by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 28th 2009 8:48am
Back in June, we noted a curious addition to a rather typical patent troll-type lawsuit filed in East Texas. Along with a bunch of big name companies (Google, Yahoo, AOL, Amazon, etc.) were two "unknown" or at least little known companies that happened to be based in East Texas. The reasoning seemed pretty obvious. Courts have been given a bit more leeway in transferring patent lawsuits lately, after years of attempts by patent hoarders to have them all in East Texas (notoriously friendly to patent holders). So, what better way to insist that East Texas is a good place for the lawsuit than to include some East Texas companies (any ones will do!)? Except, it appears that the lawyers for the patent holder (McKool Smith -- a favorite among the patent hoarders) didn't do much research on at least one of those "companies," named CitiWare. Slashdot alerts us to the fact that CitiWare was basically just a small open source project from one guy, who hoped to turn it into a business, but couldn't find any customers and shut it down. That guy has now turned the CitiWare.com website into an angry open letter to the patent holder and to its lawyers, demanding that they drop the case against him. Next time, perhaps those busy lawyers in East Texas will actually take the time to figure out if the companies they're suing exist, let alone infringed on whatever bogus patent they're representing.
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