Man Claims Patent Covers All Online Gambling, Sues

from the what?--a-dubious-patent? dept

Someone at the USPTO must have forgotten the requirement that a patent must not be obvious when they issued patent #5,800,268 to Mel Molnick. He claims the patent, which pertains to remote betting, applies to all online gambling, and is now suing British company Sportingbet, among others. While Molnick is unlikely to be successful, online gambling companies aren't thrilled at the prospect of showing up in court to discuss their businesses, which are already eyed suspiciously by US regulators. It appears to be, once again, a case of an individual who has done no innovation, but who has been awarded a government granted monopoly, going after large companies in search of a payday. What he did is the equivalent of typing "first!" in the comments, though perhaps he had to enter in more than just his email address.

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  • identicon
    hehe, 12 Apr 2006 @ 3:42pm

    first!

    first!

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

  • identicon
    David Mcleod, 12 Apr 2006 @ 5:03pm

    whats this guy think he's going to get a slice of every online casino in the world good luck brother!!

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

  • identicon
    Kevin Dill, 12 Apr 2006 @ 5:16pm

    The WWW would be very tiny...

    If every individual did this, there would only be one search engine, One online news source, etc. These online technology patents are really getting out of hand. Unless someone is directly infringing on technology that one has patented and is currently using, forget it. The WWW would be a very tiny place otherwise.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2006 @ 6:11pm

    Not an issue

    Patents are overturned on appeal or reexamination all the time, so I don't know what the big deal is. You're argument is that the patent office should turn down more patents, and maybe it should, but even in the cases you keep trotting out (Blackberry, Ebay) it hasn't been the patent office has NOT held up the patents. It's other aspects of the law, and not patent law, in which these rulings are based.

    Secondly, nearly every internet gambling establishment is outside of U.S. jurisdiction, and have a lot more problems doing business here than the PTO.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 12 Apr 2006 @ 6:16pm

      Re: Not an issue

      Secondly, nearly every internet gambling establishment is outside of U.S. jurisdiction, and have a lot more problems doing business here than the PTO.

      Actually, if you *read* the article, you realize that's exactly what this case is about. The gambling company in question claimed it was outside US jurisdiction, but the court disagreed, pointing out that many people in the US use it.

      So, that's exactly the issue the case revolves around.

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

    • icon
      Gabriel Tane (profile), 13 Apr 2006 @ 6:11am

      Re: Not an issue

      "You're argument is that the patent office should turn down more patents, and maybe it should, but even in the cases you keep trotting out (Blackberry, Ebay) it hasn't been the patent office has NOT held up the patents."

      Not sure where the end of that statement was going, but I got the gist of it. You're making it sound like the issuance of these patents aren't a problem because the get overturned or rescinded later. 'No harm, no foul' kind of thing.

      What about all the time and money wasted by the "patent infringers" in defending themselves? Yeah, if Joe Bob over there is denied his suit & claim, he may have to pay the legal fees of the "infringer", but what about the lost time? What about the bad press? What about the fact that, in this case, Mr. Molnick probably wouldn't have the money to pay the legal fees of a long and drawn-out federal case if he loses.

      Now, I will agree with the sentiment that "it's the chance Molnick takes". Sure. If he tries to patent something as painfully obvious as "facility for online betting" or "a method of drawing in air and transferring oxygen to the blood" then he needs to be ready to pay the consequences of his actions. Enjoy that barrel, buddy.

      But... bottom line is that if the USPTO had just declined this patent in the first place, as it should have done then all of this would be moot and we'd all have a few minutes back in our days from not reading about yet another waste of a lot of people's time.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2006 @ 6:15pm

    Patenting an idea that is already widely used? wow... just wow.

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

  • identicon
    Zeroth404, 13 Apr 2006 @ 5:52am

    Losing faith in humanity.

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

  • identicon
    Hegemonator, 13 Apr 2006 @ 5:45pm

    I have always thought for years that before a patent lawsuit can be filed, it should go through a technical committee in the PTO first to make determination if a patent is truly being violated. This way the PTO is responsible for their own house and only real patent violations would make it to litigation proceedings in court.

    Software is another matter altogether. Software should be transferred from Patent law and moved under Copyright/Trademark law. No matter what kind of software, whether a program, a motion video, a picture,
    streaming data, data base, or content viewed in the Cyberworld, underneath it all is text. Text in code.
    Text in comments. Text in script files. Text in assembly code. Text everywhere. Text is written material, whether on paper or virtual on disk. Written material is a Copyright/Trademark issue. Had this been done long ago and Bill Gates ignored by the Patent and Trade Office, Microsoft would not own the OS world and our technology in the USA would be much more advanced. Billions and Billions of dollars would have been spared innocent companies on abuse of patent litigation. SMEs would be thriving and rotten patent trolls would be an extinct species. As patents exist today, there is no way to write any piece of code that does not violate a piece of a patent somewhere and it really is killing off innovation in America.

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

  • identicon
    Observer, 21 Apr 2006 @ 11:42pm

    Ridiculous

    It seems to me that ONLINE GAMBLING is illegal in the USA. How can the USPO then proceed to patent something that the USA claims to be illegal.

    What's next, patenting CRYSTAL METH PRODUCTION Techniques?

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


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