Digg And Others Sued For Infringing Infamous Computer Solitaire Patent

from the aren't-patents-great? dept

The Patent Troll Tracker is back from holiday vacation and he's got quite a post listing out a bunch of interesting (i.e., depressing) lawsuits involving questionable patents and even more questionable patent holders. In one case, the Troll Tracker even manages to track down a bizarre set of circumstances making it look like an associate at a well known IP law firm spent millions of dollars scooping up a bunch of patents for himself.

However, perhaps the most interesting is the third case discussed by the Troll Tracker. It involves the somewhat infamous patents of Sheldon Goldberg, which got plenty of attention back in 2004 when he started claiming that computer solitaire was covered by his patents. The two key patents are for a network gaming system and a method for playing games on a network.

It appears that after years of threats about these patents, Goldberg has now actually started filing lawsuits -- and some of the targets are a bit surprising. The one that stood out was Digg, as you don't often see companies like Digg involved in patent infringement suits (and, as far as I can tell, the news that Digg was being sued for patent infringement hasn't been mentioned anywhere else). Others sued over those same patents include some of the "usual targets" such as Google, AOL and Yahoo. However, it also includes a variety of media properties both big and small -- including the NY Times, The Washington Post, CNET, Tribune Interactive and (another slightly odd one) eBaum's World. While the patents themselves seem quite questionable, it's even harder to understand how these sites could possibly be violating those patents. Either way, perhaps the fact that Digg is now on the receiving end of a silly patent infringement lawsuit, it'll get more of the Digg crowd even more interested in the massive problems with the patent system. Update: Since a few people asked, the story is on Digg itself now.

Filed Under: patents, solitaire
Companies: aol, cnet, digg, google, ign, ny times, yahoo, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Random Poster, 8 Jan 2008 @ 4:36pm

    Re: GFY

    There are better ways to say I'm off the mark. I implore you. There is no need for that kind of language. If you have a problem find another way to vent off steam rather than take it out on people who are just saying their point of view.

    And for your information I have been educated but have not had the time to check on resent changes in what I have learned from then.

    What I was taught then also applies to computer software where developers seek patents to protect trade secrets in software that copyrights cannot protect.

    Patents are sought by software developers because copyright will only protect the object/byte code. What developers want to protect is the algorithms and processing steps behind the program. As algorithms are not protected by copyright, a patent is sought instead because it protect both the code and the algorithms.

    This is what I was taught from the text books three years ago so the knowledge I know cannot be must older than five years old given the age of the book itself.

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