Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

TrollingEffects.org To Help Potential Victims of Patent Trolls

timothy posted about a year ago | from the method-for-helping dept.

Patents 35

First time accepted submitter kdataman writes "The EFF has helped launch a new site to help the potential victims of patent trolling. It is called TrollingEffects.org and is designed to parallel the way ChillingEffects.org helps those getting DMCA letters. The idea is to educate the targets and help them work together for a more cost-effective defense."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Smelly, smelly assholes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538309)

I have a smelly as fuck asshole! Furthermore, I gave up on the screechers and am searching for the honey. What say you?

Re:Smelly, smelly assholes! (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#44538313)

you did what now?

Re:Smelly, smelly assholes! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44540059)

I have a smelly as fuck asshole!

So, you're say it "Smells like Love."?

if only (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538335)

At first reading I thought, finally, someone documenting my sick burns.

Re:if only (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | about a year ago | (#44538485)

I expected it would be the Charlotte Dawson story ... because you know, "celebrity".

Re:if only (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44538729)

i thought it was a community advice site for trolls. so tired of frist/ftfy/etc. need some new material! any suggestions?

Why so long? (5, Insightful)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#44538339)

Having documents that help either side present an appropriate (and balanced) defense in court should be part of the process. I'm not advocating for bigger government directly, but I think that simplifying the system and making it more accessible to people would promote democracy in a way that capitalism no longer does ... and that sort of reform is going to be painful, expensive and require a lot of advocacy in the interim.

Thanks to the EFF doing their part in promoting real freedom.

Re:Why so long? (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44538543)

Having documents that help either side present an appropriate (and balanced) defense in court should be part of the process.

By the time you go to court it is too late. If you are naive and inexperienced, you will have already spent thousands or tens of thousands on attorney fees before the courts get involved.

I have received about a dozen letters from patent trolls over the years, primarily from Acacia Research [wikipedia.org] , but also a few others. In every case, I read the letter carefully, considered the best course of action, and then decided to ignore it. I then put each letter in a filing cabinet, and never responded to any of them. In some cases I received a followup letter, with I also ignored.

Here are some tips:
1. You are under no obligation to respond to a letter. You are only required to respond to a legal summons that is properly served.
2. Patent trolls tend to shotgun out threatening letters, so if you receive one, it doesn't mean they actually think you are infringing. Most likely they are just fishing for suckers.
3. Your lawyer is NOT on your side. His goal is to milk you for as much as he can get. Think carefully about even getting a lawyer invovled. If you do, listen to the advice, but make your own decisions.
4. If you are actually sued, get the word out and try to locate other defendants. You can team up to find prior art, shared information, share defense strategies, and maybe even convince the court to combine the lawsuits, which can save you money.

Re:Why so long? (1)

bentwonk2 (2793825) | about a year ago | (#44539429)

Creating a tool here (www.amberscope.com) that can help with finding prior art, it's free, and in some cases can work very well. (Simply put, enter the patent number you have been threatened with, and any arrows pointing to it are prior are, the thicker the arrow, the more similar the two patents, the larger the dot, the more important the prior art patent.)

Re:Why so long? (1)

pepty (1976012) | about a year ago | (#44545711)

Very Nice!

Can the graphing tool be used to present information about a group of related patents you've already found, say as part of a patent landscape analysis?

Re:Why so long? (3, Informative)

Millygoat (2807609) | about a year ago | (#44541783)

Having documents that help either side present an appropriate (and balanced) defense in court should be part of the process.

By the time you go to court it is too late. If you are naive and inexperienced, you will have already spent thousands or tens of thousands on attorney fees before the courts get involved.

I have received about a dozen letters from patent trolls over the years, primarily from Acacia Research [wikipedia.org] , but also a few others. In every case, I read the letter carefully, considered the best course of action, and then decided to ignore it. I then put each letter in a filing cabinet, and never responded to any of them. In some cases I received a followup letter, with I also ignored.

Here are some tips: 1. You are under no obligation to respond to a letter. You are only required to respond to a legal summons that is properly served. 2. Patent trolls tend to shotgun out threatening letters, so if you receive one, it doesn't mean they actually think you are infringing. Most likely they are just fishing for suckers. 3. Your lawyer is NOT on your side. His goal is to milk you for as much as he can get. Think carefully about even getting a lawyer invovled. If you do, listen to the advice, but make your own decisions. 4. If you are actually sued, get the word out and try to locate other defendants. You can team up to find prior art, shared information, share defense strategies, and maybe even convince the court to combine the lawsuits, which can save you money.

I tend to disagree with your lawyer not being on your side, if that is the case you really need to find a better lawyer. As a patent lawyer myself, I tend to give the same advice you just gave though, a letter alone isn't something requiring an inordinate amount of panic, wait till someone files suit, then get worried.

If you do get a notice of infringement letter, it's a good time to take stock and do some research and see if you do have any potential liability dangers, which is where a good patent lawyer and/or research attorney comes in handy.

Seriously though, if you ever feel your lawyer isn't on your side, it is time to get a new lawyer. The nature of the lawyer/client relationship is such that you should always feel he is putting you first.

Re:Why so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44547783)

By the time you go to court it is too late. If you are naive and inexperienced, you will have already spent thousands or tens of thousands on attorney fees before the courts get involved. ...
Your lawyer is NOT on your side. His goal is to milk you for as much as he can get. Think carefully about even getting a lawyer invovled. If you do, listen to the advice, but make your own decisions.

The patent system has been known to be broken for decades (see, for example, the 1991 position paper by the League for Programming Freedom. to understand some of the reasons why), and things have only gotten worse (as discussed ad nauseam in previous Slashdot discussions).

There are grounds for questioning the integrity of any legal professional participating in this area of law. Things have gotten badly broken in large part because the legal profession has a LONG history of ignoring ethical conflicts of interest that arise in legal issues when doing so benefits their profession. Hence, the judge, as a legal professional working in the area of patent law, is neither on your side nor is he or she impartial and/or neutral. Similarly, there are reasons to doubt any legal professional one hires.

Everyone should understand that legal professionals ARE in a position of ethical conflict of interest with respect to the nature, scope, and form of the legal system, but very few people think about this issue, or its implications. As a society, we have ignored this critical problem for too long, with disastrous results, and the broken patent system is just one symptom of a much broader disease.

Further, ethical conflict of interest in law is a big part of the problem the USA currently faces with entrenched corruption, as the interests of the legal profession overlap with many of the other parties interesting in abusing society for their own benefit.

With this overlap of corrupt interests, it is beginning to seem likely the disease will be incurable.

Re:Why so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538809)

Why so long? You mean why did someone finally cover this "new" website that was created in June 2013 but has content that goes back to February 2012?

Re:Why so long? (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about a year ago | (#44541465)

Long time coming...but legal industry moves slow.

granny smith computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538407)

Glad Samsung and Microsoft are finally getting help with this hehehehe

Re:granny smith computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538545)

Yeah, they need it to fight arch troll apple

Re:granny smith computers (3, Interesting)

JohnG (93975) | about a year ago | (#44538557)

Granny Smith actually uses her patents in actual products. That's a far cry from companies like Lodsys that buy patents and then sue people based on overly broad interpretations of already overly broad patents. Big companies go after competitors all the time, and I'm not saying its right, but they keyword is "competitor" not "anyone I can make a buck off of because, not having any actual products or business model, I have no competitors"

Autorefresh ... !@##$ (0, Offtopic)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about a year ago | (#44538495)

Is there any way to disable slashdots incredibly annoying autorefresh?

Firstly, all day long I see a stupid spinning wheel on my tab bar in chrome because of slashdots autorefresh. I know its not refreshing constantly, but for some reason chrome shows the spinning wheel constantly even when its not refreshing. I assume because theres an autorefresh timer ticking down? Either way, its ANNOYING AS FUCK.

Secondly, the autorefresh tends to ALWAYS happen while i'm reading some article halfway down the page and then the page clears and reloads and I lose my spot. THIS IS ANNOYING AS FUCK.

I really do not want to have to use plugins or javascript hacks. This should be an option that can be enabled/disabled in user preferences on slashdot.

Please please please fix this before I find news elsehwere. You do not want to be pissing off your users. I know its pissing off other people because i've seen comments regarding it as well as other posts out on the internet. Please don't annoy your users with these stupid features.

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538601)

Seconded.

thirded. A lot on annoying script here (0)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44539147)

Agreed. The JavaScript on the comment textbox also screws up in different ways on different browsers, mostly taking the word you just typed and moving it to replace some letters in a a word several sentences prior.

Re: Autorefresh ... !@##$ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538645)

Blame goes to NSA, they hit the refresh button ;P

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538829)

What are you talking about? I've been using Slashdot throughout the day almost on a daily basis for the past several months with a Chrome browser. None of what was described has ever happened to me. Is there something I'm missing or misunderstanding in your explanation?

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539127)

What are you talking about?

He's talking about this piece of javascript on the front page:

setTimeout(function(){
window.location = manageQueryStringParam('source', 'autorefresh');
}, 1200000);

And yes, it is annoying as hell...

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540149)

That's autorefreshing every... 20 minutes? Isn't that quite a long delay between refreshes?

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44544971)

What are you talking about?

He's talking about this piece of javascript on the front page:

setTimeout(function(){ window.location = manageQueryStringParam('source', 'autorefresh'); }, 1200000);

And yes, it is annoying as hell...

I see, it's a front page thing. I thought the problem was referring to the comments to the summary page. I've never been on the front page long enough at any one time to see it happen, except on rare occasion when I hit the front page at the same time the submission becomes a story. Then it's orange instead of blue for about a minute or two before it makes the change. I've only noticed it on the submissions page, where the refresh always seemed acceptable and unobtrusive.

Re:Autorefresh ... !@##$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539715)

Is there any way to disable slashdots incredibly annoying autorefresh?

I believe if you upgrade to IPv6 only the autorefresh will no longer occur.

smod up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538813)

OT: Radio told of India's www.IPaidABribe.com (-1, Offtopic)

ivi (126837) | about a year ago | (#44539099)

Same day as when we heard of Subj site...

Why does everybody & his/her dog want
big profits for little exercise of Intelligence?

Re:OT: Radio told of India's www.IPaidABribe.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539665)

Is this a bot post, or some sort of code?

Patent on dial-up internet (3, Interesting)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about a year ago | (#44539201)

A quick check on that site, and the patent with the most letters (https://trollingeffects.org/patent/6587473) is a patent on dial-up internet. Proven by looking into the patent and seeing all those PPP references, and seeing all physical modem components being stuffed in the patent.

So, ISPs (from all over) unknowingly violate a patent for behaving normally.

Not a patent on dial-up internet (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year ago | (#44542133)

A quick check on that site, and the patent with the most letters (https://trollingeffects.org/patent/6587473) is a patent on dial-up internet. Proven by looking into the patent and seeing all those PPP references, and seeing all physical modem components being stuffed in the patent.

So, ISPs (from all over) unknowingly violate a patent for behaving normally.

Looking at this patent (https://www.google.com/patents/US8337359?dq=hybrid+gas+electric+car+toyota&hl=en&sa=X&ei=p_0IUvnzDILp2QXVuYGgAw&ved=0CEoQ6AEwAw), it's a patent on a car. Proven by looking into the patent and seeing all of those mentions of vehicles and seeing discussions of internal combustion engines being stuffed in the patent. So every car out there unknowingly violates a patent for behaving normally.

... except it doesn't work like that. That patent linked above is a patent on an improvement for cars, namely a specific implementation of a gas-electric hybrid engine control system. The fact that it mentions that it happens to be in cars doesn't mean they're trying to claim they invented the Model A. Hell, it's in the statutes, 35 USC 101 - whoever invents a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor. So, the question isn't "does that Lodsys patent include PPP references or discuss physical modem components", but "is it claiming an improvement on existing PPP modem technology?" Considering that they're specifically distinguishing their claimed invention from PSTN modems and cable modems in the background, then yes, it's claiming an improvement.

Now, mind you, I haven't looked in depth at the claims or done any prior art search, and so this isn't a statement that the patent is valid or anything. However, to say "zomg they patented dial-up internet, because the specification mentions modems" is just flat-out wrong.

Re:Not a patent on dial-up internet (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about a year ago | (#44553171)

35 USC 101 - whoever invents a new and useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor. So, the question isn't "does that Lodsys patent include PPP references or discuss physical modem components", but "is it claiming an improvement on existing PPP modem technology?"

Ah, that makes a lot of sense. Basically, patents only need to be an improvement over a process.

Concerning the car engine patent - the summary does give information on the benefits of the patent (even if they are not binding). In particular, there's fuel efficiency savings, or provides improvements to the design, etc. As such, I have no objection to that patent.

But the patent I referenced - I have significant difficulty tracking down what's novel. A quick glance over the claims, and summary - I haven't found anything that would be inventive in ~1996. I'd perhaps even say ~1994, considering that Winsock Trumpet provided Internet connectivity even earlier.

As for their demand letter... they say that 802.11 is a violation of the patent, being a bidirectional communication path, and information is sent to the modem. This is incorrect - 802.11 wireless is actually omnidirectional, due to the ease of listening in to the conversaion (e.g. FireSheep, Aircrack-ng). Further, their patent is more specific to physical connections rather than wireless.

Re:Not a patent on dial-up internet (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about a year ago | (#44554049)

Ah, that makes a lot of sense. Basically, patents only need to be an improvement over a process.

Yep. In general, almost everything is an improvement on something else. An airplane? That's really just a flying car, which itself is just a horseless carriage, which is really a landboat. Doesn't mean that a raft anticipates the space shuttle, though.

As for their demand letter... they say that 802.11 is a violation of the patent, being a bidirectional communication path, and information is sent to the modem. This is incorrect - 802.11 wireless is actually omnidirectional, due to the ease of listening in to the conversaion (e.g. FireSheep, Aircrack-ng). Further, their patent is more specific to physical connections rather than wireless.

Without looking in depth at the patent, I believe you're using a different definition for "directional"... They're talking about bidirectional communications over a single path via half-duplex timing, not whether those communications follow a specific geometric vector. Theoretically, 802.11 timeslicing would read on it, since it's half-duplex communications on the same frequency.

In other words, yes, 802.11 goes in every direction... but it's still a bidirectional communication path in which the recipient and sender both communicate over the same path.

Do you find it strange.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539413)

...that a topic about trolls on /. gets so few comments?

that's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539789)

US is still having 56k internet?
XDDD

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?