Patent Troll That Accused Company Of 'Hate Crime' For Fighting Back Now Asking Court To Silence Company

from the you-fail-at-law dept

We recently wrote about how patent troll Lumen View's lawyer Damian Wasserbauer had gone off the deep end, claiming that an entrepreneur who was fighting back against the trolling was guilty of a hate crime. Kevin O'Connor, the CEO of FindTheBest (FTB) didn't want to give in to a patent troll shakedown, turning down a $50,000 settlement offer and pledging to spend $1 million fighting Lumen View just on principle. That's resulted in a countersuit, arguing that Lumen View is engaged in extortion and racketeering. Wasserbauer (who, frankly, appears to be a bit out of his league here) doesn't seem to be handling the publicity very well. He's asking the court for an astoundingly broad gag order against O'Connor, including saying he needs to try to remove from the internet prior disclosures.
For the foregoing reasons, Lumen View respectfully requests that the Court grant its Motion for a Protective Order ... to protect Lumen View’s confidential information and (1) prohibiting FTB and its attorney from further communicating with representatives of the media regarding confidential settlement information, or posting such information on social media, (2) require FTB and counsel to take necessary steps to remove from the internet its prior media disclosures, blog posts or press releases that disseminate this protected information, and (3) to grant any other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.
Yeah, good luck with that...

Of course, as Joe Mullin notes over at Ars Technica, the entire basis of Wasserbauer's argument appears to be a significant misreading of the law:
Wasserbauer's request has a couple of problems. First, his idea of what constitutes "confidential information" is pretty broad—it includes not just the $50,000 demand but Wasserbauer's own simple admission about who is behind Lumen View. Second, FindTheBest never signed any kind of non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement....

[....] The rule that Wasserbauer cites, Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, is not actually the legal gag order he apparently imagines it to be. The rule doesn't say anything about talking to the media. It simply states that offers of compromise or settlement are often not admissible as evidence in court.
And we won't even get into the laughable claims by Wasserbauer that there's no First Amendment worries in such a gag order, because that's clearly false. It seems clear that Wasserbauer isn't happy with the media attention -- most trolls aren't -- especially since it's been fairly effective in highlighting the way Lumen View's trolling works. Trolls often get away with what they do because it's too much effort to even figure out how to fight back. If someone else is doing it publicly, it lowers the barrier tremendously.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, 30 Oct 2013 @ 4:30am

    Just a thought -- maybe these shysters' alma mater(s) could be identified as part of the article. Maybe a few high-profile headlines would induce those schools to include an ethics course in the curriculum. Or have the degree retracted. Win either way...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, 30 Oct 2013 @ 11:15am

    Oh, look! Google!

    In Mr. Wasserbauer' case, it appears to be:
    Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio
    (From -- Remember, folks: proper attribution prevents copywrong claims.)

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

  • identicon
    Melvin O'Connor, 30 Oct 2013 @ 2:07pm

    The concept of patent trolling irritates me as much as it does anyone else on this site, but did anyone (including the author of this article) bother to actually read the details of the troll's request for the gag order and specifically the exhibits that include emails between the troll attorney and the other attorney? It's pretty clear that the attorney for the troll said that there would be no exchange of possible criminal complaint in exchange for a licensing fee. While even mentioning the aspect of criminal charges against someone for using the term "troll" is laughable, the evidence presented so far does not back up O'Connor's story that they asked for money in exchange to not pursue charges.

    I assume that if O'Connor had actual proof that the troll attorney asked for money in exchange for not filing a criminal action you would have seen some proof by now like emails, voicemails, or letters. My guess is that the attorney on the other side is, surprise, acting like an attorney.

    Ironically, if O'Connor ends up losing the RICO case because it was based on frivolous/faulty allegations he could end up being on the end of an expensive request for attorneys fees from the troll.

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

  • identicon
    Cowards Anonymous, 31 Oct 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Much like in Tolkien's "The Hobbit", shine enough sunlight on a troll and it turns to stone.

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

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