Alberto Gonzales Finds A Job: Helping To Settle Patent Trolling Disputes

from the easier-than-fighting-terrorism dept

Back in April, the NY Times had reported that former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was having trouble finding a job. However, it appears that he's now found at least a temporary one: sorting through a patent mess. Against Monopoly points out that Gonzales has been hired as a "special master" to help sort through the legal issues in a high profile patent lawsuit.

This particular lawsuit is doubly interesting, because politicians have gotten involved. On the face of it, it looks like a typical patent holding lawsuit, where a company (that doesn't do anything) holds a very broad patent on the concept of automatic check scanning. It's suing a whole bunch of banks for their use of automatic check scanning without paying a big licensing fee for permission to do so. Where it's gotten ridiculous is that politicians dumped some language into a bill to exempt banks from having to obey this patent. That may create the right result (not forcing banks to license this unnecessary patent), but in a very, very bad way. Congress shouldn't be creating exceptions. It should be fixing the patent system.

In the meantime, given Gonzales' already seriously skewed view of intellectual property law (he wanted to make "attempted copyright infringement" a criminal offense and pushed for other laws that would greatly increase the coverage of copyright law), it seems unlikely that he's going to recognize just how damaging patents are in these sorts of cases.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    whoa

    that's downright scary

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Jake, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 4:45pm

    Look on the bright side. He can't do much harm with that compared to what happened in his old job, can he?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 4:45pm

    Summary -> "Gonzales' already seriously skewed view of intellectual property law "

    You are being too nice to the guy.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Re:

    "Gonzales' already seriously skewed view of FREEDOM"

    FTFY, Mike!! ;)

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Willton, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 5:13pm

    Wrong job title

    Gonzalez has not been hired as a special master; he's been hired as an assistant to the special master. The special master is a former U.S.D.J. from Oklahoma.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 7:52pm

    I hear Gonzalez immediately fired all disloyal jurors.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 8:34pm

    Good job shilling for your corporate masters

    The DataTreasury patent was thorougly challenged both in court and in the USPTO and withstood all challenges
    Now it's time to pay up for all those *willful* infringers of a valid US Patent, right ?

    Wrong, according to Mikey
    Because the infringers happen to be the largest US banks
    They already attempted to buy their little piece of that legislative scam called Congressional "patent reform of 2007" but failed so far...
    More money to spend on lobbyists and mass media including this shitty inet blog

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    LittleTechdirt Lemming Punk, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Good job shilling for your corporate masters

    Not only is it a BS patent ... but it is an asshole put in charge. Big suprise that AD is all in favor of Alberto and his puppet masters

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Good job shilling for your corporate masters

    Pray tell, why is this a "BS patent"? Have you ever studied it? I think not.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 11:54pm

    Master Gonzalez

    ...it appears the clones were commissioned by a Jedi named Cipher Diaz

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Good job shilling for your corporate masters

    AC -> why is this a "BS patent"?

    Oh please ... are you serious ?

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Willton, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Good job shilling for your corporate masters

    I imagine he's very serious. Perhaps you can enlighten us all as to why it's "BS."

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    stv, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 11:08am

    unnecessary

    Intellectual property is property. Who owns it obtains the rights it confers. Whether or not they “do anything” as you say is immaterial. You own a house, right? Well my guess is that even though you probably didn’t build it yourself you expect all benefits of ownership just as if you had built it with your own hands. Get the picture?

    As to your charge of “unnecessary patent”, it sounds to me to be quite the opposite. If these big banks felt it was unnecessary they wouldn’t be going through so much trouble.

    When corporate America agrees to not use our inventions without consent, American inventors and small entities will agree to stop suing them.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2008 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Good job shilling for your corporate masters

    Willton -> to why it's "BS."

    1) being filed in E. Texas
    2) patent 5,910,988
    3) patent 6,032,137
    ... The system retrieves transaction data such as credit card receipts checks in either electronic or paper form at one or more remote locations, encrypts the data, transmits the encrypted data to a central location, transforms the data to a usable form, performs identification verification using signature data and biometric data, generates informative reports from the data and transmits the informative reports to the remote location(s).


    Wow, this these patents are really unique and non obvious. You have convinced me that I should review the patents in question before making blanket statements about their non bullshittedness.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Fred Baum, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:42am

    Datatreasury

    Regarding Datatreasury
    When you hire 100 people and spend 20 million on computers to do the work, that hardly makes you a company that does nothing ,except that the company you showed your technology to decides to steal it. Secondly even if that was the case that you just owned the property that would and should be enough as you own it . Intelecctual Property is one of the few things left in this country , we should not allow to be confiscated as we have the best patent system in the world by some special interest groups(the whole world comes here to register there patents) , intelligent people need to look at a big picture rather than one that saves or lines their pockets in the immediate present otherwise our children will be making toys for the children in the rest of the world.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    mike pitman, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 10:52pm

    Gonzales

    Comment?

    He should face charges for lies.

    Americans and Iraqis have died.

    He can not be trusted.

    Ever!

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    anonymous spook, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re: Gonzales

    No he didn't. Countries formerly loyal to America were turning around and orbiting around a defient Saddam, like Jordan, it was creating the groundwork for ongoing terrorism against the USA, he had a massive training camp training Al Qaeda and other terrorists on the NE Iranian Iraqi border, AND Saddam had ordered six nuclear weapons from Pakistan's AQ Khan Network and significant weapons grade fuel from Bulgaria's rogue mafia who happened to have a bunch of yellowcake. And it was Colin Powell, not Gonzales!

     

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


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