Judge Refuses To Dismiss Twitter From Patent Lawsuit Concerning Patent On Interacting With Famous People Online

from the bang-head-slowly dept

One of the absolute worst parts of the patent system is that, unlike many other legal issues, it's nearly impossible to easily get a patent claim dismissed. Thanks to rather arcane rules in how fights over patents work out, it almost always has to go trial if the parties don't settle. The patent lawyers love this, of course. It makes them plenty of money. But you would hope that in extremely ridiculous cases, courts would be quick to dump such lawsuits. Earlier this year we wrote about how patent lawyer Dinesh Agarwal had a patent 6,408,309 on a "Method and system for creating an interactive virtual community of famous people." That's not a joke. Even worse, he claimed that Twitter infringed on the patent. Yes, for daring to have a community which some famous people have decided to use... suddenly, that's patent infringement.

Of course, as we noted at the time, the patent didn't seem to cover what Twitter does at all. But why let that stop you from suing? And while Twitter did try to play some games over jurisdictional issues to get the case moved (which failed), this seemed like the type of case that should lead to an early dismissal. Instead, as pointed out by Richard Gailey, the court has rejected Twitter's attempt to get the case dismissed, and now it's moving on towards trial. Of course, the judge is also pressuring Twitter to settle with (read: pay off) the patent holder, which only perpetuates this kind of ridiculousness. Here's hoping that Twitter is willing to fight this.

Filed Under: interaction, patents
Companies: twitter


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  1. icon
    SiliconJon (profile), 7 Oct 2011 @ 11:39am

    Settlement Agreement

    Patent Infringement Settlement Agreement

    I, ___________________, agree to immediately cease and desist communicating with other entities in exchange for SiliconJon releasing any and all claims against me for patent infringement. In the event this agreement is breached by me, SiliconJon will be entitled to everything I have ever owned or associated with, including, but not limited to: my wife, girlfriends (past and present), personal property including all banks accounts and any other assets, favorite foods (you may no longer eat them with pleasure), DNA, deepest darkest secrets, and attorney’s fees (which is a few tons of worm food - figure out how to buy it after I already took everything belonging to you) in any action brought to enforce this agreement and shall be free to pursue all rights that SiliconJon had as of the date of this letter as if this letter had never been signed.

    Signed:________________________________

    Dated:________________________________

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