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(Ars Technica)   Scanning your ass on the company copier is about to get a lot more expensive if these patent trolls get their way   (arstechnica.com) divider line 93
    More: Asinine, Peter DeFazio, office equipment, senior partner, patent claim, shell companies, non-practicing entity, counter-scanning  
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11908 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Apr 2013 at 1:14 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-08 11:37:17 AM
There is no painful death that these clowns don't deserve.
 
2013-04-08 11:46:03 AM
planetwill.jt.org
 
2013-04-08 11:52:58 AM

Because People in power are Stupid: There is no painful death that these clowns don't deserve.


Few things make my skin crawl the way these stories do.  The actions of some, like drug cartels and child molesters and whatnot are far worse, but they're also not provided ironclad protection and guaranteed paydays buy the law.

That patent trolls are so representative of the stereotype of Americans as litigious freaks is all the more embarrassing.
 
2013-04-08 12:00:43 PM
From the comments:

The way to avoid the lawsuit...

Stop using the Scan to Email feature. Instead have a written policy that requires all employees to select the scan to temp document & attach to email process (completely automated, of course).
Once that is done, type out the letter informing the trolls that your use of the scanner is not infringing and have a company officer sign it. Send it to the troll's designated lawyer and let them decide if they will fail to follow their own declared procedures
 
2013-04-08 12:04:36 PM

SnakeLee: From the comments:

The way to avoid the lawsuit...

Stop using the Scan to Email feature. Instead have a written policy that requires all employees to select the scan to temp document & attach to email process (completely automated, of course).
Once that is done, type out the letter informing the trolls that your use of the scanner is not infringing and have a company officer sign it. Send it to the troll's designated lawyer and let them decide if they will fail to follow their own declared procedures


Unfortunately they can still sue and most small business can't afford litigation. Plus, I'm sure they only file suits in East Texas.
 
2013-04-08 12:57:57 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: SnakeLee: From the comments:

The way to avoid the lawsuit...

Stop using the Scan to Email feature. Instead have a written policy that requires all employees to select the scan to temp document & attach to email process (completely automated, of course).
Once that is done, type out the letter informing the trolls that your use of the scanner is not infringing and have a company officer sign it. Send it to the troll's designated lawyer and let them decide if they will fail to follow their own declared procedures

Unfortunately they can still sue and most small business can't afford litigation. Plus, I'm sure they only file suits in East Texas.


Pretty sure that there are no laws banning the hunting and killing of trolls or spammers.
/would be awesome if a jury agreed to nullify based on species.
 
2013-04-08 01:09:49 PM

namatad: Pretty sure that there are no laws banning the hunting and killing of trolls or spammers.
/would be awesome if a jury agreed to nullify based on species.


What I posted above was my pre-coffee take on the situation anyways, now I would say writing back with anything is just giving them ammo against you.  I think the real problem is that there are too many lawyers to keep the population going and some of them are coming up with desperate measures.  It may be time to cull the heard
 
2013-04-08 01:09:58 PM
I'm not sure that they can sue the companies that are using the product that "infringes". Don't they have to sue the company that made the product that "infringes" the patent? They would have to sue HP, Canon, Ricoh, etc, right?


It isn't my fault that someone provided a product to me that "infringes" their patent. I bought it in good faith with the assumption that all patents/rights were taken care of by the manufacturer.

Of course I only play a lawyer on the interwebs.
 
2013-04-08 01:11:40 PM
As a copier fixing guy I beg you please do not scan your ass on the copier. The glass isn't that strong and I'm not fixing any more bloody broken optics ever again.
 
2013-04-08 01:16:36 PM
My expectation is many of your readers work in high tech. I can tell you almost all of them at some point in their career will have a really good idea. Probably more than one.

An American tech worker thinks having a "really good idea" means he got his while loop to work. But yes, he wants a patent for it. And a raise. And his patent wants a raise.
 
2013-04-08 01:17:42 PM

cannotsuggestaname: I'm not sure that they can sue the companies that are using the product that "infringes". Don't they have to sue the company that made the product that "infringes" the patent? They would have to sue HP, Canon, Ricoh, etc, right?


Nope.  As patent holder you can go after people using the infringing product, making the infringing product, or distribute the infringing product.

Normally patent holders go after the mfgrs, as they're the ones with deep pockets.  But in the last 7 years or so there's been several of these groups that have tried to go after business customers, figuring they have enough money for a decent (annual) payout, but not enough money to fight in court.

A couple different companies have gone after hotels for violating their "hotspot" patents.
 
2013-04-08 01:19:26 PM
Welcome to the new business model.  F*ck whoever our of whatever you can.  Oh and, you know that little bent piece of metal rod that supports the Enter, Shift and Backspace keys on your QWERTY?  That was my dad.  Totally owns it.  I accept PayPal.
 
2013-04-08 01:21:22 PM
At some point, wouldn't the patent for the component in question have to had been granted a license for use for the scannersa to have ever seen a shipping pallet?
 
2013-04-08 01:22:11 PM
And for a reply, might I recommend that you, Sir, focus on the legal Precedence of Arkell v. Pressdam.

We acknowledge the receipt of your complaint, and our reply is as follows: fark off.
 
2013-04-08 01:22:33 PM
So who's going to be the first to scan their ass and send it to these guys?
 
2013-04-08 01:23:54 PM
I'm going to file a patent covering the process of filing patent lawsuits.  Then sue anyone who does this crap.

Seriously, though, I still don't understand how they are suing the users of the tech rather than the creators.  It would be like Apple going after Samsung Galaxy owners...
 
2013-04-08 01:24:20 PM
I'm surprised that the idea of one-touch scanning to email was considered novel enough to deserve a patent.  Wasn't that something so utterly obvious back then?
 
2013-04-08 01:26:10 PM

bunner: F*ck whoever our of whatever you can


Hasn't that been the american corporate mindset since the pinkerton/rockefeller days?

//the cycle continues
 
2013-04-08 01:27:04 PM

timujin: It would be like Apple going after Samsung Galaxy owners...


Which, according to TFA, is perfectly legal and reasonable to US Patent Law.
 
2013-04-08 01:27:10 PM
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-08 01:27:57 PM
In 2008, a couple named Jay and Anita Hyman...

Oh that poor woman.

defendingreality.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-04-08 01:27:59 PM

State_College_Arsonist: I'm surprised that the idea of one-touch scanning to email was considered novel enough to deserve a patent.  Wasn't that something so utterly obvious back then?


Like a fax machine with a speed dial button? But this one is for something on the internets.
 
2013-04-08 01:28:49 PM
1998 called. They want their story back.
 
2013-04-08 01:29:31 PM

Somaticasual: bunner: F*ck whoever our of whatever you can

Hasn't that been the american corporate mindset since the pinkerton/rockefeller days?

//the cycle continues


Yeah, but for a while there, you had to actually have a useful product.
 
2013-04-08 01:30:14 PM

One Bad Apple: As a copier fixing guy I beg you please do not scan your ass on the copier. The glass isn't that strong and I'm not fixing any more bloody broken optics ever again.


Not sure if epithet or literal description.
 
2013-04-08 01:30:59 PM

factoryconnection: Because People in power are Stupid: There is no painful death that these clowns don't deserve.

Few things make my skin crawl the way these stories do.  The actions of some, like drug cartels and child molesters and whatnot are far worse, but they're also not provided ironclad protection and guaranteed paydays buy the law.

That patent trolls are so representative of the stereotype of Americans as litigious freaks is all the more embarrassing.


Drug cartels and child molesters are far more honest about what they do.
 
2013-04-08 01:32:31 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: SnakeLee: From the comments:

The way to avoid the lawsuit...

Stop using the Scan to Email feature. Instead have a written policy that requires all employees to select the scan to temp document & attach to email process (completely automated, of course).
Once that is done, type out the letter informing the trolls that your use of the scanner is not infringing and have a company officer sign it. Send it to the troll's designated lawyer and let them decide if they will fail to follow their own declared procedures

Unfortunately they can still sue and most small business can't afford litigation. Plus, I'm sure they only file suits in East Texas.


A small business is about as likely to be sued by a phisher for not clicking on his link.  Just ignore the demand letter.
 
2013-04-08 01:33:59 PM

timujin: I'm going to file a patent covering the process of filing patent lawsuits.  Then sue anyone who does this crap.

Seriously, though, I still don't understand how they are suing the users of the tech rather than the creators.  It would be like Apple going after Samsung Galaxy owners...


Users are poorer and dumber than creators.
 
2013-04-08 01:34:00 PM
I just got a patent on using an on-ramp to drive onto a highway. You can drive over grass, use a flatbed truck to get your car on the highway, or just leave your car on the highway at all times, but if you want to go up the ramp from East BumMuncher Road to I-65 you owe me $100 each time.

Same damn thing as this worthless "patent". How was this not screened as an obvious application of existing technologies?
 
2013-04-08 01:34:40 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: There is no painful death that these clowns don't deserve.


Counter-sue them into abject poverty and then throw them into debtor's prison.

Oh, and re-instate debtor's prisons just long enough to get these guys nice, long sentences, then repeal the laws.  But grandfather the bastards in when the debtor's prisons laws get repealed.

Might also want to send in the Spanish Inquisition when they least expect it.

/Comfy chairs for all patent trolls!
 
2013-04-08 01:36:06 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: There is no painful death that these clowns don't deserve.


I should also point out that this may be the first, and quite possibly the last, time Because People in power are Stupid and I ever agree on anything.  Fark historians, take note.

/Next dogs and cats will live together.
 
2013-04-08 01:39:28 PM

One Bad Apple: As a copier fixing guy I beg you please do not scan your ass on the copier. The glass isn't that strong and I'm not fixing any more bloody broken optics ever again.


Obligatory.
 
2013-04-08 01:43:26 PM

pag1107: timujin: It would be like Apple going after Samsung Galaxy owners...

Which, according to TFA, is perfectly legal and reasonable to US Patent Law.


Legal maybe, however IANAL and while it seems like it shouldn't be the way patents work, I don't actually have standing to make any argument for or against.  However, I don't see anything in the article that makes it sound reasonable.
 
2013-04-08 01:45:35 PM

BarkingUnicorn: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: SnakeLee: From the comments:

The way to avoid the lawsuit...

Stop using the Scan to Email feature. Instead have a written policy that requires all employees to select the scan to temp document & attach to email process (completely automated, of course).
Once that is done, type out the letter informing the trolls that your use of the scanner is not infringing and have a company officer sign it. Send it to the troll's designated lawyer and let them decide if they will fail to follow their own declared procedures

Unfortunately they can still sue and most small business can't afford litigation. Plus, I'm sure they only file suits in East Texas.

A small business is about as likely to be sued by a phisher for not clicking on his link.  Just ignore the demand letter.


Depends on the case and the troll, but either way: when you're ass is on the line paying for the license looks good. Which is exactly what the trolls count on.
 
2013-04-08 01:46:23 PM
I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV.  If I own a small business and I am sued successfully.  Can I go after the manufacturer of the scanner?
 
2013-04-08 01:46:54 PM
I'm safe, because if I scanned my ass, well, most email has file size limits.
 
2013-04-08 01:51:01 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: There is no painful death that these clowns don't deserve.


Can't stress that enough - the only real benefit these assholes will bring to patent law is its eventual reform, to push patent trolls out of business.
 
2013-04-08 01:51:07 PM

rumpelstiltskin: My expectation is many of your readers work in high tech. I can tell you almost all of them at some point in their career will have a really good idea. Probably more than one.

An American tech worker thinks having a "really good idea" means he got his while loop to work. But yes, he wants a patent for it. And a raise. And his patent wants a raise.


Not to mention that most "tech" employment agreements include clauses that grant any invention (on the clock or not) made by the employee during their time of employment belongs to the company.
 
2013-04-08 01:52:12 PM

ciberido: the first, and quite possibly the last, time


We agree on a lot, actually. Just not here.
 
2013-04-08 01:53:01 PM
 
2013-04-08 01:53:30 PM
Ignoring the demand letter is, without question, the stupidest thing a person could do. That advice could only come from a person that is not only not a lawyer, but has zero idea how IP law works. It's like taking advice from Donny "state law, swear to god" Baker to ignore that letter from the IRS.
 
2013-04-08 01:55:41 PM
Sounds like these lawyers are engaged in criminal racketeering, extortion and fraud. Maybe someone should call the FBI. Being questioned by the Feds and threat prison and disbarment might make them think twice and choose a more ethical line of work... like chasing ambulances.
 
2013-04-08 01:59:08 PM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: SnakeLee: From the comments:

The way to avoid the lawsuit...

Stop using the Scan to Email feature. Instead have a written policy that requires all employees to select the scan to temp document & attach to email process (completely automated, of course).
Once that is done, type out the letter informing the trolls that your use of the scanner is not infringing and have a company officer sign it. Send it to the troll's designated lawyer and let them decide if they will fail to follow their own declared procedures

Unfortunately they can still sue and most small business can't afford litigation. Plus, I'm sure they only file suits in East Texas.

 Technically, it would be child's play to break this patent at the system level.  As described.  However, you would be a moron to sign the document written by an opposing attorney.  In that document, it states that you agree to pay 1200$ per employee if "someone other than you" decides that you are infringing.  It does not in any way relieve them of their patent, or give you protection from it, so the letter you propose to sign might as well be a death warrant.
They can still sue, but not in east texas.  The lawyer actually lied in the taped phone call.  He said that in order sue, they had to sue businesses in their local areas.  This is true.  He also said that he was doing it that way because he didn't want to drag people to Delaware or fight in Delaware   That is a lie.  He CAN NOT drag anyone anywhere.  You can't be sued for business operations outside your business operation area.  Since these trolls are 100% going after small offices, the only ones fighting in Delaware are the ones already there.  (samsung/Apple/Et all get sued in texas because they are considered to operate everywhere, and east texas like trolls)Also, not only is this patent bullshiat (as so many), but they are actually crossing several lines here with their campaign.  Not to mention the fact that they have reinvented the patent process a little bit, in order to go after small offices, rather than equipment manufacturers.  (they lied about the scope and value of the patent, LIED)I figure as a society we have 2 choices.  We start shooting these guys.  Or we reform the patent law to exclude anyone that doesn't bring a product to market. One last thing.....""He returned that call within minutes.

"I'd appreciate you not running a photo of me, anywhere," said Rust. "You know how photographs work, with copyright and all. If there's a photograph up online of me, I own it."

""

This lawyer is off his farking rocker.  If he actually believes that, he's farking mad.
 
2013-04-08 02:07:53 PM
Article is WAY too long and rambling.

Don't pay, ignore the letters. Let them run up fees trying to collect. Worst case scenario let your business go bankrupt and open a new business under a new name. They'll go broke eventually. Maybe someone will hire some 'bent-nosed' guys to pay visit to their friends and family... to reason with them.

The USA got in a big stupid rush to allow patents on everything computer related. I remember the LZW compression algorithm patent as a classic example of flagrant misuse of patent law. Many other countries simply ignore them, as they should.
 
2013-04-08 02:08:11 PM

NightOwl2255: Ignoring the demand letter is, without question, the stupidest thing a person could do. That advice could only come from a person that is not only not a lawyer, but has zero idea how IP law works. It's like taking advice from Donny "state law, swear to god" Baker to ignore that letter from the IRS.


If ignoring it is not an option, why not just send a letter back stating that "we do not use the technology you describe in your claim."?  Even with patent law, isn't there some burden of proof that would lie with the alleged plaintiff?  How would they be able to prove that the technology they claim as patent was in use in my shop without some sort of breaking and entering to prove it, thus opening a big countersuit? I'm just saying, FTA:

"If you said you hooked it up to the Internet, and in one button, you can scan and e-mail directly out-yes, you have violated the patent that we own," says Rust.

Just respond:
"Well, Mr. Rust, I have never used that button on my scanner, so I'm afraid you're just shiat-outta-luck, eh?"
 
2013-04-08 02:10:34 PM
I'm pretty sure I know Mac Rust's Fark handle. I would post it, but surprisingly he isn't already in here telling us how this kind of thing is actually awesome.
 
2013-04-08 02:15:36 PM
The government will get involved because it affects their bottom line. If it only affected us peasants congress wouldn't even be whispering about patent trolls.

Have they not learned yet, you do not take from the takers.
 
2013-04-08 02:15:53 PM
Better call Saul...
 
2013-04-08 02:16:18 PM

NightOwl2255: Ignoring the demand letter is, without question, the stupidest thing a person could do. That advice could only come from a person that is not only not a lawyer, but has zero idea how IP law works. It's like taking advice from Donny "state law, swear to god" Baker to ignore that letter from the IRS.


Turns out it's the cheapest thing to do.

Her study of startups targeted by patent trolls found that when confronted with a patent demand, 22 percent ignored it entirely. Compare that with the 35 percent that decided to fight back and 18 percent that folded. Ignoring the demand was the cheapest option ($3,000 on average) versus fighting in court, which was the most expensive ($870,000 on average).
 
2013-04-08 02:16:40 PM

IrishBlunder: NightOwl2255: Ignoring the demand letter is, without question, the stupidest thing a person could do. That advice could only come from a person that is not only not a lawyer, but has zero idea how IP law works. It's like taking advice from Donny "state law, swear to god" Baker to ignore that letter from the IRS.

If ignoring it is not an option, why not just send a letter back stating that "we do not use the technology you describe in your claim."?  Even with patent law, isn't there some burden of proof that would lie with the alleged plaintiff?  How would they be able to prove that the technology they claim as patent was in use in my shop without some sort of breaking and entering to prove it, thus opening a big countersuit? I'm just saying, FTA:

"If you said you hooked it up to the Internet, and in one button, you can scan and e-mail directly out-yes, you have violated the patent that we own," says Rust.

Just respond:
"Well, Mr. Rust, I have never used that button on my scanner, so I'm afraid you're just shiat-outta-luck, eh?"


Or pry the button off and hand it to them.
 
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