Romney, Santorum & Gingrich Sued For Patent Infringement Over Facebook Usage... Along With Millions Of FB Users
from the wow dept
To make things even more insane, EVERYMD is suing Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as the three named defendants, and then every other Facebook business account holder as a (as yet unnamed) Doe account. Suing the three Republican Presidential candidates is clearly a publicity gambit here -- most likely an attempt to get Facebook itself to pay up. As the lawsuit makes clear, EVERYMD first went after Facebook, offering to sell it the patent. Facebook apparently wasn't interested -- and, instead, went to the USPTO requesting that it re-examine the patent. That re-exam process is not going well for EVERYMD. The USPTO issued a final rejection on all of the claims -- but EVERYMD is appealing.
It seems kind of silly to then go after Facebook's users -- and specifically three presidential candidates -- except as an attempt to try to embarrass Facebook into buying or licensing the patent before the USPTO kills it entirely. Or as an attempt to show these presidential candidates just how screwed up the patent system is today, though that seems unlikely. As Patently-O notes, Weyer has some history in using patents to go after companies for what seem like basic and obvious features.
To make this even more ridiculous, EVERYMD also claims that, back in January 2011, it opened up a "licensing program" through which anyone could buy a license to the patent at the "reduced price" of $500 per account, but no one took them up on this offer, which is no longer available. What a shock. Some company that no one has heard of suddenly puts up a page asking for $500 so you can keep running your Facebook page? Who would actually fork over money in such a situation? Even if this is not Weyer's intention, maybe this will actually wake up at least some of these Presidential candidates to how the patent system has strayed far from its intended purpose.