HideWe're off for the long weekend! For now, check out our Black Friday sale on all Techdirt gear »
HideWe're off for the long weekend! For now, check out our Black Friday sale on all Techdirt gear »

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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: interaction, patents
Companies: twitter


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Rikuo (profile), 7 Oct 2011 @ 10:45am

    "Of course, the judge is also pressuring Twitter to settle with (read: pay off) the patent holder, "

    Are judges allowed to do this? Its basically showing a clear bias towards one side BEFORE the trial, at least, as far as I can see. I thought judges were supposed to wait until a trial was over before declaring that someone has to pay somebody else.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.