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. identicon
    vic Kley, 8 Oct 2011 @ 11:32am


    Masnick - you are no longer amusing. Even patent lawyers can invent and they may be particularly good at structuring claims.

    Apparently the judge wants the arguments to proceed. Now do you believe that Twitter is too poor to defend itself? We can only hope that if there is a principle involved the case goes to decision because that is what helps make and clarify the law. Not settlements or your moaning babble.

    I'll have to give you this you started this blog of misinformation and it has served to bring you clients and provide some revenue to writers willing to mostly take your anti-patent and anti-start-up/inventor point of view. You know the point of view that pleases Apple, Microsoft and GE.

    Apparently none of your partners (despite stints in technology) has ever patented anything. Certainly none of you three school chums have made a living by creating real things that others would buy. You sell words and because talk is cheap you sell smarmy words meant to mollify and placate big company PR departments.

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