaign site get a DMCA takedown notice.

Too Big To Fail (TM) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39194941)

You really thought you could wield software patents against the big players? Hahahahaha....

sheesh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39195339)

the nutjobs really crawl out from under the rocks when there's dinero afoot, eh?

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