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. icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), 19 Mar 2008 @ 8:09am

    Mike: Uninformed Drivel

    Mike, I see you are still spewing uninformed drivel about patent cases.

    The only way to get at the truth in these cases is via the court. None of us can know rather a patent is silly or brilliant until the fat lady sings.

    What we do know is that patent pirating transnational corporations routinely steal other's intellectual property. We also know that you virtually always characterize such lawsuits, the patents, and the inventors behind the patents as evil doers.

    Yet patent pirates are routinely being handed their heads by the courts. Which means that after all the arguments were heard that the courts are finding that the inventions are important, that they are legitimate, and that the teams you are cheering for are found to be thieves.

    How about you go back and do a review of how many cases you called right? I bet you could count them on one hand.

    The problem with you and most of your fan club is that you don’t know how to read and interpret what a patent says. You jump to ridiculous conclusions based on a profound ignorance of what the patents actually cover.

    One last point, Cisco and their Troll Tracker are going to be buying personal lube in case qualities. Boy, they have really screwed up royal! Backing patent piracy can be a rather painful process :)

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

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