Lawyer Brags About The 'Obvious' Downloading Patent He Forced Apple To Buy
from the ugh dept
Apparently, the settlement wasn't just a licensing deal. They sold the actual patent to Apple, and the lawyer believes that Apple can now use it to sue everyone else, claiming it's a "billion dollar patent." Of course, there's no evidence that Apple actually plans to use the patent against anyone else at this point. He also goes on to brag about how brilliant he was in the way he wrote up the patent, noting that it was really just supposed to be for a computerized system to let someone select a genre of songs to play on an electronic piano, but he was smart enough to write the patent to be so ridiculously broad that it eventually covered all sorts of music and movie downloading. In fact, he carelessly tosses out the word "obvious" to explain how he took the concept of music downloading for the patent and "realized that downloading movies was an obvious variation." That's a pretty poor choice of words on the part of a patent lawyer who should realize that obvious ideas aren't patentable -- especially if they're obvious to the lawyer, rather than the inventor who is actually the "skilled practitioner." In the meantime, though, the patent is apparently no longer in the hands of this guy, and hopefully Apple recognizes the wisdom of just sitting on it -- but it's another victory for a patent holder who did nothing related to the innovation at hand, but forced the actual innovator to pay up. These stories are all about taking money away from the companies that actually innovate, and giving it to lawyers who can stretch a patent to cover a ridiculously broad range of technologies. It's not clear how that helps "To promote the progress of science and useful arts."