Google, Facebook Sued Because Without Some Random Patent No One Would Ever Access A Social Network From A Mobile Phone

from the this-dept.-is-patented dept

Wireless Ink was a company that I remember getting some buzz back in the 2005/2006 timeframe... and then they dropped completely off my radar. Honestly, I had thought they had gone out of business. So I was a bit surprised to see them suddenly pop back up with a patent (of course) and a lawsuit against both Google and Facebook, claiming infringement because both companies allow users to access social networking tools via a mobile phone. Seriously. Does anyone honestly (honestly, really) think that without this patent, no one would have ever figured out how to let people access a social network via a mobile phone? The patent itself (7,599,983) was filed in 2004, but was granted at the end of last year. Wireless Ink (also known as Wink) is claiming that since the patent was filed in 2004, both companies must have known about it, which seems like an odd argument considering how many patents were filed since 2004. Once again, it's hard to see this lawsuit as anything other than an attempt to shakedown more successful companies.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 6:22pm

    "...which seems like an odd argument..."

    Not if one or more of your allegations involves wilfull infringemenet.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 6:57pm

    Whats the deal with this? Someone wrote up a design document for their website and then just patented it. Any asshat with a pet lawyer can do this.

     

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  3.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 6:59pm

    Re:

    Not if one or more of your allegations involves wilfull infringemenet.


    Heh, to clarify, I didn't mean odd as in why, but odd as in an argument that makes no sense. But, yes, I'm sure the reason why they said that was to claim willful infringement and shoot for triple damages. Well, or to just try to get the companies to settle.

     

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  4.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:06pm

    Re:

    that being most of the problem with the system...

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    this patent looks like crap. it looks as though it applies to how any piece of data is sent to a phone or computer. I am sure there is prior art on this.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re:

    It doesn't matter, the patent office doesn't look at prior art to evaluate patent quality. They only look at the money they get from patent filing fees.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    and for patent defenders, I bet you we can come up with more examples of bad patents then you can come up with examples of good patents. The patent system is a fraud, plain and simple. Now stop defrauding the public.

     

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  8.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 7:40pm

    Taking on Google?

    Suing Google may be a serious mistake. Google has at least some history of standing up to this type of legal extortion.

     

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  9.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re:

    It's like "The Internet" as presented to middle school kids. "Device-Cloud (i.e., "stuff happens here")-Server-Cloud-Device."

    Well, thank the gods that some genius managed that leap of frakin' logic, and managed to patent it. Otherwise the rest of us would never have figured out how to put Coke machines on the internet or whatnot.

     

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  10.  
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    PH, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 10:47pm

    patent hitman

    I'd like to suggest a defense to patent trolls and frivolous patent lawsuits!

    http://patenthitman.com/

     

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  11.  
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    PH, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 10:48pm

    Re:

    I'd like to suggest a defense to patent trolls and frivolous patent lawsuits!

    http://patenthitman.com/

     

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  12.  
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    JanC (profile), Mar 12th, 2010 @ 11:05pm

    The Mail - a fond history

    Known before the 2nd world war to many struggling for social justice as The Daily Liar, the newspaper of appeasement, the paper for ukip-minded people (UKIP=BNP@M&S), staple news fare for expat Brits who have left the UK for France, Spain etc because the-country's-going-to-the-dogs etc. Advice: if the Mail says Gabriel is an Angel of the Lord, or it's night time, check it out in case they made it up.

     

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  13.  
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    Any Mouse, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 11:30pm

    Re: The Mail - a fond history

    Tangent much? What does this have to do with the article? For that matter, what is UKIP or BNP@M&S?

     

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  14.  
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    Alex Macfie, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 3:06am

    UKIP = UK Independence Party, a political party that's opposed to UK membership of the European Union.
    BNP = British National Party, a far-right neo-nazi party in the UK.
    M&S = Marks & Spencer
    And yes, none of this has anything to do with the original article.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re:

    I'd like to suggest a better defense. VOTE PIRATE PARTISAN!!!

    Btw, are there any pirate partisan candidates running for election in the U.S. ? Who?

     

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  16.  
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    Nate, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Of course. Those who can't, sue! It's the final part of a shambled business plan.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    They have a patent. They allege that two companies are infringing the patent. A lawsuit has been filed and it will then be up to our judicial system to sort things out.

    This is abread-and-butter business matter, so it hardly seems the big deal suggested by the original article.

    You do not like patents in the least. You have made this point as nauseum. Why not now move on to other matters of interest and having significant societal importance.

    A good start might be an analysis of proposals made in a recent article by a member of the H or R from Wisconsin addressing the economics of health care and recommendations that emphasize open competition versus further bureaucratic involvement by the federal government. It appears in the February issue of a relatively unknown publication known as Imprimus and published by a small institution by the name of Hillsdale college. The article does in many regards track the economic arguments presented with great regularity on this site.

     

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  18.  
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    Oroboros (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    This is abread-and-butter business matter, so it hardly seems the big deal suggested by the original article.

    This is one reason why our economy is in the shitter. Rather than create something of value to consumers that earns profit, they leech off the value others create.

    As usual, it is the lawyers who win.

     

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  19.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    You do not like patents in the least. You have made this point as nauseum. Why not now move on to other matters of interest and having significant societal importance.

    You do like patents very much -- and your career has been based on helping companies with patents. You have made this point ad nauseum. Every time we post about patents or copyright you find some reason to make snide marginally insulting comments, often prefaced with condescending opening clauses "merely for your information," "a good start," "If I may..." etc.

    I write about what I want to write about, and I listen to the larger audience of folks here. This particular story was submitted approximately 30 times -- way more than most stories. In other words, people wanted to read about it, and I agreed that it was interesting.

    You disagree, obviously. But, then again, I have noticed that you disagree with everything I post. So as a simple solution, you might consider not reading the site. Or, if you do continue (which would be great), please recognize that given the past correlation between "posts you dislike" and "posts most of our community likes" being so strong, I will take each "you shouldn't post about this" comment from you to be a reassurance that I'm on the right track.

    :)

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    I have never said I like patents, much less that I like patents very much. Comments I have made in the past trying to explain in some detail my views for your consideration and response have gone unanswered.

    I initially began reading your site because I was interested in learning about the views of those who see nothing wrong in distributing copyrighted materials to others. Yes, I approach this question from a legal perspective, but like anything in life there are always two sides to a story and I am always willing to entertain and learn from counterpoints.

    I do not disagree with all of your articles, as should be apparent from a recent comment concerning the worthlessness of trying to equate the number of patents held with innovation by the patent holders. I have made many other such comments, but apparently they are often not noted.

    I do not challenge your understanding of economics because I am not steeped in the subject. My background is engineering and law. Where I do raise challenges, however, are when I read statements that are plainly a misunderstanding of the law and its associated history. Of course, I am invariably met with comments like "I have lots of friends who are lawyers and they all disagree". I do not know who these unnamed friends are, but I probably have a pretty good idea about who many of the firms with which they are associated. Perhaps I am missing out by not talking with them, but in all likelihood I have at one time or another worked on matters with the named partners of those firms, persons who have been involved in the practice of law similar in length of time to mine. This is not to say I discount what newer members to the legal profession have to say. Quite the opposite. It is just that I daresay conversations with your friends would very likely reveal agreement that much of what you say to your "followers" about what the law "is" is simply wrong (e.g., your "fair use" analysis about the person using WS photos on her website).

    If instead of going into the defensive mode, and then attack mode, every time such errors are pointed out you would very well learn much useful information that would prove helpful for your future articles.

     

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  21.  
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    abc gum, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    Instead of complaining about the contents of this blog, why not explain why you think this particular patent is valid and therefore why the lawsuit is justifiable.

    On the surface this patent looks like many others which claim the addition of "with the internet" or "with a cell phone" is new and non obvious. Possibly you could show why this is not so.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

    I have no opinion on the validity of the patent because I have not studied all of the materials I would deem necessary to make such a determination.

    We all know that an issued patent is deemed presumptively valid absent clear and convincing evidence that it is not. Perhaps such evidence exists. Perhaps not.

    My comment was merely to note that there are many other important matters calculated to have an important impact on all of us that might be used as the subject of a thought provoking article. I believe the article I mentioned in the current Imprimus explores one such matter, health care, in a manner that this site might find interesting and worthy of discussion.

     

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  23.  
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    josh, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    "random" patent

    what exactly is a "random" patent? just say patent. how is this is a "shakedown?" does google give away its code? does coca cola give away it's formula? and, yes, chances are another company would've figured out how to connect mobile users to their social networks. but the same could be said for windows, windex, winnie the pooh and practically anything else in the world.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    “Why not now move on to other matters of interest and having significant societal importance.”

    Why not now stop telling other people what to do and move on to not making a career out of exploiting the public. and patents do have significant social importance, they cause plenty of harm to society, and that is worth discussing. but the fact that you would try and censor those who disagree with you, by telling them not to discuss their disagreements, only emphasizes the indefensible nature of your position.

     

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  25.  
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    James G. Witte (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    my issue with this patent

    My issue with this patent is the same issue I have with all trolls(an opinion that has been stated multiple times by multiple people). But, since Anonymous Coward@17 and @20 has decided to argue, fine. Fact - the patent holder filed and acquired the patent in 2004. Fact - patents are designed to promote innovation. Fact - If we elect someone who take care of the people, we don't re-elect him/her. With all these facts listed, question - Why is it that I need to defend my actions of innovating when you filed the patent in effect promoting that you can do this and you failed for 6 years? You failed. I succeeded. Deal with it. Patent life span should be reduced to 2 or 3 years, TOPS. Thankfully, Google has challenged this point in court and won. May Google win again. along these lines, but a slight tangent, Microsoft patents putting computers into dashboards and then raves about it like no one else has the technology/ability, when in truth, no one else is legally allowed to compete. Businesses bitch when the Gov't wants to regulate them(hopefully protecting the consumer) and then they bitch when the Gov't lets them compete. gotta love it!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Re: "random" patent

    “does google give away its code? does coca cola give away it's formula?”

    Isn’t the alleged purpose of a patent to give companies incentive not to keep things secret and to encourage open platforms? Yet it doesn’t seem to be working, Microsoft still keeps its software closed source despite having a plethora of patents.

    “how is this is a "shakedown?"”

    They’re trying to collect money from google for no good reason. Google and facebook innovated, the patent holder did not.

    “what exactly is a "random" patent? just say patent.”

    The patent is random because it came from some random, insignificant, company that did nothing to innovate but instead chose to litigate for no good reason. The word “random” in this context is to emphasize how something insignificant in terms of providing any societal benefit can end up having significant negative consequences to society for no good reason.

     

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  27.  
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    James G. Witte (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Correction: instead of(Fact - If we elect someone who take care of the people, we don't re-elect him/her.) Fact - If we elect someone who can't take care of the people, we don't re-elect him/her. where did my rant and /rant tags go? the whole tanget about Microsoft was supposed to wrapped in hmmm... and I wonder if a UNIX literal "" character is needed.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    “I believe the article I mentioned in the current Imprimus explores one such matter, health care, in a manner that this site might find interesting and worthy of discussion.”

    Oh yes, because there are other issues that can be discussed the issues on techdirt should never be discussed. Excellent logic.

    The mainstream media covers these issues enough. I’m tired of these issues and i think there are other very important issues that our corrupt mainstream media intentionally ignores and I want to discuss those issues. Do you have a problem with that? You can discuss these other issues on other blogs if you wish, no one is stopping you. There are plenty of other places to discuss them and part of what makes techdirt unique, and visited by me and others alike, is because it discusses important issues that aren’t discussed enough. As such, techdirt plays an important role on the Internet and in society.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    “I have no opinion on the validity of the patent because I have not studied all of the materials I would deem necessary to make such a determination. “

    So first you complain that

    “I read statements that are plainly a misunderstanding of the law and its associated history.”

    Then when asked to give us a correct understanding of the subject you retort,

    “I have no opinion on the validity of the patent because I have not studied all of the materials I would deem necessary to make such a determination. “

    So first you complain about our alleged misunderstandings and then when we ask for clarification you appeal to your own ignorance.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (to continue) This is just mind boggling, you said your background is in engineering and law. I hope you’re not a lawyer. Imagine if you gave an argument like, “I have not studied all of the materials I would deem necessary to make such a determination.” to a judge. We’ll see how far that gets you.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and while we’re at it, lets not discuss anything besides health care. Hollywood should stop creating movies because they discuss issues other than healthcare, twitter should not allow anyone to discuss anything other than health care. I should not be allowed to get up in the morning and say “good morning” because that entails discussing something other than healthcare. Any conversations that have nothing to do with healthcare should be illegal and, instead of talking about sports or American Idol all people should stop discussing these issues completely and talk about healthcare instead.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice quotes, but taken out of context.

    The first was a generic observation concerning many of the articles wherein pronouncements of what the law "is" are plainly wrong. This has nothing at all to do with the patent litigation giving rise to this specific article.

    Since I expressed no opinion on the merits or demerits of this specific lawsuit, and specifically because I do not have a factual basis upon which to form an informed opinion, I most certainly cannot express an opinion concerning the particular patent at issue. The most that can be said is that the patent has issued and that under Title 35 it enjoys a presumption of validity, a presumption that under current CAFC precedent requires "clear and convincing" proof to the contrary, a standard higher than is the case in some other types of lawsuits where "preponderance of the evidence" is the litmus test.

    As for your comment pertaining to an argument to a judge, it is perjorative at best. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to ask you if you happen to believe this particular patent is invalid and why you believe this to be the case. Remember, however, that it is the claims of the patent that are pertinent...and not merely the fact that in some way it relates to a broad area of technical subject matter.

    To answer this question in a responsive manner it would be incumbent upon you to analyze, beyond the patent itself, the full history of the patent from the date the application was filed until a formal notice of allowance of the application was issued. This is know as the "file wrapper".

    As I initially noted, this is just another run of the mill lawsuit that will wend its way under our judicial system to a final resolution (assuming the parties to not settle beforehand). The fact the two defendants are Facebook and Google may be interesting given the fact they are well known companies, but for all intents and purposes their identities are irrelevant.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    “The first was a generic observation concerning many of the articles wherein pronouncements of what the law "is" are plainly wrong.”

    but

    A: I’ve been reading this blog for a while and I know that your alleged observation is wrong.

    B: you haven’t given any evidence to support your contention.

    “This has nothing at all to do with the patent litigation giving rise to this specific article.”

    but I am using your response to this specific case as an example of why your general opinion is wrong. You claim that you read statements that are “statements that are plainly a misunderstanding of the law,” you claimed it in this specific thread and provide no examples elsewhere, and then when asked about the law pertaining to this specific thread you show no understanding and instead appeal to your own ignorance.

    “To answer this question in a responsive manner it would be incumbent upon you to analyze, beyond the patent itself, the full history of the patent from the date the application was filed until a formal notice of allowance of the application was issued. This is know as the "file wrapper".”

    If one needs to analyze every aspect of a situation, even every irrelevant aspect of the situation, in order to draw any reasonable conclusions one would never be able to conclude anything. The law dictations that patents shouldn’t be obvious to someone trained in the arts. This patent is obvious to those not trained in the arts. It should have never been granted. Yet we waste precious resources on these patents.

    “The fact the two defendants are Facebook and Google may be interesting given the fact they are well known companies, but for all intents and purposes their identities are irrelevant.”

    What is important is the fact that our legal system and entities waste precious resources granting, litigation, and potentially enforcing ridiculous and obvious patents.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    in other words you are unable to substantiate your assertion when applied to this specific thread, your comments were made in this specific thread, which suggests (but doesn’t prove) that you are unable to substantiate your assertions more generally. You complain in this thread that we misunderstand the law but when pressed about it regarding this specific case you appeal to your own ignorance, suggesting that you are in no position to tell us that we misunderstand the law.

     

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  36.  
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    John, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

    RE:re:RE:re:RE

    I'm confused about the Anonymous Coward debating with himself.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't live in America but I do live in a country that has single-payer, government-run healthcare, and has had it for the past 50 years.

    So healthcare is a totally moot point for me.

    Intellectual property is not, though. For me.

    The world is much bigger than America.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Only lawyers are allowed to speak of the law. The unwashed masses? Did they go to law school? No? Then stop talking about the law." - V.I.P.

     

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  39.  
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    James G. Witte (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    trying to unconfuse John @36

    John, "Anonymous Coward" is what Techdirt calls people who don't have a log in. Because without a log in, you are a featureless blob. And then some of us, like Mike, go out there and say, "This is who I am." So there is no hiding behind the anonymous internet that is 1's and 0's. This also means you can have multiple "Anonymous Coward"s debating/arguing with each other. Hence why I specified the comment number. Hope that helps, and sorry for being off topic.

     

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  40.  
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    enrolled agent, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Extortion

    This could also be an attempt to extort money from both companies. I do think this lawsuit would go nowhere.

     

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  41.  
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    greg.fenton (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

    Re:

    Sorry, do you disagree with the basic premise of the article that "accessing a social network via a mobile device" was going to be developed without the promise of patentability?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    I had one of the first so-called smart phones, an HTC product, bought six years ago. It was (and still is, as I'm always popping out the SIM card in my newer device to use this old phone instead) capable of accessing any website, including CNN, in real-time. Doesn't this make the whole idea of a patent for mobile social networking a moot point, as some of us have been doing this stuff (and more) for years now with mobile devices? There were no customized-for-mobile websites in the early days, but a decent Windows-Mobile based device could access almost any standard website, including Facebook. You don't need a patent.

     

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  43.  
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    Trails (profile), Mar 13th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re: The Mail - a fond history

    I think GP missed their meds. That's the kind of diatribe you expect from someone walking around town in slippers throwing cats at people.

     

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  44.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 14th, 2010 @ 4:01am

    Re: Re: Re: The Mail - a fond history

    "I think GP missed their meds. That's the kind of diatribe you expect from someone walking around town in slippers throwing cats at people."

    Giant robotic slippers with catapults?

     

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  45.  
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    CMK (profile), Mar 14th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Criticisms, and competition.

    I get sick of people having something to say on every issue. All comments should be on-topic and not an argument over who says what to whom. It makes reading the comments very unproductive and downright annoying. Anonymous Coward take note.

    On patents, I think too many companies steal ideas from other companies. I also think that a few companies (particularly influential or larger companies) sue just because they have the money to win. That said, it IS for the courts to decide, and I hope they DO get to decide, because small people often cave in due to the cost and the hassle, which means the big companies are being counter-competitive (a good thing for them, and a bad thing for the rest of us).

     

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  46.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 14th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Criticisms, and competition.

    "I get sick of people having something to say on every issue. All comments should be on-topic and not an argument over who says what to whom. It makes reading the comments very unproductive and downright annoying. Anonymous Coward take note."

    Good luck with that.

    "On patents, I think too many companies steal ideas from other companies. I also think that a few companies (particularly influential or larger companies) sue just because they have the money to win. That said, it IS for the courts to decide, and I hope they DO get to decide, because small people often cave in due to the cost and the hassle, which means the big companies are being counter-competitive (a good thing for them, and a bad thing for the rest of us)."

    Talking about patents just because the article is about patents doesn't necessarily make your post on-topic. I only point this out in light of your preceding rant.

    Personally I don't think enough companies 'steal' ideas from other companies; but I get your point. The legal landscape seems very biased towards those with cash. Cases like this give a counter point though, in that a seemingly small company is costing two giants lots of money precisely because they have lots of money.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    I read the debate and believe it was just a simple misunderstanding. The first Anonymous Coward was obviously trying to expand the scope of Techdirt, as he believes Techdirt to be great. But ofc people will get defensive about it. But what he did not realize is that we are a readership who wants to read this news. Ofc it would not hurt to widen it's field of view like ars has done, and churn articles which are also different without impacting articles like this.
    Editors please note!

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Richard Corsale, Mar 14th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    This is a topical blog... actually, I think most blogs are topical. I wouldn't expect to read about politics on techcrunch unless it directly relates to web businesses for example.

     

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

  49.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 14th, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    It is just that I daresay conversations with your friends would very likely reveal agreement that much of what you say to your "followers" about what the law "is" is simply wrong (e.g., your "fair use" analysis about the person using WS photos on her website).)

    Ran that by two copyright lawyers. Both agreed with my analysis.

    What can you do? You keep insisting stuff is wrong that lawyers I know and respect, who have worked in this field for a very long time tell me I got right. In the end, my only conclusion is that perhaps it is not me getting it wrong.

     

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  50.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Mar 15th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Re: trying to unconfuse John @36

    James,

    Good idea, but bear in mind that many of us view these comments in "threaded mode" (a choice at the top of this page). Threaded mode makes it much easier to follow the side debates.

    However, threaded mode also removes the numbers that you use for reference.

    Perhaps it should not...Dennis?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re:

    I was not referring to you talking with your acquaintances in the legal profession. I was referring to me, or someone else with like experience, so that the law and relevant facts could be more fully developed...and especially with respect to the first of the factors you noted. Your view on what is considered a "transformative" use in the context of the specific matter addressed in your article is so broad as to effectively nullify at the very least the exclusive right to make copies of the protected work(s).

    Moreover, what may perhaps be viewed as "transformative" in one circuit court of appeal may be viewed entirely differently in another. E.g., the very narrow interpretation adopted by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. I am not aware of there as yet being a split among circuits sufficient for such a split to require intervention by the Supreme Court to elaborate on the metes and bounds of what is and what is not deemed transformative.

    What I am trying to point out without writing a legal treatise is that fair use has many dimensions that does not lend itself to a "cookbook" analysis. In this particular situation (which, as I have already noted, does seem to be an overboard reaction by someone at WS who forwarded the matter to an outside law firm where it was addressed in a letter in a way devoid of any consideration of other factors important to WS...not the least of which is its public image and reputation), however, the individual running her website has done herself no favors by many of her comments on the that clearly stand as declarations against her own interests and almost completely undercut any reasonable possibility of being able to prevail on the question of whether or not "transformative" has been met.

    Fortunately, having read the letter sent by the law firm, the various matters noted in the letter are easily overcome without having any significant negative effect on what the individual in Alaska is trying to do.

     

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  52.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Mar 15th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re:

    """
    I will take each "you shouldn't post about this" comment from you to be a reassurance that I'm on the right track.
    """

    It's like free marketing research!

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Your view on what is considered a "transformative" use in the context of the specific matter addressed in your article is so broad as to effectively nullify at the very least the exclusive right to make copies of the protected work(s)."

    The point is that such exclusive privileges should not be granted by the USPTO to begin with.

    "Moreover, what may perhaps be viewed as "transformative" in one circuit court of appeal may be viewed entirely differently in another. E.g., the very narrow interpretation adopted by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals."

    and what courts and retard lawyers/judges view as transformative, the general public views as common sense. Someone trained in the arts, moreso.

     

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  54.  
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    yuregininsesi, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    They have a patent. They allege that two companies are infringing the patent. A lawsuit has been filed and it will then be up to our judicial system to sort things out.

    This is abread-and-butter business matter, so it hardly seems the big deal suggested by the original article.

    You do not like patents in the least. You have made this point as nauseum. Why not now move on to other matters of interest and having significant societal importance.

    A good start might be an analysis of proposals made in a recent article by a member of the H or R from Wisconsin addressing the economics of health care and recommendations that emphasize open competition versus further bureaucratic involvement by the federal government. It appears in the February issue of a relatively unknown publication known as Imprimus and published by a small institution by the name of Hillsdale college. The article does in many regards track the economic arguments presented with great regularity on this site.

     

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  55.  
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    inkido, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Do you really think that if google had thought of this in 2002, they would not have applied for the patent?

     

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

  56.  
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    Rich, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 4:05am

    Edison

    This is a silly argument....someone would have eventually figured out how to make a light bulb...

    Why did Edison get the patent...

    Wait, I remember. He was the first person to do it.

    What makes the US great is you get to own your own ideas, and if you patent them and put them and put them into practice and someone copies them...then they owe it all to you.

    Welcome to capitalism!

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Rich, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 4:06am

    Edison

    This is a silly argument....someone would have eventually figured out how to make a light bulb...

    Why did Edison get the patent...

    Wait, I remember. He was the first person to do it.

    What makes the US great is you get to own your own ideas, and if you patent them and put them and put them into practice and someone copies them...then they owe it all to you.

    Welcome to capitalism!

     

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


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