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Twitter Beats Patent Troll Who Patented Letting Famous People Interact Online

from the nicely-done dept

Earlier this year, we covered how an operation called VS Technologies -- really a patent lawyer by the name of Dinesh Agarwal, held patent 6,408,309 on a "Method and system for creating an interactive virtual community of famous people." He then sued Twitter over this patent, though we couldn't figure out how Twitter actually infringed on the claims in the patent itself. While we were disappointed, a few weeks back, that the judge didn't dismiss the case pre-trial, it looks like the trial itself was pretty speedy, and the jury wasted little time in agreeing with Twitter that it did not infringe at all. Of course, it might not be over yet, as VS might still try to appeal, but the patent claim here is so weak that it really can't be in his best interests to push forward (not that that's stopped some patent trolls before). Either way, it's good to see Twitter at least stick it out and agree not to settle, as I'm sure there were opportunities to do along the way.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2011 @ 12:46pm

    I wish the jury simply invalidated the patent through jury nullification. That can perhaps curtail the appellate process.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    fogbugzd (profile), 1 Nov 2011 @ 2:12pm

    I doubt that a jury can invalidate a patent, and if it did the ruling would probably only apply to that court.

    Jury nullification probably doesn't apply in this situation since the jury effectively found for the defense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    hothmonster, 1 Nov 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Mike I have a patent for a system that allows the mentally unstable to repeatedly yell baseless assertions on a daily basis. Your comments section is in violation, you will be hearing from my lawyers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    dwg, 1 Nov 2011 @ 3:24pm


    This is an amazing post. It gets more things wrong than it contains sentences.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Overcast (profile), 1 Nov 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Good to see this costing the trolls some $$$.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    staff, 2 Nov 2011 @ 9:36am

    another biased article

    Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-

    They sell blog filler and "insights" to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world’s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don’t have any.

    “Patent troll”

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, shell company, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

    Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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