Appeals Court Finds Patent On Electronic Catalog Obvious... Tosses Out Multimillion Dollar Award Against Hyundai
from the it-took-this-long? dept
That said, one of Spangenberg's many lawsuits over this patent, done by a shell company called Orion IP or, later, Clear with Computers, was against Hyundai. A jury sided with Spangenberg over Hyundai, and Hyundai appealed. After all that effort, the Federal Circuit has dumped the original ruling, noting that the "invention" (if you can call it that) was "anticipated" by earlier inventions. But, honestly, if you want to get a deeper sense of just how messed up the patent system is, you should read the full ruling:
What gets me is the pure absurdity of the whole thing. First of all, this is an electronic catalog. The argument that this should be patentable never should have passed the laugh test. But, it gets even more ridiculous. When Hyundai points to an electronic parts catalog system that pre-dated this patent, the response from the patent holder was that this invention was different because not only was it a catalog but... it also created a customer proposal. Well, knock me down and sign me up for a 17-year-monopoly. I'm sure no one could have possibly come up with the idea for using an electronic catalog to create a customer proposal without such an incentive... Thankfully, the court found that the important claims in the patent were anticipated by the other product, but just the fact that they had to go through this ridiculous process should raise serious questions about the patent system.