Patent Attorney Ups Bounty On Troll Tracker, Apparently Doesn't Like Anonymous Speech

from the thin-skinned-patent-attorneys dept

Last week we had the bizarre story of how a bigshot patent attorney, Raymond Niro, was so disturbed by the anonymous Patent Troll Tracker shining some light on Niro and some of Niro’s clients, that he was offering a $5000 bounty to anyone who could identify the Tracker. Niro has now responded to some of the stories about the bounty, where he tries to “correct a few misconceptions” about the story. On one point, he is quite accurate — the patent he’s been accusing the Troll Tracker of infringing is not owned by Acacia, but by another firm, Global Patent Holdings. Of course, the Tracker had already corrected that story a few days ago, so Niro wasn’t actually adding anything there. Also, Niro states that Global Patent Holdings “has no connection to Acacia” which is a bit misleading. It may not currently have any connection, but three years ago Acacia bought most of Global Patent Holdings’ assets — and it was even misreported by the NY Times that Acacia had bought the entire company. So, it was a pretty easy mistake to make — especially since these patent hoarding firms use so many shell companies to hide their identities.

More importantly, Niro first raises the bounty to $10,000 for information identifying the Tracker, and then states that the Tracker needs to be exposed to be “held accountable for what he says.” He also notes “if you really have anything truthful to say, you are not afraid of identifying yourself.” You would think that Niro, as an intellectual property lawyer, would be well aware of both the historical importance of anonymity and the US courts repeated decisions pointing out that anonymity is part of our free speech rights. As for not “being afraid” to identify yourself, would Niro have said the same thing of the authors of The Federalist Papers? There’s often a good reason to be anonymous — which is why the courts protect it as free speech. Niro also insists that he’s not trying to identify the Tracker in order to sue over the patent in question, but that would be much more believable if Niro hadn’t used that same patent against another critic and also sent the Tracker an email telling him that he was infringing on that patent. As for the patent itself, Niro makes it clear that: “Anyone that operates a website runs the risk of infringing Global’s patent if (as we believe) that patent covers the manner in which JPEG images are displayed on a website.” There are some people who can make reasonable claims that they’re trying to use the patent system to further the cause of innovation. But when someone claims that he can sue any website that has a JPEG image in it, you have to wonder how that could possibly “promote the progress of science and useful arts.”

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Comments on “Patent Attorney Ups Bounty On Troll Tracker, Apparently Doesn't Like Anonymous Speech”

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Alfred E. Neuman says:


“if you really have anything truthful to say, you are not afraid of identifying yourself.”
What a meaningless statement.
However, the following statememt is obvious. Perhaps I should patent it. Just because your identitiy is known, does not in its self make what you say truthful.

The practice of selective enforcement is unethical at least, and certainly an abuse of the justice system.

angry dude says:

Re: BS

“The practice of selective enforcement is unethical at least…”

Poor little alfred

Perhaps you should know that patents are not like trademarks so you don’t have to sue everybody who violates your patent

Combined with the average cost of bringing a patent lawsuit against, say MShit, or other big serial patent thief, selective enforcement of patents is the ONLY possibility for smaller patent holders (inventors and startups alike)

Eat your shitty breakfast and go to your school for retards

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: BS

The practice of selective enforcement is unethical and an abuse of the justice system. If you have a valid patent that is for a non-obvious idea and helps promote innovation (like the patent system was intended for) then you can go up against Microsoft and other big names. That’s what the patent system was designed for. Then again, if you have a good valid patent then Microsoft would probably pay big bucks to get it from you anyways.

The problem here is that this asshat is going to go after smaller companies that can’t afford to prove that this patent is invalid and, using the presidents made there, go after Microsoft with a lot of backing for his BS patent. How is that ethical or not an abuse?

Aren’t you the one that has the patent and refuses to disclose what it is?

Anonymous of Course says:

Nothing to Fear

I’m sure this reprehensible person is offering
the ten G’s because he wants to arrange a clam
bake for the Troll Tracker. He’s just lonely,
and friendless, that’s all.

How many innocent people and corporations have
knuckled under to these extortionists to avoid
a costly court battle despite their innocence?

Considering that extortion is the stock and trade
of patent trolls, it’s only prudent of the Troll
Tracker to remain anonymous. Nothing sinister
about it in the least.

Go away, troll. And a pox on anyone who might
consider collecting the bounty offered.

angry dude says:


“Then again, if you have a good valid patent then Microsoft would probably pay big bucks to get it from you anyways”

Boy, you are an IDIOT, a waste of organic matter

Just read what Nathan Myhrvold wrote in his congressional testimony

The guy funded MShit research BTW so I believe he knows well about all the shit going on inside MShit

Or just look at this CEO pig Steve – do you reallty believe this piece of shit would give you a dime for your invention whatever it is ?
Boy, just go fuck youeself

Chronno S. Trigger says:


First, when in this article or in my post did I mention ether Nathan Myhrvold or Microsoft being ethical?

Second, Yes I do believe that Microsoft would “Buy you out” so to speak but it would probably be strong arm tactics. Again, when did I say they were ethical.

Third, I am bringing points to prove that Raymond Niro is unethical and all you really have to come back with is insults and foul language? How old are you?

Forth, You never did answer me about your patent thing.

Fifth, there is a nice little invention that Techdirt is nice enough to put in there forum. It’s called “reply to this comment”. Great little feature that allows point and counter point to be made in an orderly and easily read manner.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re: RETARD

Then I guess they got DOS threw good old fashion programing? How much was that? 4, 5 thousand, or am I missing a zero?

I also like how you left out the second part of that remark, you know, about the strong arm tactics.

I’ve been around long enough to know how the world works and I know that it’s not as bad as you think it is. Just because you will degrade anyone just for having a different opinion doesnt mean that everyone is like that.

angry dude says:

Re: Re: Re:2 RETARD

RULE 1 (learned through personal experience):

When dealing with big companies there is no free lunch…
unless you are the lunch…


The ONLY way for a little guy to start meaningful communication with a big company is to sue them for patent/copyright infringement, preferably in the EDT

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re:3 RETARD

You have your rules reversed. You have rule #1 because you did Rule #2. Starting a “meaningful” relationship with anyone by suing them is a good way to get “taken to lunch”.

I’m guessing that is why you’re “Angry Dude”.

By the way, who said anything about a free lunch? When a big company decides to buy you out there is a reason. Usually the big bucks that they dish out are chump change to what the acquired product is actually worth. The only way to get this so called “Free Lunch” is to do what Raymond Niro is trying to do with bad patents. Let other people do the hard work and then sue them for infringing on a BS patent.

Hay we’re back on topic.

angry dude says:

Re: Re: Re:4 RETARD

Dude, you are positively an idiot

I didn;t say “someone”
I said “big company”

If they know they can get away with stealing something from a little guy they’ll just do it, even if it would cost them just a few thousand bucks to buy it
Hard to believe but it’s true

Must have something to do with shoplifting mentality
if you can have something for free why pay a dime ?

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re:5 RETIRED

“Must have something to do with shoplifting mentality
if you can have something for free why pay a dime ?”

And that mentality is why the RIAA and MPAA have such a big problem with P2P and demand DRM. People will pay. Look at the Radiohead experiment.

I guess I haven’t said this clearly enough for you. If you have something a big company wants then they will come to you. If they don’t then chances are they already have what they need and you will have to make one damn good case to get them to change. If your in that boat then I recommend not becoming an “Angry Dude” if they turn you down.

I’m referencing the things like Windows Defender. It was called Giant anti-spyware originally. Microsoft decided to enter the “anti” market and instead of trying to make there own software they just payed someone else for it.

When I said “anyone” I meant ANYONE, including the guy down the street, your best friend, a potential life partner, or yes even a big business (they’re made up of people too).

And for the record, I confirmed it, DOS was purchased for $50,000. That’s big bucks to me.

If, on the road of life, you hit your first bump and decide to get off, expect to see life pass you by.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: RETARD

Indeed it is an ugly picture. And selective enforcement doesn’t make it any better:

“It’s just a defensive patent, we won’t enforce it.”
[two years pass]
“Say, you know that successful business you founded based on the patent we said we wouldn’t enforce? We changed our mind. Give us half the company or we’ll sue you for infringement.”

This is true of law in general, not even anything specific to IP law. Get on the wrong person’s bad side and you could find yourself with a cop telling you, “So, you know all those laws that are only still around because they’re never enforced, so nobody cares enough to get rid of them? Here’s a list of 10 of them that you just broke, along with your court date.”

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