Patent Office Agrees To Review Infamous JPEG Patent

from the well,-that's-good dept

Last month, we noted that there was some effort being made to get the Patent Office to do a re-exam of a patent that attorney Ray Niro had been using to go after any site that had a JPEG image. While the patent itself had been re-examed before, one claim had been left intact, which Niro has said covers anyone using JPEG compression. It appears that the effort to get the USPTO to look into the patent once again has succeeded, though it's a long and rather involved process that won't come to fruition for quite a long time. The request includes a long list of prior art on that one particular claim, which the Patent Office admits it did not look at earlier and that raise substantial questions about the patentability of the remaining claim in the patent. This is rather good news.

On a side note, we first came across the story of this patent thanks to the then-anonymous Patent Troll Tracker blog. A few weeks back, the author of that blog revealed himself (after being told anonymously that the news was about to leak in an unflattering manner) as a lawyer working on IP issues at Cisco. It's too bad that he felt the need to reveal himself, but it's even worse that he has since taken down the blog entirely. It had a lot of excellent background information, which is all gone now, and the lack of updates is a real loss. It was the only source that was providing insight into some of the shadier activities of certain patent holders and patent attorneys. It's a world that needed more light shined upon, not less. It's a true shame that it's been lost to the world, much to the detriment of those trying to show how the patent system is being regularly abused.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Willton, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 5:46am

    Why Patent Troll Tracker is down

    The author, Rich Frenkel, is currently being sued for defamation on the basis of things he's written on the blog.

    http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/03/troll-tracker-d.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Mar 12th, 2008 @ 5:58am

    My Patent

    I am going to patent putting bruising marks on Ray Niro's face by means of fist or boot. But I won't sue anyone who infringes.

    Mr. Frenkel should move to Antigua and continue his crusade against patent trolls. He is a modern day hero.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Willton, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 6:18am

    Re: My Patent

    Mr. Frenkel should move to Antigua and continue his crusade against patent trolls. He is a modern day hero.

    I have a feeling Cisco will not employ him if he moves to Antigua.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    Can I copyright the concept of a copyright?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Hellsvilla, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    What do copyrights have to do with patents? Oh, right. Nothing.

    Tho I would appreciate it if you would patent the concept of copyright and then refuse to license it. That would be appreciated.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    poor poor troll tracker

    "On a side note, we first came across the story of this patent thanks to the then-anonymous Patent Troll Tracker blog. A few weeks back, the author of that blog revealed himself (after being told anonymously that the news was about to leak in an unflattering manner) as a lawyer working on IP issues at Cisco. It's too bad that he felt the need to reveal himself..."

    Too bad indeed, for him personally and for Cisco...

    Now Rick & Co. are sued for defamation he apparently made in his blog entry:

    http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/03/troll-tracker-d.html

    Good bye Rick, the Cisco Kid, the (in)famous Patent Troll Tracker...

    Next time check your facts better (or let your Cisco boss Mark Chandler do it for you, and don't forget to get a signed corporate form from him, you know, just in case...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    I wonder if the bulk of his insider info comes from his insider position, or if he could still get it through his personal networking? Because I'm thinking someone with deep pockets and an interest in such things could make him the offer of his lifetime.. freelance vigilante assbuster

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Jake, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: My Patent

    I'd be surprised if Cisco still employ the poor sod anyway after this fiasco.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 12th, 2008 @ 10:26am

    Re: poor poor troll tracker

    Now Rick & Co. are sued for defamation he apparently made in his blog entry:

    If you can figure out what's defamatory about his statement, you'll be the first. Pointing to a bogus lawsuit is hardly evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    he-he-he mikey

    you think a good attorney would file a "bogus" lawsuit ?

    Maybe some guy living in a correctional facility can file a hand-writen lawsuit accusing Google
    But a reputable attorney filing "bogus" lawsuits left and right ? That's nonsense, dude

    You gotta have some respect for our judicial system, dude

    "bogus" lawsuits are usually thrown out immediately by the judge

    The ones that stick are usually not so "bogus"

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    DanC, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    You think that every lawsuit that makes it to trial has merit?

    You gotta get some sense of reality, dude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    I said "usually", e.g. 90%

    Can't read ?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Willton, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    You think that every lawsuit that makes it to trial has merit?

    An overwhelming majority do. Only 5% of all complaints filed in the U.S. make it to trial. Judges have many opportunities to toss out meritless cases, and they also have pretty big incentives to do so. If you can point out a meritless civil case that made it to trial, especially in federal court, I'll be impressed.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Flying Kiwi, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 5:04pm

    Meritless cases

    There is no need for a meritless case to get to trial. Remember the SCO v's World which I am sure we can agree have been meritless from day one, what 5 years ago? Many meritless cases are resolved because the innocent party finds it a lot cheaper to pay something and have the agreement hidden by NDA than go through the long and expensive legal system to clear their name.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Angry Dude Blows, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    I am so tired of reading your stupid childish comments. Don't you have anything better to do ?

    Start a diary will you, why bore others needlessly ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    If you can point out a meritless civil case that made it to trial...

    How about half of the lawsuits filed by the RIAA ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Willton, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    How about half of the lawsuits filed by the RIAA ?

    How about them? Did they make it to trial? Or were they just dismissed prior to a trial? Or are you too lazy to find out?

    Again, the challenge is out there: find a meritless suit that made it to trial. It's certainly possible that there's one out there, perhaps even in recent history, but trials on meritless cases are few and far between. I've yet to see one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 13th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

    Stupidity is all yours

    Go get your GED, punk

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    wesley, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    troll tracker and his boss threaten but get caught

    it is quite the story that techdirt is so focused on the jpeg patent and niro but misses the connection between the patent reform act, the wiretapping bru-ha-ha, gee they use routers, and cisco's brazen approach to this unusual approach to political discourse.

    to you boobs that have all kinds of jack on patents but haven't a clue about the process ... maybe it will spur some of the ged-less to take a closer look at what you do and how you get paid ... and what the end game of weakening the patent system is for the large IT companies ...

    did the 15K bounty get paid? who blinked first in this? do some real reporting and get to the reason why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Carl, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 9:06am

    Meritless Lawsuits

    >Again, the challenge is out there: find a meritless suit
    >that made it to trial. It's certainly possible that
    >there's one out there, perhaps even in recent history, but
    >trials on meritless cases are few and far between.
    >I've yet to see one.

    What planet have you been living on? Meritless cases come to trial all the time! Do you remember the guy who recently brought a $54 million lawsuit against a drycleaner for losing his pants? That case got to trial (although he lost):

    http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=596&sid=1165063
    http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=32 69485&

    And of course, we can't forget about the infamous lawsuit brought by Stella Liebeck against McDonalds, who claimed she was scalded by hot coffee. That one got to trial, too, and she actually got money out of it (which caused nationwide outage).

    Of course, these are only the most famous examples. Every lawyer can identify cases in his or her own practice that went to trial when they should not have. It is true that the most utterly "frivolous" cases do not go to trial often, but weak, specious, meritless ones go to trial all the time. All it takes is for the plaintiff to think they have some kind of edge -- a sympathetic plaintiff, an unsympathetic defendant, a biased judge or jury, etc., who will ignore the facts of the case and award recovery notwithstanding the meritless nature of the case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    nano, Mar 19th, 2008 @ 9:23am

    Wesley, there doesn't appear to be any information out there on how the Troll Tracker's identity was revealed. Ray Niro has said publicly that no one claimed the bounty he had offered. Everything else out there is pure speculation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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