Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Others Sued For Patent Infringement For Appearing Larger Than Life

from the shrink-a-bit,-please dept

Every time you think you've seen the most ridiculous patent infringement lawsuit out there, you only need to wait a day or two before another, more ridiculous, one shows up. The latest is that Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, the Los Angeles Lakers and the band the Pussycat Dolls have all been sued for patent infringement. Seriously. The patent in question (6669346) is for a very large display system for a performance. Basically, it's for the sort of massive screens used at various concerts (and apparently, some sporting events). Seeing as I doubt that Spears, Timberlake or the Pussycat Dolls built these screens themselves, shouldn't there be some sort of patent exhaustion issue here, where (if there's any actual infringement, which seems questionable enough) the liable parties should be whoever made these giant screesn?

Of course the lawsuit was filed in East Texas, and it's amusing to see the reasoning for this: according to the lawsuit, all of the performers likely had residents from East Texas who attended some of their concerts, and thus it makes sense. As for the Lakers, well, their games are broadcast in East Texas (even if the screen in question is in LA and probably not of much use or concern to those watching at home in East Texas). So, apparently, these days you don't just have to be an innovative company to get sued for patent infringement. You can just be a rockstar or a sports team...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    I have nothing for this. This is just insane.
    East Texas should not be allowed to do legal stuff for the foreseeable future.

     

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  2.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Who holds the patent for a very small display system for home performances. Oh?! Nobody? No wonder there is so much competition in the small display system for homes market.

     

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  3.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    OMG

    When will the stupid patent office hire someone with any intelligence.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    angry dudu, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Punk!

    Punky? Punky-punk!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Rinald J Roley, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Pah

    What a lot of ignorant children you are. I’ll have you know that I have forgotten more about patents than you show you have learned in all your writings on this site. I have more patent knowledge in my little finger than you have in your entire staff. In fact, this is just my little finger speaking to you, the rest of me has for more important things to do than read sites like this.

     

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  6.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Pah

    Uh, you sir are a goddam IMPOSTER. You know how I know?

    Because you don't have a 36 line signature with all of your affiliations and contact information...hoping that someday, someday someone somewhere might want to talk to you....just a little human interaction...please....I'm...just so lonely....

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

    Clearly though you have to be innovative to be a patent lawyer or you won't make the grade, and you keep saying patents don't promote innovation !!

     

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  8.  
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    interval, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Britney Spears invented the Jumbotron, don't you people know that? She also has several wonderful inventions in the fields of medical science, high energy physics, and theatrical make-up artistry. Too bad she was too dumb to patent these things. Now any idiot can go to East Texas and claim infringement against this 21st century genius.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    cc, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Pah

    Dear Mr Roley's little finger,

    Please get out of your owner's arse.

    Thanks,
    The management

     

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  10.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Pah

    RE: In fact, this is just my little finger speaking to you, the rest of me has for more important things to do than read sites like this.

    So why then do you not only read this site but bother to respond? What a tool!

     

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

  11.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Who can be sued for patent infringement

    RE: So, apparently, these days you don't just have to be an innovative company to get sued for patent infringement. You can just be a rockstar or a sports team...

    It loooks more and more like you only need to be perceived as having money. The reason to sue can be found later on.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    That's the law

    Seeing as I doubt that Spears, Timberlake or the Pussycat Dolls built these screens themselves, shouldn't there be some sort of patent exhaustion issue here, where (if there's any actual infringement, which seems questionable enough) the liable parties should be whoever made these giant screesn?

    Patent law is very clear on this. It is illegal to even *use* something covered by a patent without authorization even if you didn't "make" it. So if Britney and the others were doing that then they're liable. That's the law.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Pah

    Please leave the trolling to the professionals. Thanks. Amateur trolling can never replace honest and competent trolling. I went to school for a reason.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:52pm

    Re: That's the law

    The law is stupid. Hey, remember when it was the law to segregate populations based on the color of their skin?

    You should always follow the law. To break the precious law is worse than? What? What could it be worse than? I know!

    Murder.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:57pm

    Re: That's the law

    Really? So if you purchase a product from some manufacturor whose product infringes on a patent you are liable as well? If true it is absurd because it makes the end consumer guilty do to the actions of a third party. Can some of you lawyer types weigh in on this?

     

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  16.  
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    Smoove Moove, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    I am quite happy to see that these patents are being brought into the light. So that more and more people can finally see how poo-ass retarded they are and we can get us some fixin' in this system!

    truly yours,
    some guy on the internets

     

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  17.  
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    nullbull (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:16pm

    From stem to stern

    The patent, the jurisdiction argument, the supposed innovation... this entire situation reeks of the need for patent law reform.

    If it isn't big pharma or big content seeking extensions into the next eon, it's people like this patenting stuff they never built and never will. Pathetic.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:16pm

    Grammre Naiz

    I just love my "giant screesn".

     

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  19.  
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    Kingster (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    Re:

    Poo-ass? Huh. That's a new adjective to add to my Techdirt dictionary.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:28pm

    Re: OMG

    The will to be stupid is a very powerful force, but there are always alternatives.
    - Lois McMaster Bujold

    This is Google's quote of the day today.

     

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

  21.  
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    Kingster (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: That's the law

    Check out that stupid rule here:
    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/appxl_35_U_S_C_271.htm

    It's not only the manufacturer and end-user... It's all the middle-men too. Frigging whacked.

     

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  22.  
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    Jeff Beall (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: That's the law

    So if I take a picture of you with a camera that infringes a patent then you are guilty of voilating the patent? They did not use the screen then venue did.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: That's the law

    So if you purchase a product from some manufacturor whose product infringes on a patent you are liable as well?

    Yep.

    If true it is absurd because it makes the end consumer guilty do to the actions of a third party.

    Legally, the manufacturer is still liable for *their* infringement. You're liable for *yours* (i.e. using the infringing product). In fact, you don't even have to buy it to be liable, just use it. You could do "due diligence" and hire a patent attorney to check out everything before you used it (patents, licenses, etc.), but that still wouldn't be a guarantee.

     

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  24.  
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    Kingster (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's the law

    The user of the camera is guilty, and if I own the camera, and you use it, you're guilty too, because I made it available to you to use the infringing tech.

    That said, the venues do not (except for maybe in the case of the Lakers) own the system, the band/touring company own the system. But it's doubtful that they own them - merely have leased them.

    All that said, it's still stupid.

     

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  25.  
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    Dennis Quid Pro Quo, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    Yes. Nor should any Texan be allowed to be President for the foreseeable future.

    Well actually, I mean never.

    Never never.

    Never Again.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: That's the law

    Hey, good idea - this could be a money making operation. Better patent that business method before anyone else does.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Ummm, I think I'll stop going to all sporting events - because, you know - I dont want to be sued just because I might appear on their big screen.

     

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  28.  
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    Richard Corbin, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Dude.. you just won 12 cents.. I said, I'm sending that guy all the money in my left pocket. Thats 12 cents.. send a forwarding address :)

    +1

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:41pm

    Obviously this is brought by a reformer of the system. The way it was brought to high profile people .. well it just smells like a publicity stunt.

    good on him!

     

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  30.  
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    icepick314, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 8:44pm

    how about giving back Texas back to Mexico?

     

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  31.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 16th, 2009 @ 9:56pm

    Re: That's the law

    Patent law is very clear on this. It is illegal to even *use* something covered by a patent without authorization even if you didn't "make" it. So if Britney and the others were doing that then they're liable. That's the law.

    Indeed. But it's a dumb part of the law. Which is why I was suggesting it *should be* different.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 11:19pm

    Re: giant screesn?

    giant screesn? lol

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 3:42am

    you should do a xmas top ten 'tenuous excuses for sueing in East Texas'

     

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  34.  
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    TDR, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    How about "Top Ten Reasons For Sueing East Texas? ^_^

     

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  35.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Pah

    Don't forget the part about speaking only for himself.

     

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  36.  
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    Cyanid Pontifex (profile), Nov 17th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

    I'm surprised that they didn't sue the Dallas Cowboys for their enormous display screen at their new stadium. Oh, wait, the East Texas court might not go for that one.

     

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  37.  
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    byteme, Nov 17th, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    I'm going to patent the business method of patenting obvious things and methods, then frivolously suing companies that have already been using these things/methods for years.

    Then, when companies like this file their frivolous patent suits in East Texas, I'll file a patent suit against them. I'll get their money and strike a blow against these patent mongers at the same time! Everyone wins!

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Madeline, May 12th, 2010 @ 2:59am

    Agree.

     

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


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