Monday, May 30, 2016

GREED FILE - Patents and Trolling for Ca$h aka Extortion

COMMENT:  Way in my past, there was an article that the U.S. Patent Office was NOT computerized as were other government regulatory agencies.  It implied that this was intentional since a paper system was very slow and other persons could file their patents BEFORE the first patent on something was approved.  Thereby giving the sneak-thieves an legal out.

Of course the patent system is  now computerized.

But there are opinions like: "The 'broken patent system': how we got here and how to fix it" by Nilay Patel, The Verge 7/10/2012

"U.S. innovators dogged by money-grubbing ‘patent trolls'" PBS NewsHour 5/26/2016


SUMMARY:  The U.S. economy is driven by innovation, but unwelcome “patent trolls” are gunking up the system.  Patent reform bills sit idle in Congress as the “trolls” set up companies for the sole purpose, critics say, of shaking down inventors while never creating anything.  “We just have to write 'em a check so they'll go away,” says one disgusted app maker.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

TODD MOORE, CEO, TMSOFT:  So here's Amazon jungle.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  That's Todd Moore's 'White Noise' mobile phone app, which generates the call of the wild, and pretty much any other sound you can think of, to lull the sleep-challenged to la-la land.

And this is frogs?

TODD MOORE:  Yes.  Don't you just want to fall asleep?

PAUL SOLMAN:  I'm getting slightly drowsy.

It was such a basic idea, Moore didn't even bother to apply for a patent.  And yet he himself was sued for patent infringement.

TODD MOORE:  They were claiming a hyperlink inside the white noise app, that you would tap it and go to the Internet, that was infringing on one or more of their patents.

PAUL SOLMAN:  But doesn't almost every app have a hyperlink of some sort?

TODD MOORE:  Yes.  If you're using the Internet it does, so how can they say that's infringing on a patent?

PAUL SOLMAN:  And all they were asking to go away, $3,500.  Welcome to the world of so-called patent trolls.

NARRATOR:  A patent troll is someone that makes their money by filing frivolous lawsuits against companies, with the hope that these companies will pay a fee to settle, rather than go to court.

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