Patent Blackmail

from the there-should-be-a-law... dept

There should be a law against filing frivolous patent suits. That’s the only way we’re ever going to stop things like the following ridiculous set of patent lawsuits. There’s a company that owns a few patents that they claim shows they own ecommerce. If you sell anything on the web, they feel you owe them a licensing fee. They’re looking for $30,000. They handpicked 11 different small e-commerce sites to go after first. This is, of course, a form of blackmail. For most companies to fight this in court, it will cost them more than $30,000. So, the “smart” thing for a small company to do is to just settle – and this lawyer will go on threatening more companies and raking in the money. Luckily, some people realize the fight is worth it, and are taking the company on – but it’s not likely to stop them from doing the same exact thing again with some other ridiculous patents.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Patent Blackmail”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
2Lazy2Register says:

How would a law help?

You’d still have to hire a lawyer to go in front of a judge to determine whether the suit was frivolous or malicious, so you would still incur a cost, and if the decision went against you you’d be right back where you started. I don’t know what the answer to this is, but more laws never seem to actually help all that much.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: And for my next patent...

I believe I am going to patent the process of turning on a computer. All I need to use is very vague and very “glitzy” words and push it through the patent office. Then every time someone turns on a computer, I charge them a licensing fee. Of course, I will not require a licensing fee for machines with open-source operating systems on them, and will negotiate simple licensing agreements (read “free, but limited”) with home users, non-for-profit and educational institutions (except those set up by Microsoft, i.e. BSA, etc.) Then I’ll patent the process of turning off a computer. Oh, and I noticed the man on top hasn’t patented breathing oxygen, so I’ll patent it too, and then give away the licenses to everyone except lawyers, who will have to pay $0.001 per breath.

I mean, while the government is giving away stupid patents, we might as well monopolize on them for our favor.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...