Patent Office Agrees To Review Infamous JPEG Patent

from the well,-that's-good dept

Last month, we noted that there was some effort being made to get the Patent Office to do a re-exam of a patent that attorney Ray Niro had been using to go after any site that had a JPEG image. While the patent itself had been re-examed before, one claim had been left intact, which Niro has said covers anyone using JPEG compression. It appears that the effort to get the USPTO to look into the patent once again has succeeded, though it’s a long and rather involved process that won’t come to fruition for quite a long time. The request includes a long list of prior art on that one particular claim, which the Patent Office admits it did not look at earlier and that raise substantial questions about the patentability of the remaining claim in the patent. This is rather good news.

On a side note, we first came across the story of this patent thanks to the then-anonymous Patent Troll Tracker blog. A few weeks back, the author of that blog revealed himself (after being told anonymously that the news was about to leak in an unflattering manner) as a lawyer working on IP issues at Cisco. It’s too bad that he felt the need to reveal himself, but it’s even worse that he has since taken down the blog entirely. It had a lot of excellent background information, which is all gone now, and the lack of updates is a real loss. It was the only source that was providing insight into some of the shadier activities of certain patent holders and patent attorneys. It’s a world that needed more light shined upon, not less. It’s a true shame that it’s been lost to the world, much to the detriment of those trying to show how the patent system is being regularly abused.

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Comments on “Patent Office Agrees To Review Infamous JPEG Patent”

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21 Comments
angry dude says:

poor poor troll tracker

“On a side note, we first came across the story of this patent thanks to the then-anonymous Patent Troll Tracker blog. A few weeks back, the author of that blog revealed himself (after being told anonymously that the news was about to leak in an unflattering manner) as a lawyer working on IP issues at Cisco. It’s too bad that he felt the need to reveal himself…”

Too bad indeed, for him personally and for Cisco…

Now Rick & Co. are sued for defamation he apparently made in his blog entry:

http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/03/troll-tracker-d.html

Good bye Rick, the Cisco Kid, the (in)famous Patent Troll Tracker…

Next time check your facts better (or let your Cisco boss Mark Chandler do it for you, and don’t forget to get a signed corporate form from him, you know, just in case…)

angry dude says:

Re: Re: poor poor troll tracker

he-he-he mikey

you think a good attorney would file a “bogus” lawsuit ?

Maybe some guy living in a correctional facility can file a hand-writen lawsuit accusing Google
But a reputable attorney filing “bogus” lawsuits left and right ? That’s nonsense, dude

You gotta have some respect for our judicial system, dude

“bogus” lawsuits are usually thrown out immediately by the judge

The ones that stick are usually not so “bogus”

Willton says:

Re: Re: Re:2 poor poor troll tracker

You think that every lawsuit that makes it to trial has merit?

An overwhelming majority do. Only 5% of all complaints filed in the U.S. make it to trial. Judges have many opportunities to toss out meritless cases, and they also have pretty big incentives to do so. If you can point out a meritless civil case that made it to trial, especially in federal court, I’ll be impressed.

Flying Kiwi says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Meritless cases

There is no need for a meritless case to get to trial. Remember the SCO v’s World which I am sure we can agree have been meritless from day one, what 5 years ago? Many meritless cases are resolved because the innocent party finds it a lot cheaper to pay something and have the agreement hidden by NDA than go through the long and expensive legal system to clear their name.

Willton says:

Re: Re: Re:4 poor poor troll tracker

How about half of the lawsuits filed by the RIAA ?

How about them? Did they make it to trial? Or were they just dismissed prior to a trial? Or are you too lazy to find out?

Again, the challenge is out there: find a meritless suit that made it to trial. It’s certainly possible that there’s one out there, perhaps even in recent history, but trials on meritless cases are few and far between. I’ve yet to see one.

wesley says:

troll tracker and his boss threaten but get caught

it is quite the story that techdirt is so focused on the jpeg patent and niro but misses the connection between the patent reform act, the wiretapping bru-ha-ha, gee they use routers, and cisco’s brazen approach to this unusual approach to political discourse.

to you boobs that have all kinds of jack on patents but haven’t a clue about the process … maybe it will spur some of the ged-less to take a closer look at what you do and how you get paid … and what the end game of weakening the patent system is for the large IT companies …

did the 15K bounty get paid? who blinked first in this? do some real reporting and get to the reason why?

Carl says:

Meritless Lawsuits

>Again, the challenge is out there: find a meritless suit
>that made it to trial. It’s certainly possible that
>there’s one out there, perhaps even in recent history, but
>trials on meritless cases are few and far between.
>I’ve yet to see one.

What planet have you been living on? Meritless cases come to trial all the time! Do you remember the guy who recently brought a $54 million lawsuit against a drycleaner for losing his pants? That case got to trial (although he lost):

http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=596&sid=1165063
http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=3269485&

And of course, we can’t forget about the infamous lawsuit brought by Stella Liebeck against McDonalds, who claimed she was scalded by hot coffee. That one got to trial, too, and she actually got money out of it (which caused nationwide outage).

Of course, these are only the most famous examples. Every lawyer can identify cases in his or her own practice that went to trial when they should not have. It is true that the most utterly “frivolous” cases do not go to trial often, but weak, specious, meritless ones go to trial all the time. All it takes is for the plaintiff to think they have some kind of edge — a sympathetic plaintiff, an unsympathetic defendant, a biased judge or jury, etc., who will ignore the facts of the case and award recovery notwithstanding the meritless nature of the case.

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