Jay Walker Continues Quest To Sue The Internet Into Oblivion With Patents

from the tarnished-legacy dept

Jay Walker created Priceline. That was a good idea, and he showed that he could execute on that. But since then, apparently the only thing he's wanted to execute on is destroying his legacy by becoming a full on patent troll, and suing as many big companies as possible. Last year, we noted that Walker claimed he had effectively invented "friending" (Patent: 5,884,27 for "establishing and maintaining user-controlled anonymous communications.") and sued Facebook. That same article talked about him suing the Powerball lottery (Patent: 7,740,537 on "applying lottery multipliers").

Earlier this year, he apparently decided to accelerate that campaign, by suing basically every successful internet company. All in all, he sued 100 different companies, including Microsoft, eBay, Amazon, Facebook (again), WalMart, GroupOn, Apple and Google.

But why stop there? On October 18th, Walker got a new patent: 8,041,711, for a "Method and system for providing a link in an electronic file being presented to a user," and before the day was over, he had sued Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and Vibrant Media over that patent. He got the lawsuits in so fast that the USPTO website apparently hadn't even listed his new patent at the time (it has now).

With those last lawsuits, Walker claimed that the various companies wouldn't have existed without his inventions ("A number of great companies can trace their genesis to technology that was first developed at Walker Digital in the mid-to-late 1990s.") Once again, he doesn't seem to shy away from ridiculous hyperbole, claiming that his invention is why those companies have targeted advertising:
Those "revolutionary technologies were a direct result of investments made by Walker Digital," according to the complaints.
Let's put this plainly: that's bullshit. Nothing that any of those companies did was a result of any investment by Walker Digital. Walker is relying on a popular myth, that patent infringement lawsuits are about someone "copying" an idea from someone else. The reality (and studies have shown this repeatedly) is that most patent infringement lawsuits have nothing to do with one company copying someone else or copying a patent. In this case, it's pretty damn clear that these companies most certainly did not build their own targeted advertisement program because of anything that Walker did. Claiming so is flat out laughable.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Patents

    Since the U.S. is now allowing patents for things that already exist, I'd like to patent the following:
    Heating food
    Clothing
    Shelter
    Living indoors
    Vowels
    Written languages
    Spoken Languages
    And, Patents

    Now, in order to avoid a lawsuit - take your clothing off and go outside.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    usul_of_arakis (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Patents

    You want photos?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    I have some, easy and practical: patents go to "natural" persons only, non-transferrable, and require a working physical model to rule out software, methods, DNA, and so on.

    Mike has basically nothing but a blog.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Wow.

    .

    Mike said "bullshit".


    Mike's pissed.


    Go Mike. Go.

    .

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Patents

    Sadly, if you pay the filing fees you will probably get them.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    It sure is bullshit.

    "On October 18th, Walker got a new patent: 8,041,711, for a "Method and system for providing a link in an electronic file being presented to a user,"

    From the 90s? New? Bullshit.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Wow.

    Profanity is the common crutch of the conversational cripple.
    --David Keuck

    Profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully.
    --Anonymous

    When a man uses profanity to support an argument, it indicates that either the man or the argument is weak - probably both.
    --Anonymous

    A vessel is known by the sound, whether it be cracked or not, so men are proved by their speeches whether they be wise or not.
    --Demosthenes

    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    --Eric Hoffer

    A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
    --Confucius.

    Since this is about patents:
    Just shoot yourself, fucking moron.
    --angry dude

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    This was supposed to be in reply to GeneralEmergency. Apparently I screwed up somewhere. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    That reminds me; still need to make that **I trolled with angry dude** tshirt...

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Patents

    Your food heating patent wouldn't work:

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4397875.html

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Patents

    Nay, that patent depends upon 'blowing air!' One need only patent one which depends upon heat.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    I firmly believe that if you can live out your average day in America and not use the word "fuck", then YOU have anger issues.
    --Lewis Black

    Everyone should learn from Lewis Black.
    --Dark Helmet

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    "You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag." - General Goerge S. Patton

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    So many appeals to authority.

    Two authorities you can't even place.

    Well, I'm convinced.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    profanity is some word some prejudiced dude heard one of the "lowly" people say and decided is not good enough for "civilized" people to use.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Jesus, this whole thread is retarded....
    --Dark Helmet

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Exactly.

    Easy enough to fix though. Just don't allow people to communicate. Ends that fucking problem once and for all.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    S, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Strictly speaking that's bullshit.

    However, that doesn't mean there's something inherently wrong with profanity -- every language tool exists for a very good reason, including fucking swearing.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    I have some, easy and practical: patents go to "natural" persons only, non-transferrable, and require a working physical model to rule out software, methods, DNA, and so on.

    Oddly, given your second paragraph, I think Mike would agree with most of that...

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    .

    I'm just glad Mike didn't say "cow-poopie".

    That would have -really- spun me up.

    .

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    Software is still a working physical model, it's just really small.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    I'll fully admit it is just an assumption based on my own observation that I have yet to disprove to my satisfaction :)

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Correctly quoted sir, down to the extra period in the ellipsis. Well done....

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    DCL, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

    He might as well quit trying...

    ... E-PARASITES is going to destroy the internet before he gets any money out of it anyway.

    ...wait... if he is the new owner of the internet then he gets the responsibility of all the E-PARASITES rules sent to him first. That leaves the rest of us to create a new better internet.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.
    --Oscar Wilde

    My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!
    --Marquis de Sade

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    in regards to your attributions: not a single fuck was given.

    --me

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    that has got to be one of the most painful patents i have ever looked at in my life.

    and its odd that it contains language which indicates that the practice was already in use by others at the time it was filed making it decidedly NOT new.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    So you're saying you support the E-PARASITES Act?

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    randomron, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Wow.

    When a person says "Bull Shit!" he is simply using the exclamation as a shortened version of "male bovine excretemant". (sp?)

    and if you can't spell or don't want to use the phrase "That's a Damned Lie" it works pretty good!

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    no, I like communicating.

    I don't see fucking as a problem.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    - Michael Scott

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Can someone tell me what the emoticon for just joking is?

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    BeeAitch (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    t'__'t

    or this.

    Oops, that one means something else, I think...

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    Yup.

    1. Abolish the patent system. Or ...

    2. Remove the commercial monopolies from it. Yes, that amounts to compulsory licensing to the whole world for free. Inventors who are unhappy with freely disclosing their inventions, should keep them secret. Independent invention works just fine. Let somebody else have the credit. The "Progress of Science and the useful Arts" will be better than ever.

    With no possibility of a patent infringement lawsuit, the patent bar would be unable to impose economic costs on the rest of society. That would be a very good thing for the rest of us.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:05pm

    The real parasites want to destroy the little guy making it impossible for anyone but the very rich to be able to operate inside America.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    A Guy (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    At what point does patent litigation start to violate the the first amendment?

    If, and that's a strong if, claims like this are upheld by current statute could the overall design of a patent system that forces onerous penalties for using methods of communication over other peoples infrastructure be "abridging the freedom of speech?"

    IANAL, but if there is one reading, does anyone know if there is precedent on this?

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow.

    Anyone who believes anything Lewis Black says about anger issues should probably have his head examined. ;-)

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    Conscientiouspirate (profile), Oct 27th, 2011 @ 10:15pm

    "Establishing and maintaining user-controlled anonymous communications"? Did this Jay Walker guy possibly invent talking to other people?

    Seems I might need a counterclaim to cover myself. Perhaps I should patent "A method for a pedestrian to cross a roadway containing vehicles with the right of way."

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    FlushedAway, Oct 27th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

    A system or method for cleaning waste residue from one's self

    AKA wiping your butt.
    AKA bullshit.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    martyburns (profile), Oct 28th, 2011 @ 4:43am

    Jay Walker - funny! Does this not mean in the US what it means in the UK; someone who crosses the street without waiting for the green man or not on a crossing when on is near by?

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2011 @ 6:04am

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    Mike has basically a blog.

    You have...

    Wait, just what the fuck DO you have?

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 29th, 2011 @ 3:11am

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.



    Right. because we've never suggested practical solutions.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110819/14021115603/so-how-do-we-fix-patent-system.s html

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 30th, 2011 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Got any solutions? Yelling "the patent system is broke!" isn't working.

    "Mike has basically nothing but a blog."

    And perhaps big corporate money for delivering PR (propaganda).

    Mike Masnick likes to talk about journalism. Journalists and PR flacks for the most part have the same training and yet there is no love loss between the two groups. Journalists on balance make the world a better place, while PR hacks are in my opinion ethically flawed on a fundamental level.

    The primary difference between journalists and PR hacks is that journalists believe in exposing the truth while PR hacks use the same skills to give cover to those of dubious repute.

    Inventors conceive of new useful things. Mike has claimed to be an inventor but has not been able to provide any proof.

    In a twisted sense his claim has some truth, he invents propaganda. This article is a good example of Mike Masnick's inventiveness.

    Look at the difference between what Jay Walker has accomplished and what Mike Masnick represents. Is it any wonder that Masnick is green with envy?

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 30th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    BS Experts / Re: Wow.

    "Mike said "bullshit".

    "Mike's pissed."

    Actually, I think that Mike is an expert at BSing and that when he starts talking about BS we should all pay attention.

    After all, being an expert at BS is an essential skill for spinning PR and pushing big business propaganda.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2011 @ 9:44pm

    Re: BS Experts / Re: Wow.

    ehh, You should see the "Patent your invention" scammers who call themselves experts. What a sleazy lot they are.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Nov 1st, 2011 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: BS Experts / Re: Wow.

    We have been addressing invention promotion fraud for well over a decade. There are several hundred web pages exposing various questionable companies and the people behind those companies at www.InventorEd.org/caution.

    Historically, invention promoters fleece inventors for typically $10,000 to $50,000. The highest I have seen was about $300,000. The industry is raking in about $500 million a year.

    There are legitimate invention promotion companies but they do not advertise. Those who do advertise usually are at best worthless and at worst outright frauds.

    Up until about five years ago the biggest risk of becoming entangled with a promote was loss of money. But today there is a very slick promoter who appears to filing patents on other people's inventions. That promoter appears to be closely associated with the USPTO and David Kappos.

    Aspiring inventors should never disclose their inventions to others until they have at least a provisional patent application filed. Even then, disclosure is risky. There are far more hucksters and asset thieves then there are inventors and most inventors have minimal business experience, making them easy prey.

    Our nonprofit, InventorEd.org provides extensive resources for aspiring inventors, including a list server where inventors can get one on one help. The list server is Inventors-L @ InvEd.org (Remove extra spaces in address). To join send a message to that address which includes your name, address, phone number and a brief description of what your interests are. Do not disclose your invention unless you have an issued patent.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org

    Other Affiliations:
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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


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