Scott Harris Back To Suing Over Patent Infringement

from the gotta-make-a-living-somehow,-huh? dept

We had just mentioned Scott Harrison recently as an extreme example of patent attorneys getting their own patents and suing. In Harris' case, the trouble began when it was discovered that he (through a shell company) was even filing patent infringement lawsuits against some of the clients of his own law firm. He was fired and a lawsuit quickly followed. That lawsuit was settled just last month, and Harris wasted little time suing more companies over his patents. In this case, the patents in question involved a system and a method for making use of traffic data on a GPS system. He's sued eight GPS makers, claiming there are "a lot of companies are infringing my patent."

Interestingly, he also notes: "When I thought of this and tried to put it into practice, it was pure science fiction." That would seem to raise questions about the legitimacy of his patents. If it was pure science fiction, then it would suggest that he wasn't able to put it into practice (and, certainly, he does not seem to be actively engaged in the market). If that's the case, then he would have effectively just patented "science fiction" and is now suing the companies that actually figured out how to turn science fiction into reality. Since they're the ones who made the leap (and took the risk in building the products and bringing them to market), why should Harris get to put a tax on them?

Filed Under: gps, lawsuits, patents, scott harris

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  1. identicon
    Cygnus, 18 Sep 2008 @ 7:11am

    Re: Mikey is back to talking nonsense about patent system

    Wow, that's pretty harsh. I rag on Mike when he's wrong, too, but he is probably correct here.

    The basic requirement for an enforceable patent claim is that it enables one of ordinary skill in the relevant art to make and use the invention without undue experimentation.

    If Scott Harris is calling his claims "science fiction", it doesn't seem to me even he thinks that standard has been met.

    Consider this claim, "A teleporter device comprising a first unit on which an item to be teleported resides, a second unit where on the item that has been teleported resides, and a means for deconstructing the item as it resides on the first unit, transmitting said deconstructed item from said first unit to said second unit, and reconstructing said item on said second unit."

    Depending upon the body of the patent, that may actually be a valid claim. I doubt it, though.

    Of course, one might think that a patent application which fails the enabling test would not mature into a patent, but it happens all the time.

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