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(Above the Law)   Any letter that begins with "Dear Piece of shiat" is one you want to keep reading   (abovethelaw.com) divider line 66
    More: Amusing, purpose in life  
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13245 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 May 2014 at 4:25 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-19 02:35:09 PM  
FTA:    (Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

Doesn't that make it not a patent troll at all?
 
2014-05-19 02:36:44 PM  

Actual Farking: FTA:    (Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

Doesn't that make it not a patent troll at all?


"Troll" now means "plaintiff".

... Except in declaratory judgement cases, where "troll" means "defendant".

Tell you what, we'll just define it as "troll" means "the other side".
 
2014-05-19 02:49:32 PM  

Theaetetus: Actual Farking: FTA:    (Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

Doesn't that make it not a patent troll at all?

"Troll" now means "plaintiff".

... Except in declaratory judgement cases, where "troll" means "defendant".

Tell you what, we'll just define it as "troll" means "the other side".


I just thought that the "troll" label was limited to situations where a non practicing entity owns the patent. I gather from the article, the plaintiff owns the patent and used it to develop and market a commercial service. I don't see anything wrong with them protecting their IP from a company that at least superficially seems to be developing a similar service. The defendant's response was just juvenile.
 
2014-05-19 03:03:37 PM  
If I stopped to read every letter I get that starts out with "dear piece of shiat" I wouldn't get any posting done on here.
 
2014-05-19 03:26:08 PM  
My favorites are still the prescription drugs where they change the propellant or the fillers and get a patent extension for their "innovation".

But method patents are pretty much shiat too.
 
2014-05-19 04:09:45 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: My favorites are still the prescription drugs where they change the propellant or the fillers and get a patent extension for their "innovation".

But method patents are pretty much shiat too.


WORSE, the purify the drug further getting rid of one of the isomers and get an extension or whole new patent. FARK THAT shiat
 
2014-05-19 04:19:10 PM  
Is this considered libel?
 
2014-05-19 04:20:18 PM  

JoieD'Zen: Is this considered libel?


Nah. No one would believe that he's actually a piece of shiat, so it's just an insulting opinion. At worst, he's a litigator.
 
2014-05-19 04:28:43 PM  

Theaetetus: JoieD'Zen: Is this considered libel?

Nah. No one would believe that he's actually a piece of shiat, so it's just an insulting opinion. At worst, he's a litigator.


Litigious piece of sh*t has a snappy sound to it.
 
2014-05-19 04:29:51 PM  
Ode to my stool

Dear piece of shiat,
 
2014-05-19 04:33:07 PM  
Reading the article, the patent might very well be valid and the author of said letter may very well owe megabucks.  And good luck settling after sending that letter.
 
2014-05-19 04:33:21 PM  
Our last patent troll we settled for $10,000.

For that kind of money, you can make people disappear.
 
2014-05-19 04:33:50 PM  
I will pray tonight that karma is real, and that you are its worthy recipient

Prayer and karma.  Is there any sort of nonsense to which he doesn't subscribe?
 
2014-05-19 04:34:06 PM  

kbronsito: If I stopped to read every letter I get that starts out with "dear piece of shiat" I wouldn't get any posting done on here.


Here's a fun fact:

The word "dear" comes from Old English and it meant "lover". The disconnect between using Dear as a polite way to begin discourse and its original meaning is relatively new.
 
2014-05-19 04:38:37 PM  
(Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

...

Why not assist him? It'd be a great lesson to teach to all of the patent trolls "pieces of sh*t" out there.

well, then why not wait until a real patent troll comes along and teach them the lesson?
 
2014-05-19 04:39:32 PM  

cman: kbronsito: If I stopped to read every letter I get that starts out with "dear piece of shiat" I wouldn't get any posting done on here.

Here's a fun fact:

The word "dear" comes from Old English and it meant "lover". The disconnect between using Dear as a polite way to begin discourse and its original meaning is relatively new.


It's always annoyed me that it seem to be pretty much the only way to open a letter in English. All the other languages I speak provide more alternatives to open a letter that go from very informal and showing affection to the very formal and respectful.
 
2014-05-19 04:40:01 PM  
site seems down.
 
KIA
2014-05-19 04:50:58 PM  

Theaetetus: Actual Farking: FTA:    (Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

Doesn't that make it not a patent troll at all?

"Troll" now means "plaintiff".

... Except in declaratory judgement cases, where "troll" means "defendant".

Tell you what, we'll just define it as "troll" means "the other side".


In this particular instance it appears that the Plaintiff asserts that any app which has map location icons for recipients on the phone violates their methodology.

That is either a wildly over broad patent and therefore unenforceable or it means that every major map based app owes these guys dough for locating people and places via icon.

Region: troll.
 
2014-05-19 04:53:37 PM  
Better response: Blue Jeans Cable to Monster cable  In short, Monster tried to sue over a RCA cable connector.  The CEO of Blue Jeans was a corporate lawyer for 20 years.  Utter legal smackdown ensued.

The opening paragraph is a classic: "...The less my customers think my products resemble Monster's in form or function, the better."
 
2014-05-19 04:54:56 PM  
FTFA: a plurality of cellular phone users to monitor each others' location and status, to initiate cellular phone calls by touching a symbol on the display screen with a stylus or finger."

Isn't this just the "Contacts" page?  Or Facebook?  Or like, a billion other apps out there?
 
2014-05-19 04:58:54 PM  

Actual Farking: FTA:    (Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

Doesn't that make it not a patent troll at all?


Eh, just makes them less of one. It's still a ridiculously broad patent that shouldn't have been granted, and they're trying to sue somebody they don't compete with just to extort them for money. I'd say they're close enough to meeting the qualification for the response to be justified.
 
2014-05-19 05:01:27 PM  

Actual Farking: FTA:    (Note that this isn't a classic patent troll situation, since AGIS has actually turned its technology into products, including a technology used by first responders and law enforcement known as LifeRing.)

Doesn't that make it not a patent troll at all?


Well, the lawsuit will hopefully decide that.  From my understanding, you don't have to not use your patent to be a patent troll; you just have to have an overly broad patent, then make everyone else after you pay you for the privilege of thinking of it first.

Of course, the definition of "overly broad" is a massive grey area, but the original idea for patents were supposed to be for specific applications of an idea (the screw interface for a lightbulb that holds it in and simultaneously connects it to the electric circuit) rather than the general ideas themselves (an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it)
 
2014-05-19 05:01:53 PM  

KIA: In this particular instance it appears that the Plaintiff asserts that any app which has map location icons for recipients on the phone violates their methodology.

That is either a wildly over broad patent and therefore unenforceable or it means that every major map based app owes these guys dough for locating people and places via icon.


Not even close. Let me guess... you read "a plurality of cellular phone users to monitor each others' location and status, to initiate cellular phone calls by touching a symbol on the display screen with a stylus or finger" in the article and thought that was the patent?
 
2014-05-19 05:02:03 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: My favorites are still the prescription drugs where they change the propellant or the fillers and get a patent extension for their "innovation".

But method patents are pretty much shiat too.


SO MUCH THIS!

My asthma meds literally tripled in price once they switched to hydrofluoroalkane. But no, it wasn't a blatant cash grab; the pharmaceutical company switched over just to save the ozone layer. You know, cuz they care.
 
2014-05-19 05:02:43 PM  

Geotpf: Reading the article, the patent might very well be valid and the author of said letter may very well owe megabucks.  And good luck settling after sending that letter.


The patent, by TFA author's own admission, probably is valid.

But, if you read the entire article, so was the letter and tone: the defendant has been settling with actual patent trolls for some time over the same issue. This time, he happened to respond (in an inappropriate and unprofessional manner) to a valid licensing request before discussing it with his attorneys, thinking it was just another troll. Sadly for him, it isn't.

Trial (if it goes that far) should be interesting. Patent trolls are a known and major problem, so I guess it depends on the judge to see how his letter affects the case.
 
2014-05-19 05:04:18 PM  
Software patents shouldn't even exist.  Copyright will protect your code.  If someone else writes code that serves a similar function you shouldn't get to sue them out of business.  If you can't compete in the marketplace, then you shouldn't be able to use the courts to shut your competition down.
 
2014-05-19 05:04:44 PM  

Jaymark108: Of course, the definition of "overly broad" is a massive grey area, but the original idea for patents were supposed to be for specific applications of an idea (the screw interface for a lightbulb that holds it in and simultaneously connects it to the electric circuit) rather than the general ideas themselves (an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it)


Isn't "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" a specific application of the general idea "an object that provides light"? After all, torches provide light, but aren't made of clear materials and don't glow when a current is applied. What makes something a "general idea", particularly if you can go even  more "general"?
 
2014-05-19 05:07:36 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: Better response: Blue Jeans Cable to Monster cable  In short, Monster tried to sue over a RCA cable connector.  The CEO of Blue Jeans was a corporate lawyer for 20 years.  Utter legal smackdown ensued.

The opening paragraph is a classic: "...The less my customers think my products resemble Monster's in form or function, the better."


That guy wins. My day is far better for having read that.
 
2014-05-19 05:08:13 PM  
Maybe the reality is that silicon valley stupid app "innovation" is about as innovative as it appears to anyone with a clue. Sorry map dude brogrammer, no billion dollars for you.
 
2014-05-19 05:13:27 PM  

JuggleGeek: Software patents shouldn't even exist.  Copyright will protect your code.


indiegames.com
[snort]
 
2014-05-19 05:26:13 PM  

Theaetetus: JuggleGeek: Software patents shouldn't even exist.  Copyright will protect your code.

[indiegames.com image 470x365]
[snort]


What?
 
2014-05-19 05:27:20 PM  

Theaetetus: Jaymark108: Of course, the definition of "overly broad" is a massive grey area, but the original idea for patents were supposed to be for specific applications of an idea (the screw interface for a lightbulb that holds it in and simultaneously connects it to the electric circuit) rather than the general ideas themselves (an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it)

Isn't "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" a specific application of the general idea "an object that provides light"? After all, torches provide light, but aren't made of clear materials and don't glow when a current is applied. What makes something a "general idea", particularly if you can go even  more "general"?


I'm in dangerous territory here because I'm not a lawyer, but my layman's understanding is that a patent must be novel (as in, a wholly new idea, new twist on an existing idea or a different way to implement the existing idea), and it must be non-obvious (your contemporary rival wouldn't be likely to have come up with it on its own; more gray area!).  So, before the first working lightbulb was created, "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" was probably a novel, non-obvious extension of "an object that provides light".  But now, statement A applies to all kinds of things (LEDs, flourescent lights, incandescent lights, halogen, tungsten, arrays of LEDs in a bubble, etc. etc.).

The nice thing about patents (and the whole purpose of patents!) is that they last for a few years and then expire.  That helps push along the idea that novel, specific ideas eventually become obvious and general, and that new patents in established fields need to be constantly more narrow and specific.
 
2014-05-19 05:32:34 PM  
Considering the idea has prior art in frikken comic books and cartoons, how is this patentable? shiat, JSTARS did this in Desert Storm over 20 years ago.
 
2014-05-19 05:44:37 PM  

Snort: Theaetetus: JuggleGeek: Software patents shouldn't even exist.  Copyright will protect your code.

[indiegames.com image 470x365]
[snort]

What?


Tell Nimblebit all about how copyright was enough protection and Zynga didn't swoop in with Dream Heights.

Incidentally, Zynga has a ton of patents and patent applications. It should make anyone pause when the biggest example of copying other people's games is taking steps to ensure that no one else can do the same to them.
 
2014-05-19 05:46:18 PM  

Snort: What?


... Oh. Sorry. :)
 
2014-05-19 05:51:50 PM  

Jaymark108: Theaetetus: Jaymark108: Of course, the definition of "overly broad" is a massive grey area, but the original idea for patents were supposed to be for specific applications of an idea (the screw interface for a lightbulb that holds it in and simultaneously connects it to the electric circuit) rather than the general ideas themselves (an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it)

Isn't "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" a specific application of the general idea "an object that provides light"? After all, torches provide light, but aren't made of clear materials and don't glow when a current is applied. What makes something a "general idea", particularly if you can go even  more "general"?

I'm in dangerous territory here because I'm not a lawyer, but my layman's understanding is that a patent must be novel (as in, a wholly new idea, new twist on an existing idea or a different way to implement the existing idea), and it must be non-obvious (your contemporary rival wouldn't be likely to have come up with it on its own; more gray area!).  So, before the first working lightbulb was created, "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" was probably a novel, non-obvious extension of "an object that provides light".  But now, statement A applies to all kinds of things (LEDs, flourescent lights, incandescent lights, halogen, tungsten, arrays of LEDs in a bubble, etc. etc.).


Your lay understanding is absolutely correct. But, it's different from what you had said before, about patents being for specific applications rather than general ideas themselves... For the very first lightbulb, the specific application  was the general idea (or rather, the general idea is even more general - 'something that provides light').

Basically, yes, the patent has to be novel and non-obvious (plus a few other requirements that aren't relevant here), but "application vs. idea" is not really a requirement - or rather, when it comes up, what's really meant is obviousness, but there's no good prior art on the record, so the claim gets handwavingly dismissed as being too "general".
 
2014-05-19 06:00:32 PM  
Darling fascist bully-boy... Give me some more money... You bastard... May the seed of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your woman... Neil.
  img.fark.net
 
2014-05-19 06:01:17 PM  

JoieD'Zen: Is this considered libel?


Truth is an absolute defense.
 
2014-05-19 06:13:13 PM  

Theaetetus: Jaymark108: Theaetetus: Jaymark108: Of course, the definition of "overly broad" is a massive grey area, but the original idea for patents were supposed to be for specific applications of an idea (the screw interface for a lightbulb that holds it in and simultaneously connects it to the electric circuit) rather than the general ideas themselves (an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it)

Isn't "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" a specific application of the general idea "an object that provides light"? After all, torches provide light, but aren't made of clear materials and don't glow when a current is applied. What makes something a "general idea", particularly if you can go even  more "general"?

I'm in dangerous territory here because I'm not a lawyer, but my layman's understanding is that a patent must be novel (as in, a wholly new idea, new twist on an existing idea or a different way to implement the existing idea), and it must be non-obvious (your contemporary rival wouldn't be likely to have come up with it on its own; more gray area!).  So, before the first working lightbulb was created, "an object made of clear materials that glows when electric is applied to it" was probably a novel, non-obvious extension of "an object that provides light".  But now, statement A applies to all kinds of things (LEDs, flourescent lights, incandescent lights, halogen, tungsten, arrays of LEDs in a bubble, etc. etc.).

Your lay understanding is absolutely correct. But, it's different from what you had said before, about patents being for specific applications rather than general ideas themselves... For the very first lightbulb, the specific application  was the general idea (or rather, the general idea is even more general - 'something that provides light').

Basically, yes, the patent has to be novel and non-obvious (plus a few other requirements that aren't relevant here), but "application vs. idea ...


So, out of curiosity, what's your take on the case? Because it seems to me that location-type things you can touch and use for communications isn't app-specific, but more a general idea.

But IANAL, and I don't know the specific software in question, only the description of the end user experience, so I'm only basing my thoughts on the article (which does seem to indicate that this particular instance may be one of the only known non-troll situations in existence).
 
2014-05-19 06:25:16 PM  

neversubmit: Ode to my stool

Dear piece of shiat,


Stool:  "are you shiatting me?"
 
2014-05-19 06:27:17 PM  

Geotpf: Reading the article, the patent might very well be valid and the author of said letter may very well owe megabucks.  And good luck settling after sending that letter.


Yep. And many judges are likely to not see the humor in this situation.
 
2014-05-19 06:38:21 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: Better response: Blue Jeans Cable to Monster cable  In short, Monster tried to sue over a RCA cable connector.  The CEO of Blue Jeans was a corporate lawyer for 20 years.  Utter legal smackdown ensued.

The opening paragraph is a classic: "...The less my customers think my products resemble Monster's in form or function, the better."


Bravo. I like the cut of his jib.
 
2014-05-19 07:04:07 PM  
Don't have a link handy, but I'm pretty sure Drew did this before him, and did it even better. Anyone know where it is?
 
2014-05-19 07:12:52 PM  

cptjeff: Glockenspiel Hero: Better response: Blue Jeans Cable to Monster cable  In short, Monster tried to sue over a RCA cable connector.  The CEO of Blue Jeans was a corporate lawyer for 20 years.  Utter legal smackdown ensued.

The opening paragraph is a classic: "...The less my customers think my products resemble Monster's in form or function, the better."

That guy wins. My day is far better for having read that.


That was excellent. I may need a cable or two....
 
2014-05-19 07:15:36 PM  

Aigoo: So, out of curiosity, what's your take on the case? Because it seems to me that location-type things you can touch and use for communications isn't app-specific, but more a general idea.

But IANAL, and I don't know the specific software in question, only the description of the end user experience, so I'm only basing my thoughts on the article (which does seem to indicate that this particular instance may be one of the only known non-troll situations in existence).


Well, I haven't looked in depth at any of the four patents in the suit, but they're a lot more detailed than just "put pictures on a map". For example, here's one of the claims mentioned in the complaint:
3. A communication system to provide a cellular phone network for a group of participants, each of the participants having an individual portable cellular phone that includes voice communication, free and operator selected text messages, photographs and video, a CPU and a GPS navigational system that can accurately determine the location of each cellular phone, each of the cellular phones in the communications net of participants containing:
said CPU and memory;
a touch screen display;
symbol generator in said CPU that can generate symbols that represent each of the participants' cell phones in the communication network on the display screen;
a database that stores the individual telephone numbers related to each of the symbols each of which represents a participant in the communication network;
cellular phone call initiating software in said CPU connected to the telephone number database and the touch screen and the symbols on the touch screen whereby touching an individual symbol will automatically initiate a cellular phone telephone call to the user represented by the symbol that includes said voice communication, free and operator selected text messages, photographs and video; and
said display including databases that display geographical information that includes showing the geographical location of each of the symbols representing participants in the communication network, fixed locations, and entered items of interest.


Now, I have some ideas how I'd attack it if I were on defense, and some potential areas to search for prior art, but I can also see some elements that may be tougher to find. In particular, the symbol generator may be relatively unnecessary, and so might not appear in the prior art - for example, Google Latitude used people's profile pictures rather than "generat[ing] symbols that represent each of the participants' cell phones". And most smartphones would probably not store a database locally with the phone numbers, since they're going to be pinging a server for the location information anyway. Which, of course, gives clues as to how to design around it, too.

The thing to remember is that you have to knock out the claims in the patent, finding each and every element somewhere in the prior art. You can't go by the abstract, some quote in the specification, or worse, an article describing the patent. In the case of the latter, it's going to paraphrase the patent, and by definition, when you paraphrase an idea, you're removing any of the odd or nonobvious bits and describing it terms of known elements... For example, the Tesla Model S could be described as a "battery operated car", or even a "horseless carriage driven by a chemical horse". That doesn't mean that's  all it is, and a patent to the charging control software wouldn't be anticipated by the fact that there are cars and batteries in the prior art.

So, is the patent laughable on its face? No (though a good prior art search might turn up sufficient references). It's actually the other way - it's pretty narrow, with a bunch of required elements that may not actually be infringed by someone doing the same thing.
 
2014-05-19 07:29:00 PM  

Theaetetus: Snort: Theaetetus: JuggleGeek: Software patents shouldn't even exist.  Copyright will protect your code.

[indiegames.com image 470x365]
[snort]

What?

Tell Nimblebit all about how copyright was enough protection and Zynga didn't swoop in with Dream Heights.

Incidentally, Zynga has a ton of patents and patent applications. It should make anyone pause when the biggest example of copying other people's games is taking steps to ensure that no one else can do the same to them.


Zynga is horrible for ripping off games - even the CEO admits it openly in front of employees.

Farm Town (Slashkey) and Farmville (Zynga)
Mob Wars (David Maestri) and Mafia Wars (Zynga)
Restaurant City (Playfish) and Cafe World (Zynga)
Tiny Tower (Nimblebit) and Dream Heights (Zynga)
Gardens of Time (Playdom) and Hidden Chronicles (Zynga)
Bingo Blitz (Buffalo Studios) and Zynga Bingo (Zynga)
The Sims Social (EA) and The Ville (Zynga)

Their whole business is stacked on ripping off other games, not sure how you can copyright an already copyrighted game. Is that even possible?
 
2014-05-19 07:35:32 PM  

vudukungfu: Our last patent troll we settled for $10,000.

For that kind of money, you can make people disappear.


what method are you using to disappear people? because I have a patent on that
 
2014-05-19 07:40:23 PM  

sharphead: Theaetetus: Snort: Theaetetus: JuggleGeek: Software patents shouldn't even exist.  Copyright will protect your code.

[indiegames.com image 470x365]
[snort]

What?

Tell Nimblebit all about how copyright was enough protection and Zynga didn't swoop in with Dream Heights.

Incidentally, Zynga has a ton of patents and patent applications. It should make anyone pause when the biggest example of copying other people's games is taking steps to ensure that no one else can do the same to them.

Zynga is horrible for ripping off games - even the CEO admits it openly in front of employees.

Farm Town (Slashkey) and Farmville (Zynga)
Mob Wars (David Maestri) and Mafia Wars (Zynga)
Restaurant City (Playfish) and Cafe World (Zynga)
Tiny Tower (Nimblebit) and Dream Heights (Zynga)
Gardens of Time (Playdom) and Hidden Chronicles (Zynga)
Bingo Blitz (Buffalo Studios) and Zynga Bingo (Zynga)
The Sims Social (EA) and The Ville (Zynga)

Their whole business is stacked on ripping off other games, not sure how you can copyright an already copyrighted game. Is that even possible?


Sure, you can. Copyright only protects that particular tangible embodiment of the work. Copyright is great for protecting against pirates, but it's terrible for protecting against follow-ons and knock-offs... Haven't you ever heard of Bollywood?
www.standard.co.uk
mentalfloss.com
static.guim.co.uk
Copyright is really useful when  that specific version is the one people want - people want (for some reason) Microsoft Windows, they don't want Lindows; they want Adobe Photoshop, not Abode Photoshoop; etc.  - because copyright can protect against illegal distribution of copies of the original.
But in free-to-play games? First, people don't really care whether it's Tiny Tower or Dream Heights, or Farm Town vs. Farmville, they just want to click on some sprites. Second, copyright is going to protect against someone putting your free to play game up on a torrent site... but why would you care? You're distributing it free to everyone, too!

Nope, trade dress, design patents, utility patents on new gameplay features... that's where protection for devs lies... Not copyright.
 
2014-05-19 07:49:19 PM  

Theaetetus: Your lay understanding is absolutely correct. But, it's different from what you had said before, about patents being for specific applications rather than general ideas themselves... For the very first lightbulb, the specific application  was the general idea (or rather, the general idea is even more general - 'something that provides light').


This is why we laypeople need lawyers!
 
2014-05-19 07:49:50 PM  

neversubmit: Ode to my stool

Dear piece of shiat,


I flushed you I flushed
Round and round you went until gone
I will have you again

That work for you?
 
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