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(TED)   Drew's TED talk is up - How I Beat a Patent Troll   (ted.com) divider line 335
    More: PSA, TED Talks, Drew Curtis  
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18745 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Apr 2012 at 2:40 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-17 03:09:34 PM
I patented the phrase, "Duke Sucks".

Pay up Drew.

/unless you've already done that
//which would be cool
 
2012-04-17 03:10:14 PM

bdub77: I was disappointed with the lack of pics of what trolls look like.


i.imgur.com

/good movie
 
2012-04-17 03:10:18 PM
So the patent troll got paid off from all except FARK?

Sound like the patent troll won and I am compelled to look into this business model, right or wrong.

I am glad FARK won for standing up to the patent bully.

Good to hear Drews voice, deeper then I would have thought.
 
2012-04-17 03:10:18 PM
That's some mighty fine talking, Drew. Too bad for you that I OWN THE PATENT FOR TALKING TO AUDIENCES ON THE INTERTUBES!
 
2012-04-17 03:10:21 PM

bdub77: I was disappointed with the lack of pics of what trolls look like.


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-04-17 03:12:41 PM
I don't give a rats ass how many times Drew has to defend on patents. Not my problem. His problem is keeping us entertained and maintaining a website to post our vitriolic crap.
 
2012-04-17 03:13:16 PM
Drew, I was quite impressed by the fact that you managed to do that entire 6+ minute talk without using a single mental placeholder.
 
2012-04-17 03:15:11 PM

EbolaNYC: I just patented drinking beer that you enjoy.


I just patented a process for purchasing beer to drink or purchasing the ingredients used to make beer. Pay up.
 
2012-04-17 03:16:01 PM
Well spoken, Drew. Short, sweet, and to the point. Nicely done!

/Patent trolls suck.
 
2012-04-17 03:16:32 PM
Little known fact - I patented Boobies links.

The terms of the settlement required Drew to cease and desist with the Boobies, plus an undisclosed sum for the irreparable harm inflicted upon Ceiling Cat Faptastic Intellectual Properties, LLC.

I bought a Caribbean island with some of the proceeds, and I'm posting from the beach on an experimental 50" iPad. And I'm not using my finger to input on the touchscreen. Nya.
 
2012-04-17 03:17:26 PM
So that's what Drew looks like without a beer.
 
2012-04-17 03:17:30 PM
Best Ted talk in a while. Drew, you sound as slurry and drunk irl as I thought you would. A little more southern too.
/never heard someone from Kentucky before.
 
2012-04-17 03:20:52 PM

Smeggy Smurf: Fight a patent troll for $2 million

or

Hire a couple of veterans who need money to hunt down and kill the trolls for $500K each.

Option #2 would have been more effective. Dead trolls troll no more.


From what I remember from the threads when Drew first metnioned the lawsuit, since Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC was incorporated in Delaware, it was imposssible to hunt down the people behind it.
 
2012-04-17 03:21:39 PM

Theaetetus: Respectfully, Drew, you've got a lot of inaccuracies in that talk.

First, the burden of proof is not on the accused infringer in a law suit to prove they don't infringe, until the patent owner has first met their burden of proof of showing a prima facie case that you do infringe. Maybe you're confusing it with the criminal law burden of proof of "innocent until proven guilty"?

Secondly, the "frivolous" patents you mention at the beginning - phone calls, but on the internet; or radio, but for cell phones - don't actually exist. Those are just paraphrased descriptions of what the patent roughly describes, but that's like saying that Toyota's Prius transmission patents are really just patenting "a car, but with electricity!" They're not, and you couldn't get such a patent anyway - the prior art "a car" and "electricity" both exist, so the combination is by definition obvious.

That said, your recommendations at the end are great, and I'm glad things worked out well.


It's s TED talk. You can say anything you want at those and everyone believes it.
 
2012-04-17 03:24:02 PM
Drew should file that patent and frame it if it goes through.
 
2012-04-17 03:25:53 PM

DrZiffle: Glad you could sober up long enough to do this.

*runs*


He was sober?
 
2012-04-17 03:25:57 PM

Flab: Smeggy Smurf: Fight a patent troll for $2 million

or

Hire a couple of veterans who need money to hunt down and kill the trolls for $500K each.

Option #2 would have been more effective. Dead trolls troll no more.

From what I remember from the threads when Drew first metnioned the lawsuit, since Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC was incorporated in Delaware, it was imposssible to hunt down the people behind it.


Gooseberry is a shell company for Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myrvholds little "innovation" company.

Im actually a little surprised that Gooseberry rolled over so easily. Im sure there is a lot more to the story than what was explained in 6 minutes, but this is the first time I think ive ever seen one of these groups decline an NDA.
 
2012-04-17 03:26:44 PM
I'm too impatient to watch a whole video

Somebody post an abstract that quickly summaries the presentation, so I can skim that and assume that the content of the talk is presented accurately and wholly within in.
 
2012-04-17 03:27:02 PM

FTGodWin: It's s TED talk. You can say anything you want at those and everyone believes it.


i.imgur.com
 
2012-04-17 03:27:54 PM
dumbimages.net
 
2012-04-17 03:30:14 PM
$2 million? Wow. And to think I wondered if FARK is a full-time thing for Drew or just something he does on the side.
 
2012-04-17 03:30:25 PM

DrySocket: Gooseberry is a shell company for Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myrvholds little "innovation" company.


Got a citation for that? Haven't heard that IV is using shells, but I'd be interested to know more.
 
2012-04-17 03:31:20 PM
I patented TotalFark. Now pay up.
 
2012-04-17 03:32:32 PM
There's only one problem: Drew didn't beat the patent troll. He settled. He didn't have to fork over any cash and he isn't bound by an NDA, but he still settled. The troll just decided it was no longer worth their effort. Drew had to pay attorneys quite a bit of money. The troll is a company of lawyers. The suit cost them very little beyond time. To beat them, one of two things would have had to have happened: 1) they drop their suit or 2) they lose their suit in court and Drew wins a counter-suit that asked for punitive damages.
 
2012-04-17 03:32:57 PM

Yuri Futanari: bdub77: I was disappointed with the lack of pics of what trolls look like.

[i.imgur.com image 640x426]

/good movie


I have it in my Netflix streaming queue. Haven't gotten around to watching it yet.
 
2012-04-17 03:35:36 PM
Had some folks ask me where the data came from. Most of it was from here: The Real Cost of Patent Trolls

Shorter analysis of the same thing from Brad Feld
 
2012-04-17 03:36:30 PM

Theaetetus: Secondly, the "frivolous" patents you mention at the beginning - phone calls, but on the internet; or radio, but for cell phones - don't actually exis


I present to you patent 6,243,373 (new window) "Method and apparatus for implementing a computer network/Internet telephone system,", which is pretty much 'phone calls, but on the internet'.
 
2012-04-17 03:37:39 PM
However Drew beat a patent troll, he didn't do it long enough, hard enough, or with a big enough stick.
 
2012-04-17 03:37:52 PM
Excellent job Drew!
 
2012-04-17 03:39:27 PM
The weird bluescreen behind Drew was strange, I was actually surprised there was an audience. The whole thing looked a little fake.
 
2012-04-17 03:39:40 PM

Theaetetus: Respectfully, Drew, you've got a lot of inaccuracies in that talk.

First, the burden of proof is not on the accused infringer in a law suit to prove they don't infringe, until the patent owner has first met their burden of proof of showing a prima facie case that you do infringe. Maybe you're confusing it with the criminal law burden of proof of "innocent until proven guilty"?

Secondly, the "frivolous" patents you mention at the beginning - phone calls, but on the internet; or radio, but for cell phones - don't actually exist. Those are just paraphrased descriptions of what the patent roughly describes, but that's like saying that Toyota's Prius transmission patents are really just patenting "a car, but with electricity!" They're not, and you couldn't get such a patent anyway - the prior art "a car" and "electricity" both exist, so the combination is by definition obvious.

That said, your recommendations at the end are great, and I'm glad things worked out well.


I respect your opinion, because you mentioned you're a patent attorney in another thread. But come on... I can't believe you haven't come across a ton of mind-numbingly obvious patents in your career.

Running a business, I have.

Yes, there are a ton of legitimate patents. I'm sure most of what Toyota patented in your example is fine and dandy.

But you can't deny the existence of patent trolls and obvious method patents. They're all over.
 
2012-04-17 03:40:45 PM

Galloping Galoshes: However Drew beat a patent troll, he didn't do it long enough, hard enough, or with a big enough stick.


No stick is large enough

However if by some miracle I actually get that patent, I'm going nuclear on them
 
2012-04-17 03:41:16 PM

Msol: The weird bluescreen behind Drew was strange, I was actually surprised there was an audience. The whole thing looked a little fake.


it was actually shot on the same stage as the moon landings
 
2012-04-17 03:41:32 PM

JackieRabbit: There's only one problem: Drew didn't beat the patent troll. He settled. He didn't have to fork over any cash and he isn't bound by an NDA, but he still settled. The troll just decided it was no longer worth their effort. Drew had to pay attorneys quite a bit of money. The troll is a company of lawyers. The suit cost them very little beyond time. To beat them, one of two things would have had to have happened: 1) they drop their suit or 2) they lose their suit in court and Drew wins a counter-suit that asked for punitive damages.


I'm not sure what you criteria is for "beat". That you would profit off at the troll's expense? That's unrealistic.

The troll spent a lot on suing Drew to begin with. He did lose something, though probably far less than Drew. But the bottom line is that troll get nothing from Drew, which is SORT of a win.
 
2012-04-17 03:41:54 PM

Drew: Had some folks ask me where the data came from. Most of it was from here: The Real Cost of Patent Trolls

Shorter analysis of the same thing from Brad Feld


Your whole point about, essentially, not feeding the trolls is exactly why Rollerblades has never been sued successfully (at least since I last checked). They refuse to settle. You'd think more attorneys would catch on.
 
2012-04-17 03:42:02 PM
Has anyone done the joke about patenting something obvious and getting everyone to pay up yet?
 
2012-04-17 03:43:41 PM

ohknaks: Theaetetus: Secondly, the "frivolous" patents you mention at the beginning - phone calls, but on the internet; or radio, but for cell phones - don't actually exist. Those are just paraphrased descriptions of what the patent roughly describes, but that's like saying that Toyota's Prius transmission patents are really just patenting "a car, but with electricity!"


I present to you patent 6,243,373 (new window) "Method and apparatus for implementing a computer network/Internet telephone system,", which is pretty much 'phone calls, but on the internet'.

Nice paraphrased description. But no, that may be a rough statement of what the patent loosely describes, but it's not what the patent claims, which is:
1. A method of routing a full duplex telephone call between a first telephone set and a second telephone set using a public computer network as at least part of a communication link connecting said first and second telephone sets, comprising the steps of:
receiving at a first computer network access port a first telephone call from a central office placed from said fist telephone set initiating said full duplex telephone call, said first telephone call specifying a telephone number of said second telephone set, without specifying additional telephone destinations;
converting data received from the central office to an Intenet protocol;
establishing a communication link over said public computer network between said first computer network access port and a remote second computer network access port;
placing a second telephone call from said second computer network access port to said second telephone set using a PSTN;
converting data received from the public computer network from Intenet protocol to a PSTN protocol; and
connecting said first telephone call, said communication link and said second telephone call to thereby establish a telephone call between said first telephone set and said second telephone set.


There's more limitations there than just "internet" and "phone call".
 
2012-04-17 03:45:03 PM
Tag.
 
2012-04-17 03:45:43 PM

gingerjet: Has anyone done the joke about patenting something obvious and getting everyone to pay up yet?


patented that. pay up.
 
2012-04-17 03:46:01 PM

downstairs: I respect your opinion, because you mentioned you're a patent attorney in another thread. But come on... I can't believe you haven't come across a ton of mind-numbingly obvious patents in your career.

Running a business, I have.

Yes, there are a ton of legitimate patents. I'm sure most of what Toyota patented in your example is fine and dandy.

But you can't deny the existence of patent trolls and obvious method patents. They're all over.


Sure, but patent trolls are more of a litigation issue than a patenting issue. Most of them don't write or prosecute their own patents, just buy them from others.
And as for obvious, it's really easy to declare something is obvious after reading it, in hindsight, but the patent office isn't allowed to work that way. Like that interconnection between a CO and a local PBX quoted above may not have been obvious to someone in 1995 when it was written, even though it may seem obvious to us now in 2012.
 
2012-04-17 03:48:17 PM

gingerjet: Has anyone done the joke about patenting something obvious and getting everyone to pay up yet?


I've patented ejaculation. Everyone, including quite a few women who claim it, owe me a shiatload of money. Even the liars.
 
2012-04-17 03:49:06 PM

PYROY: For some reason, I always expected Drew to have a lisp and a neck scratching habit.


I was expecting the banjo duel from Deliverance to be playing in the background.
 
2012-04-17 03:51:09 PM

Theaetetus: Sure, but patent trolls are more of a litigation issue than a patenting issue. Most of them don't write or prosecute their own patents, just buy them from others.
And as for obvious, it's really easy to declare something is obvious after reading it, in hindsight, but the patent office isn't allowed to work that way. Like that interconnection between a CO and a local PBX quoted above may not have been obvious to someone in 1995 when it was written, even though it may seem obvious to us now in 2012.


Disagree. It is a problem in the patenting process because examiners aren't doing proper searches or have a good understanding of their art. Also, the Director can order a post-grant review, and third parties can request one as well, within 90 days of a grant. And a grant is not the first time anyone hears about a patent, they're all published within 18 months of filing. Since average pendency is almost 3 years, that's a while.
 
2012-04-17 03:51:47 PM

Theaetetus: Respectfully, Drew, you've got a lot of inaccuracies in that talk.


not a lot of time to go into detail in six minutes, you shoulda seen what all got cut

First, the burden of proof is not on the accused infringer in a law suit to prove they don't infringe, until the patent owner has first met their burden of proof of showing a prima facie case that you do infringe. Maybe you're confusing it with the criminal law burden of proof of "innocent until proven guilty"?

I was never quite clear on what the deal was here. Perhaps you could help explain how it works on the other end. Basically, we didn't infringe on this patent. I realize the courts require evidence of infringement, but apparently they don't up front because the troll didn't provide any. They just said "Fark's infringing and needs to cease immediately" without providing anything else in the complaint.

The reason this particular case was so aggravating, as I mentioned in the talk, was that we flat out didn't infringe on their patent. I'm not sure what evidence they thought they had or who they had to show what to, but the bottom line is - they didn't have any evidence (and couldn't provide any, which is why they exited the case). So yes I know what you're referring to, however in this particular instance Fark was indeed sued by a patent troll who could not provide evidence. This appears to be a common tactic with patent trolls, mainly because by the time they're forced to provide their evidence, the case is several months and several tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in progress.

Secondly, the "frivolous" patents you mention at the beginning - phone calls, but on the internet; or radio, but for cell phones - don't actually exist. Those are just paraphrased descriptions of what the patent roughly describes, but that's like saying that Toyota's Prius transmission patents are really just patenting "a car, but with electricity!" They're not, and you couldn't get such a patent anyway - the prior art "a car" and "electricity" both exist, so the combination is by definition obvious.

I respectfully disagree - check what's currently being filed in the mobile space. Yes the patents contain more detailed information but what patent trolls do is use their ability to file a lawsuit that might pertain to a company in order to extract a settlement.

That said, your recommendations at the end are great, and I'm glad things worked out well.

Thanks! I think the main point of confusion here is that I'm distilling the experience of a patent troll lawsuit, not a normal patent lawsuit (which would work out pretty much how you describe it - this is a different animal). And like I said, I had six minutes to talk to a non-legal audience so a lot of specifics got dropped. I wouldn't ever deign to tell a room full of attorneys how the process works. The strategy still holds however
 
2012-04-17 03:51:56 PM
As an inventor, patent holder and producer, I really enjoyed this. Unfortunately, people who have legitimate cases also need deep pockets just protect their IP.
 
2012-04-17 03:51:59 PM
blogs.rand.com

You take the box? OK, show us what is in the box!

blogs.rand.com

NOOOOOTHING! AB-SO-LUTE-LY NOTHING! Stupid!! YOU SOOO STUUUUUPID!!!!
 
2012-04-17 03:52:04 PM

Theaetetus: Sure, but patent trolls are more of a litigation issue than a patenting issue. Most of them don't write or prosecute their own patents, just buy them from others.
And as for obvious, it's really easy to declare something is obvious after reading it, in hindsight, but the patent office isn't allowed to work that way. Like that interconnection between a CO and a local PBX quoted above may not have been obvious to someone in 1995 when it was written, even though it may seem obvious to us now in 2012.


I'm speaking more of software patents. Almost all software is obvious. Success is generally a matter of marketing, critical mass, good management decisions, and luck.

I've been in this industry for 15 years. Rarely have I seen software/web sites that I haven't thought up- in my mind, at least partially- before they were created.
 
2012-04-17 03:54:23 PM

DrySocket: Flab: Smeggy Smurf: Fight a patent troll for $2 million

or

Hire a couple of veterans who need money to hunt down and kill the trolls for $500K each.

Option #2 would have been more effective. Dead trolls troll no more.

From what I remember from the threads when Drew first metnioned the lawsuit, since Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC was incorporated in Delaware, it was imposssible to hunt down the people behind it.

Gooseberry is a shell company for Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myrvholds little "innovation" company.

Im actually a little surprised that Gooseberry rolled over so easily. Im sure there is a lot more to the story than what was explained in 6 minutes, but this is the first time I think ive ever seen one of these groups decline an NDA.


Drew said their address was a strip mall which had nothing to do with their physical address.
They attack from the shadows, like legal ninjitsu.
 
2012-04-17 03:55:57 PM
Has anyone gotten Lawrence Lessig to weigh in on this (or something similar)?
I can only find his free culture talk at work.
 
2012-04-17 03:57:05 PM

Oznog: DrySocket: Flab: Smeggy Smurf: Fight a patent troll for $2 million

or

Hire a couple of veterans who need money to hunt down and kill the trolls for $500K each.

Option #2 would have been more effective. Dead trolls troll no more.

From what I remember from the threads when Drew first metnioned the lawsuit, since Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC was incorporated in Delaware, it was imposssible to hunt down the people behind it.

Gooseberry is a shell company for Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myrvholds little "innovation" company.

Im actually a little surprised that Gooseberry rolled over so easily. Im sure there is a lot more to the story than what was explained in 6 minutes, but this is the first time I think ive ever seen one of these groups decline an NDA.

Drew said their address was a strip mall which had nothing to do with their physical address.
They attack from the shadows, like legal ninjitsu.


This is correct

Last year at Ted, Matt Cutts and I actually tracked down Myrvholds to ask him if he owned the thing. He didn't know, but he was pretty startled by the question
 
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