Left-Hand Courts Don't Want To Know What Right-Hand Patent Office Is Doing

from the split-personality-disorder dept

The MercExchange-eBay patent case resembles RIM-NTP more and more, as the Patent Office has ruled that the "Buy It Now" feature is obvious and shouldn't be patentable. But it appears that because MercExchange can appeal this ruling, and a final decision may get dragged out, it has little effect on the current Supreme Court case determining whether an injunction is an appropriate action in a case of patent infringement. Like the RIM-NTP case, the court's decision can't take into account what the Patent Office is simultaneously doing, resulting in unfair punishment for non-offenders. Clearly, there is a problematic disharmony between the two areas of the government, and if the Supreme Court rules against eBay, it should embolden more holders of shaky patents to exploit this.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 9:17am

    Wilful blindness

    Like the RIM-NTP case, the court's decision can't take into account what the Patent Office is simultaneously doing.

    There is absolutely nothing in the statue to prevent a court from taking into account what is happening at the patent office when it decides whether or not to issue an injunction or whether or not to stay the injunction.

    The courts choose to ignore what is happening at the patent office. In the RIM/NTP that wilful blindness led to a 612 Million dollar payment for patents which are probably going to be cancelled.

     

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  2.  
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    Price Performer, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 9:31am

    Silly Patents

    What a money grab. EBay is being sued over the "technology" used in their "Buy it Now" process. "Technology" ... my A$$. Actually "Buy it now" was invented in 2006BC by a Greek named Aradacious. Now, Aradacious was going to auction off some goats on Friday. On Thursday, he met Beaudacious who said, "I must be on my way... I cannot stay overnight for your auction... "I only need one goat... will you sell it to me NOW for a fair price." There is no word on whether Aradacious considered his actions, "Technology". Unfortunately, there were no patent offices then so this event went unrecorded. PricePerformer

     

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  3.  
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    angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 9:36am

    Hey, Joe,

    Have you ever dealt with PTO ? Obviously not...

    The proper course of actions normally takes years from initial rejection in the first office action to final rejection to RCE to the hearing before the appeals board.

    In NTP case, PTO was unduly influenced by some politicians to ussue a super fast rejections on re-exam.
    This whole thing is so atypical of PTO that it would lead (and rightfully so) to a separate litigation against PTO.

    PTO *IS NOT* to be pressured no matter what happens outside in the courts.
    Courts do not have to anticipate future PTO actions, they deals with current legal situation.
    Judge Spencer in NTP vs. RIM case was absolutely right.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 9:52am

    The patent system is money making cow...

     

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  5.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 31st, 2006 @ 10:05am

    Re:

    Angry Dude,

    We know *why* the courts aren't paying attention to the PTO... but the point is that it's causing obviously *bad* results. That's a HUGE problem.

    Why do you always assume that anyone who disagrees with you (when you've already made it clear that you only like the patent system because it allows you to abuse the system) doesn't understand the system? Perhaps we do understand -- but think it can be improved and would prefer less of the abuse.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 10:06am

    I think patent office representatives should be present at these cases, they should change patent law so the granting of a patent doesnt nessisarily garentee its defendability in court

    and the patent should be tried/tested in court when people get sued over them

    this way the overburdened Patent office can still go on granting completely retarded patents

    but the ones that people get sued over will get closer scrutiny in court, or during the trial processes, not only will the defendant have to defend its position, but the bullshit patent will have to defend its position

    Buy now, shouldnt be patentable
    NO software 'technologies' should be patentable (but should be allowed copyrights)
    the browser plugin bullshit that MS got sued for was totally bogus... MS made the OS that allowed plugins to be loaded, MS made the browser, so someone else uses MS' plugin system on MS' browser and sues MS???? youve got to be freaking kidding me


    the NTP case also was completely absurd on every level 'wireless email' ? come on ... they never used it, they never were going to use it.

    the whole patent system is having the complete opposite effect of what it was designed for, its harming/hindering inovation, in some areas completely squelching it

    and retarded supreme court justices like scalia, who claim to be all about judging considering the original intent of the law.. totally miss the point on patent rights likening it to property rights rather than its original intent, which is to protect/spur inovation

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Re: angry dude

    Nothing you say in anyway answers my point.

    Judge Spencer was wrong and the result of his decisions was grossly unfair.

     

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  8.  
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    angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: angry dude

    >Judge Spencer was wrong and the result of his decisions >was grossly unfair.

    What kind of fuck are you to insult one of the most respected US judges ?

    Obviously this forum is just a waste on anybody's time.

     

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  9.  
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    angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 10:28am

    Mike said: "...when you've already made it clear that you only like the patent system because it allows you to abuse the system..."

    This is just fucking insane: to you any garage inventor who doesn't have resources to mass-manufacture (or doesn't want to) and just wants to be fairly paid for his time and effort inventing new technologies is an "abuser" of a patent system...

    You should get the fuck out of this great coutry, which was built on innovations of many inventors who defended their right to be paid in court.

     

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  10.  
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    Joe Smith, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: angry dude

    What kind of fuck are you to insult one of the most respected US judges ?

    I'm holding back on what I really think. If he is one of the best judges in the system then the system is even more screwed up than I thought it was.

    And you still have not answered my point which is that there is nothing in the statute which prevents a judge from issuing a stay pending a re-examination at the USPTO. The judges simply choose (taking their lead from choices made by the Appeal Court) to not do so.

    The Supreme Court has an opportunity to fix a big part of this mess in the eBay case if they choose to do so.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Screw Angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 11:40am

    Angry Dude is the problem

    Greedy people that insist on applying for patents that should never be issued represent a huge abuse of the system whether it is by an individual or corporation.

    Patents are issued for blatantly undeserving ideas that according the law should never have been issued in the first place. And again for the umpteenth time neither angry dude or anyone else has responded to the point that the courts are not legally prevented from considering USPTO actions. The judges like the rest of the system are basing their decisions on bad processes and a broken system.

     

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  12.  
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    angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: angry dude

    You know, you're right. I'm sorry for what I said. I don't actually have a valid answer for you, which makes me feel kinda silly. Actually, retarded is probably more like it. Please don't hate me too much cuz I'm a prick aswell. You guys are a'ight man...

     

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  13.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 31st, 2006 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    Angry Dude:

    Mike said: "...when you've already made it clear that you only like the patent system because it allows you to abuse the system..."

    This is just fucking insane:


    You specifically said that you believe IBM is abusing the system and you can't wait to do the same thing. I was only saying what you said.

    to you any garage inventor who doesn't have resources to mass-manufacture (or doesn't want to) and just wants to be fairly paid for his time and effort inventing new technologies is an "abuser" of a patent system...

    We live in an amazing world where capital flows to where it's needed. It's not hard to raise money or take out a loan.

    You should get the fuck out of this great coutry, which was built on innovations of many inventors who defended their right to be paid in court.

    There you go again, raising the level of discourse. It's really hard to take you seriously when you say stuff like that.

    There is no "RIGHT TO BE PAID." That's entitlement thinking. The *right* to be paid is by getting a product into the market and having people pay you for a product they value. That's it. That's capitalism. And you're telling me to get out of the country?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 11:49am

    Re: Angry Dude is the problem

    The judges like the rest of the system are basing their decisions on bad processes and a broken system.

    It is worse than that since the Judges could (and in particular the Appeal Court could have and the Supreme Court now can) change the biggest problem in a single decision. They just have to choose to do so. They are ones who chose in the first place to ignore USPTO proceedings. Since the statute says they have to consider the normal equitable factors and the courts are refusing to do so there is an argument (which has been made in eBay and MercExchange) that the present practise by the courts does not comply with the law passed by Congress.

     

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  15.  
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    Andrew Strasser, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 11:52am

    Who does that hurt though.

    The ones making money off these events in the stock market. Any Judge can be found to have had made bad decisions. Mind you there are a few I just downright don't like. Maybe they are unsure of what the outcome of setting this precedence may be and are scared of it.

    I do find buy now a silly matter though as I use that in FS/WTB threads in games... Get real...

    I guess that'd be like patenting a type of car or something best left to someone who has the resources to do something with it instead of not use it and try to make profits off it. Mind you ebay even makes you wait for this service and if were allowed would charge you for it though.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike said: "We live in an amazing world where capital flows to where it's needed. It's not hard to raise money or take out a loan."


    Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha..................

    Have you tried to get a capital for something really novel and non-obvious, years ahead of its time ?

    yeh, a bunch of stupid and gready VCs would give you money for some Internet- related crap, like furnuture.com or techdirt, but just try to get money for some really breakthrough R&D taking many years to complete...

    The part "take out a loan" is especially funny...

    Youi guys are just complete morons and I am leaving you now to discuss your moronic views of the world.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    not so angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 12:32pm

    Hey angry dude,

    Before you go, care to fill us in on your "really novel and non-obvious" idea that is "years ahead of it's time"? I'm sure you have one. No really.

    I thought as much. You're simply a lowlife patent troll. Anyways, please go suckle yourself and choke while you do. Then die.

    Cheers,
    not so angry dude

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 12:38pm

    Money for angry dude

    Have you tried to get a capital for something really novel and non-obvious, years ahead of its time ?

    Maybe your problem is that, for some reason, you don't have enough friends. Looking around my circle of family and friends, if I had a really novel idea it would be easy to raise between $100,000 and a million. After that it would get a bit tougher but the first money would help with finding the rest.

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 31st, 2006 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Youi guys are just complete morons and I am leaving you now to discuss your moronic views of the world.

    I like how angry dude doesn't actually counter any of the points anyone here makes against him, other than to call us names or tell us we're stupid.

    We've asked you over and over again to at least point out your patent. If it's a granted patent, it's public. Why won't you tell us what it is?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 31st, 2006 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Angry Dude is the problem

    I'm sorry. I'd feel better (and be nicer) if only I could afford my medications. Unfortunately the price is amazingly high, but that's okay because a patent is protecting the inventor.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    howard, Apr 1st, 2006 @ 4:10am

    Purpose of the Supreme Court

    The purpose of the US Supreme Court is not to "just" rule on a case, but to establish the precedence and guidelines for future lower court decisions.

    The question (if I recall correctly) is whether injunctions are always required or can monetary damages be awarded -- and when should one be applied versus the other. That question is worth answering so that all the courts in the land can be more uniform (and allow disputes to possibly be settled out of court because how the courts will react is more defined).

    If the specific patents in this case get tossed, so be it. The value to the country is not the decision in the case, but the precedence established.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Random Schmuck, Apr 2nd, 2006 @ 9:58pm

    Please Do Not Feed The Trolls

    We all know which troll I am referring too...

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Old Wise Owl, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 7:32am

    Think twice before trashing the patent system

    So now that you have explained that you understand the reason why the courts ignore the PTO pressured reply may be you can elaborate on why do you think the result is bad?

    does it seems bad to you that people get paid for ideas they got?
    are you aware that most of the drugs out here, to heal anything from cold to cancer are there ONLY because there is a legal way written in the Constitution for the people who invent helpful things to get paid for the fact thay did invented it and were generous enought to share their brilliant idea to the rest of us who needed it but could not figure out how to invent it by ourselves?

    unless may be you are political and social science genius able to craft a system ensuring than even the poorest guy in the country can be paid for a brilliant idea he might have? and the way to make sure he will be paid even if the richest guy in the country try to sell his idea because he is in a better position to do so...

    unless we can draft such a ideal system of protection of the right of the inventor the Patent Office is certainly one of the wisest decision ever made since this country inception.

    everyone should understand that the so called patent troll with their supposedly "phony" invention only represent about 2% of all patent litigation... and most of the time loose their case...

    We have to face and understand deeply that in most case the emerging technology do not come from huge institutional company who are yet the best positioned to sell these good products which have in fact been invented in much smaller companies, university or even individual inventor...

    it is nevertheless of high importance that the PTO treat patnet examination very seriously because they really are once issued "property title" of ideas...

    and just like you would not appreciate to have a rich neighbour using your own garden for his cows (because he has so many of these and most of the time you don't do much with your garden so he was mislead into think he could make a better use of your garden as a corral...)
    a small company with good idea do not appreicate to have its own idea used by other who are not even willing to discuss fair license pricing...

     

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  24.  
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    Old Wise Owl, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 7:55am

    the patent system is not the problem...

    two options are possible either you are highly uninformed either you are biased... I let you choose

    in case actual information is what you are looking for you'll be happy to know that what you call "huge abuse of the system" represent barely 2% of all patent case so you can see it is very very far from being "huge"

    now coming back to the decision by the judge to not wait for the USPTO to re-examine the disputed patent they do have very serious gournd to do so as patents truly are in the legal term a "property" title with all the force of the one you might hold for you own house...
    Just think twice at how pissed you would be if someone would come living in your own house and when you got to court to have him kicked out (or at least paying you a rent) then he goes have tried that what you claim is your house should in fact not have been given to you...

    not come back to the patent law it should be ept in mind that once issued patent should NOT be re-examined. A second examination should stay an exception (think of it as an exam would you appreciate your employer to ask you take again the exam to get your master degree?)
    Furthermore the process is very long and at best can cancle your property right for the time after the final call in the manwhile the patent holder is the true and valid carrier of the property title of his invention for the time being... a very serious reason to examine present and past infringement claim no matter what the USPTO (under pressure by lobbies and political allies) finally decide for the years to come...
    if you want you can look at it this way as long as it has not been proven that the patent was wrongly attributed the prejudice you suffer is fully acceptable and even if later your property is wthrdarwn from you the prejudice you endured while it was your should nevertheless be paid for...

    Now indeed it is very clear that the USPTO should definitely be funded at a high enough level to assure a very serious first exam before deciding to grant or not a patent

    actually may be the system could even be bettered if once granted a patent could no longer be canceled in any case... much less incertainty for technoogy holding companies... but much more pressure on the USPTO and much less cheating space for large company who thrive on stealing other people invention ;-)

     

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