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A very brief note on the patent lawsuit, and then Fark's favorite Headlines of the Week for 1/9 - 1/15 
Posted by Drew at 2011-01-18 3:25:33 PM (182 comments) | Permalink

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13916 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jan 2011 at 3:43 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Sup everybody, I don't have much to add to the Headline of the Week writeup this week. I've got my head down in this patent lawsuit thing that you probably already heard about. I'll have more for you on that soon, but in the meantime we're gearing up for a horrifically expensive legal fight.

We're hoping it won't go that way, but others who have been in similar situations have spent a lot of time (i.e. years) and a metric assload of money proving their innocence. I'll tell you more about it later.

Headlines Of The Week for Sun 2011-01-09 to Sat 2011-01-15:

www.fark.com  Smoking could disappear by 2050. Unlikely tag laughs and coughs up some brown phlegm    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Bank building badly damaged on 9/11 is finally scheduled to come down. Truthers to be watching carefully for signs of controlled demolition    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Lizzie Borden museum gets the ax    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  To battle contraband cellphones, state prisons may start jamming them, which, ironically, is how they usually come into a prisoner's possesion to begin with    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Scientists using ginger to attract endangered stags. Proving once and for all that she is hotter than Mary Ann    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Do not cure sides of beef by stringing them from your roof; the steaks are just too high    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Accountant's blood alcohol was more than five times the legal limit when he parked in the middle of the highway to sleep. Guess he couldn't handle his ten fortys    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Moose attacks skier and dog. Squirrel accomplice in custody, considered flight risk    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Proof the town just ain't what it used to be: Vegas showgirl found dismembered and encased in concrete turns out to have nothing to do with the mob, instead was whacked by one of the fruity French clown guys from Cirque du Soliel    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Massive quake hits South Pacific. Oklahoma OK    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Wikipedia is ten years old [celebration needed]    img.fark.net


Sports:

www.fark.com  Dead bird epidemic continues: 53 eagles found dead on a field in Philadelphia    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Favre to bail his sister out of jail. *UPDATE* Favre to let her sit in jail. *UPDATE 2* Favre to bail her out. *UPDATE* Maybe    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Cam Newton to take pay cut by declaring for the NFL draft    img.fark.net


Geek:

www.fark.com  How to make snow ice cream. Hmmmmm, this makes no mention of how to get it in a stunning yellow hue like my older brother used to make    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Nobel prize winning scientist claims to have proof that DNA can transport itself across short distances, although it reaches further if you have a quick rest between experiments    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  How PhDs talk: Reverse Dispersal Translocation obviates need for lethal option. Human translation: If we plant bushes the prairie dogs will stay away and we won't have to poison them    img.fark.net


Showbiz:

www.fark.com  Matt Damon vows to do his own Bourne movie. Look for Still Bourne some time in 2013    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  "Taylor Swift is the new Jennifer Aniston." Wow... that was unnecessarily harsh    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  The Trump gods are displeased by your lack of viewership of civilian Apprentice, and have cast their plagues upon you. YOU SHALL NOW SUFFER GARY BUSEY, MEAT LOAF AND A REAL HOUSEWIFE    img.fark.net


Politics:

www.fark.com  Manufacturers ask GOP Chair of the House Oversight Committee to eliminate regulation of toxic dumping, worker health, and air pollution. Chair asks if he can get them a cappucino while he's up    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Obama pleads for civility, deletion of Politics tab, in message of healing    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Openly gay man marries straight woman for art project. In subby's day, you just rubbed your genitals in paint, ejaculated on a canvas, and called it a day    img.fark.net


Music:

www.fark.com  Lady Gaga teams up with Polaroid. More on this story as it develops    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  What's-her-name doesn't want you to forget her    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Tom Waits says all proceeds from his poetry book will go towards eliminating the homeless problem. Probably because he's tired of people mistaking him for one of them    img.fark.net


Business:

www.fark.com  Best Buy is expanding their buy back program to buy back your old stuff but you have to buy into the buy back program when you first buy the stuff at Best Buy. Well.. bye    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  British banker's monocle falls out as he insists his $14 million bonus this year is an act of self-restraint    img.fark.net

www.fark.com  Fiat's Turin plant workers approve new union contract, the details of which are shrouded in secrecy    img.fark.net
· · ·
(view entire blog)


182 Comments   (+0 »)
   

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all
 
2011-01-18 04:47:59 PM  
Dear citizens of earth.

As I hold patent #6,019,654 regarding the use of an object of large mass to create something I call gravity for the use of retaining objects on the surface, I am writing to inform you that your continuing usage of my patent without appropriate compensation to me, the patent holder is to continue no longer.

I therefore demand the sum of 49.95 USD payment monthly, lest I turn off the gravity and you all float into space.

Sincerely,
Teknowaffle.
 
2011-01-18 04:48:39 PM  

I_C_Weener: I invented the F key on the standard keyboard. All of you owe me royalties for logging into Fark


uck you.
 
2011-01-18 04:53:05 PM  

IXI Jim IXI: nekom: Reddit, Digg, Fark, Slashdot & TechCrunch. That's basically all of the internet. At least all of the internet that matters.

At least they're leaving the LOLcats out of it.



That's because $30 million buys some good patent attorneys. (new window)
 
2011-01-18 04:54:01 PM  

UncleStumpy: what lawsuit?


Presumably it had to do with forgetting to thank Reddit.
 
2011-01-18 04:54:06 PM  

AmazinTim: Hopefully the mopes on TF have contributed enough to the war chest for Drew to fight this one off.


Unlikely. I can tell you that patent litigation against trolls is serious business. Their MO is to 1) find a broad patent; 2) buy it; 3) sue everyone under the sun that they think money to pay; 4) make the litigation as expensive as possible so that a nuisance value settlement ($x,xxx,xxx) looks more attractive than the cost of fully litigating it through trial and appeal ($xx,xxx,xxx). I don't have special information about Drew's finances, but it takes a lot of registered TFers and ad dollars to get to $x,xxx,xxx.

air_wx:
I read an interview with Drew a while back and he mentioned that Fark has built up a fund over time to deal with the inevitable lawsuits, though this lawsuit sounds bigger than a typical one.


Correct. Patent litigation is serious business. These trolls care nothing for invention; their goal is pure profit. The only way you beat them is to knock out their patent, prove you don't infringe it, or give them money to go away. None of those things are cheap.

maq0r: Is there anyway to consolidate the lawsuits into one so fark shares the legal expenses and stuff with reddit, digg, et al?


Defendants can pool resources, but lets say Reddit's squeal point is lower than Drew's, or they get offered a sweetheart deal to exit the case to demonstrate "the strength of the patent." Drew needs to make sure he's lawyered up properly in case he ends up fighting alone.

wmoonfox: As many people as they're suing at once, I can't really believe they have any chance at winning. Is this one of those "shake some lawyers at the money-makers in hopes of a settlement" things?


It is EXACTLY one of those things.

khyberkitsune:
And I've already sent amicus briefs to the courts explaining some of my own prior art dating before slashdot (simple CGI scripting.)


Helping to unearth prior art is good. If you really were doing this sufficiently in advance of the patent that it qualifies as prior art, that can be a defense. But you'll need to prove it to the court first.

Geotpf:
Sounds like they filed, and received, a patent on something obvious like "running a website that links to news stories from other websites and lets people comment on the links". So, anybody who has a website that does that owes them a metric assload of money. In theory. In practice, these types of patents either are invalid because somebody already made a website of that nature before they filed the patent. But you usually have to pay an army of lawyers to deterime this in court, so the patent troll graciously offers to settle for the price of half of an army of lawyers.


Exactly this.


thoughtsausage: I was about to comment that my fark ID outdated this ridiculous patent, but looks like they've got me beat by a few months.


It isn't enough that Fark was up and running before the patent; Fark will need to have been doing the thing they claim as their invention before they came up with their "invention."

So, folks, I do think Drew's going to need our help (including financial) before this is all over. Little companies usually fair badly in the path of trolls, and for a troll's purposes Fark is a little company. Consider re-upping your TF if you can spare $5.

/CSB, I know
//IP lawyer
///knows of trolls
////Good luck, Drew!
 
2011-01-18 04:55:42 PM  
Show em you war face Drew

i942.photobucket.com
 
2011-01-18 04:56:10 PM  
I just hope the court costs won't drive Drew to start accepting money for obnoxious and/or unfunny sponsored links that would clog up the main page with crap nobody cares about.
 
2011-01-18 04:58:52 PM  

Warthog: Unlikely. I can tell you that patent litigation against trolls is serious business. Their MO is to 1) find a broad patent; 2) buy it; 3) sue everyone under the sun that they think money to pay; 4) make the litigation as expensive as possible so that a nuisance value settlement ($x,xxx,xxx) looks more attractive than the cost of fully litigating it through trial and appeal ($xx,xxx,xxx). I don't have special information about Drew's finances, but it takes a lot of registered TFers and ad dollars to get to $x,xxx,xxx.


There was an NPR article on the finances of Fark 4 years ago. If this is what you're curious about, give it a read. Keep in mind the revenue and partnering and other things that have changed since this was written when reading this article, these numbers are no doubt lower:

Link (new window)
 
2011-01-18 04:59:47 PM  

Well I use Mac/Linux...: I just hope the court costs won't drive Drew to start accepting money for obnoxious and/or unfunny sponsored links that would clog up the main page with crap nobody cares about.


First image I found when doing a GIS on the term "wampler". (NSFW)
 
2011-01-18 05:00:34 PM  

Talon: It's ridiculous, though, that people are able to patent obvious and common things. I'm going to go patent "a process by which ink is applied to paper" and sue every printing press and printer-producer company evar! Who cares that printing has been around since the 1600s, no one has patented it yet!! Derp de derp durr hurr.


I love how people get outraged at the obviousness of a patent, and then only reference one of the broader claim's preamble in reference to what the patent covers. The preambles aren't even given patentable weight (usually) during examination.

22. A system for the structured generation of a news release over a network, the system comprising:
a. a host computer, in communication with a remote computer over a network, the host computer running a first process causing the host computer to receive, from the remote computer, separately specified content of each of a plurality of pre-determined sections of the news release, the predetermined sections and their ordering determining in part a desired format for the news release;
b. a digital storage medium, in communication with the host computer, that stores the content specified for each of the sections; and
c. a second process, running on a computer in communication with the digital storage medium, that assembles the news release by retrieving from the storage medium each of the stored sections in a manner consistent with the desired format.


Find a single reference that has everything after "comprising", published before the priority date (Aug 20 1999). Why yes, it is harder than you think.
 
2011-01-18 05:05:41 PM  
Hope you eff the patent-troll up, Drew. Is there a Fark legal defense fund?

/dnrtft
 
2011-01-18 05:06:10 PM  

air_wx: Ninja Wicked: Whoever did this has declared war on half the bloody internet.

They've taken trolling to an entirely different level.


Consequences will never be the same.
 
2011-01-18 05:06:11 PM  
Can I file a patent for filing patents for pre-existing ideas and Troll the trolls?
 
2011-01-18 05:06:25 PM  
i only did a year with a patent lawyer, but one thing i learned was this: there are some people (companies) who simply buy patents to sit on them and sue people. that's like, their thing, man.

sounds like what's gone on here.

gl, drew, et al.
 
2011-01-18 05:07:02 PM  

AnExaminer: 22. A system for the structured generation of a news release over a network, the system comprising:
a. a host computer, in communication with a remote computer over a network, the host computer running a first process causing the host computer to receive, from the remote computer, separately specified content of each of a plurality of pre-determined sections of the news release, the predetermined sections and their ordering determining in part a desired format for the news release;
b. a digital storage medium, in communication with the host computer, that stores the content specified for each of the sections; and
c. a second process, running on a computer in communication with the digital storage medium, that assembles the news release by retrieving from the storage medium each of the stored sections in a manner consistent with the desired format.


Fark it. They own rights to every single website's content management system. Might as well give up. Turn off the Internet. They won.
 
2011-01-18 05:09:34 PM  

lennavan: Warthog: Unlikely. I can tell you that patent litigation against trolls is serious business. Their MO is to 1) find a broad patent; 2) buy it; 3) sue everyone under the sun that they think money to pay; 4) make the litigation as expensive as possible so that a nuisance value settlement ($x,xxx,xxx) looks more attractive than the cost of fully litigating it through trial and appeal ($xx,xxx,xxx). I don't have special information about Drew's finances, but it takes a lot of registered TFers and ad dollars to get to $x,xxx,xxx.

There was an NPR article on the finances of Fark 4 years ago. If this is what you're curious about, give it a read. Keep in mind the revenue and partnering and other things that have changed since this was written when reading this article, these numbers are no doubt lower:

Link (new window)


Interesting read, thanks. So at that point, Fark had a $140,000 war chest. Even if Drew can find the cheapest patent lawyers known to man, say at $250 an hour (and I don't know that such a person even exists), he'll burn through that in 2 to 3 months. The average patent litigation lasts about two years and costs about $3 million per this 2009 report. Also, that burn rate is before he spends the first dollar on document collection, document production, prior art searches, or expert witness fees to support any dispositive motions.

In short, this case is not good for Fark, even if the patent is ultimately proven to be invalid.
 
2011-01-18 05:10:25 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Well I use Mac/Linux...: I just hope the court costs won't drive Drew to start accepting money for obnoxious and/or unfunny sponsored links that would clog up the main page with crap nobody cares about.

First image I found when doing a GIS on the term "wampler". (NSFW)


I don't know why, but I LOL'd...
 
2011-01-18 05:13:56 PM  

infinitedigits: thoughtsausage: This patent was submitted in 1999 and approved in 2002.
Slashdot launched in 1997

Prior art much?

THIS. Continuity data shows the earliest priority date is 12-21-1999.


It seems there are more legal types in this thread. I read through the patent and this was my conclusion:

The invention is for a process that helps a user create a press/news release via templated questions and disperse it electronically to other persons via email or the internet.

How is this germane to news aggregation websites?

/Granted I skimmed a lot of the patent, so maybe I missed something?
 
2011-01-18 05:17:42 PM  

AnExaminer: Talon: It's ridiculous, though, that people are able to patent obvious and common things. I'm going to go patent "a process by which ink is applied to paper" and sue every printing press and printer-producer company evar! Who cares that printing has been around since the 1600s, no one has patented it yet!! Derp de derp durr hurr.

I love how people get outraged at the obviousness of a patent, and then only reference one of the broader claim's preamble in reference to what the patent covers. The preambles aren't even given patentable weight (usually) during examination.

22. A system for the structured generation of a news release over a network, the system comprising:
a. a host computer, in communication with a remote computer over a network, the host computer running a first process causing the host computer to receive, from the remote computer, separately specified content of each of a plurality of pre-determined sections of the news release, the predetermined sections and their ordering determining in part a desired format for the news release;
b. a digital storage medium, in communication with the host computer, that stores the content specified for each of the sections; and
c. a second process, running on a computer in communication with the digital storage medium, that assembles the news release by retrieving from the storage medium each of the stored sections in a manner consistent with the desired format.

Find a single reference that has everything after "comprising", published before the priority date (Aug 20 1999). Why yes, it is harder than you think.


Yahoo.

From Wiki:

In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo were Electrical Engineering graduate students at Stanford University when they created a website named "David and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web".[4] David and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web was a directory of other web sites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages. In April 1994, "David and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" was renamed "Yahoo!".[5][6] The yahoo.com domain was created on January 18, 1995.
 
2011-01-18 05:18:01 PM  

lennavan: here was an NPR article on the finances of Fark 4 years ago.


FTA: Curtis says he's built up what he calls a "war chest" of $140,000 to prepare for disaster.

I hope he has more now as that's not going to be enough if the fight is a long one. This is why innocent people settle.
 
2011-01-18 05:21:04 PM  

AnExaminer: Talon: It's ridiculous, though, that people are able to patent obvious and common things. I'm going to go patent "a process by which ink is applied to paper" and sue every printing press and printer-producer company evar! Who cares that printing has been around since the 1600s, no one has patented it yet!! Derp de derp durr hurr.

I love how people get outraged at the obviousness of a patent, and then only reference one of the broader claim's preamble in reference to what the patent covers. The preambles aren't even given patentable weight (usually) during examination.

22. A system for the structured generation of a news release over a network, the system comprising:
a. a host computer, in communication with a remote computer over a network, the host computer running a first process causing the host computer to receive, from the remote computer, separately specified content of each of a plurality of pre-determined sections of the news release, the predetermined sections and their ordering determining in part a desired format for the news release;
b. a digital storage medium, in communication with the host computer, that stores the content specified for each of the sections; and
c. a second process, running on a computer in communication with the digital storage medium, that assembles the news release by retrieving from the storage medium each of the stored sections in a manner consistent with the desired format.

Find a single reference that has everything after "comprising", published before the priority date (Aug 20 1999). Why yes, it is harder than you think.


"PointCast was a company founded in 1992 by Christopher R. Hassett in Sunnyvale, California.

The company's initial product amounted to a screensaver that displayed news and other information, delivered live over the Internet. The PointCast Network used push technology, which was a hot concept at the time, and received enormous press coverage when it launched in beta form on February 13, 1996."

-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PointCast_(dotcom)

What do I win?
 
2011-01-18 05:21:09 PM  
From the Web: "Veromi has Vertigo Holdings LLC at two places Albuquerque, NM and Seattle, WA with three people Lewis W Barrett, Chris Mershon and Alex Rubinchik along with five records A-1 Construction Co., Inc, Central LQ, Inc., Downs At Albuquerque, Inc., Hobbs Gas Company, and Kls & J, LLC.

Vertigo Holdings, Llc is a limited liability company registered in the state of Washington (UBI #602631918). It was incorporated in Washington on July 11, 2006."


Still looking for connections.
 
2011-01-18 05:23:31 PM  

damageddude: I hope he has more now as that's not going to be enough if the fight is a long one. This is why innocent people settle.



For sure, it's sounds like a dick move by the patent trolls. Gotta love the shell company angle... yeah, that's not fishy.

Warthog: Interesting read, thanks. So at that point, Fark had a $140,000 war chest. Even if Drew can find the cheapest patent lawyers known to man, say at $250 an hour (and I don't know that such a person even exists), he'll burn through that in 2 to 3 months. The average patent litigation lasts about two years and costs about $3 million per this 2009 report. Also, that burn rate is before he spends the first dollar on document collection, document production, prior art searches, or expert witness fees to support any dispositive motions.

In short, this case is not good for Fark, even if the patent is ultimately proven to be invalid.



While I have no idea, since 2007 many changes have come to fark including ESPN in the sports tab, USA Today on the geek tab, new advertisements/methods, more sponsored things like that Jose Cuerve Cue moment and so on. Fark has seemingly evolved and grown. Whatever the war chest is plus 3 more years of revenue, he might be able to weather the storm.

That said, it sucks major donkey balls that he has to waste that kind of money on patent trolls like this.
 
2011-01-18 05:29:27 PM  
There is only one way to defeat them Drew. Team up with /b/ and Julian Assange.
 
2011-01-18 05:30:08 PM  

infinitedigits: thoughtsausage: This patent was submitted in 1999 and approved in 2002.
Slashdot launched in 1997

Prior art much?

THIS. Continuity data shows the earliest priority date is 12-21-1999.


I think you're misreading the continuity data. The face of the patent lists the filing date in August of 1999.
 
2011-01-18 05:31:44 PM  

AnExaminer: Foxone: Why is it that anybody on the interwebs knows what patent trolling is but the patent office still after 10 years of trolling does not know.

Just to dismiss a few stereotypes: The vast majority of examiners are under the age of 30, and are very much up-to-date on technology of our fields. We're also all well aware of trolling.

When this patent issued in 2002 it was assigned to NewsGems LLC, so it's changed assignments at least once if Gooseberry Natural Resources is suing.

Also, when this patent was examined, the patent search tools were severely limited and access to NPL resources was severely limited. Which helps understand the "How the heck did this issue?" question.

And, most importantly, me and several other farking examiners are currently trying to "stumble upon" a 102b reference in our spare time. If this crossed my desk today (even with its old filing date) I could throw together a 103(a) rejection within a day, based on 2-3 references. But from my understanding of litigation, they really prefer the anticipatory references.


Examiner Interviews would be a lot more fun if we knew the other person was a Farker.
 
2011-01-18 05:32:45 PM  

damageddude: I hope he has more now as that's not going to be enough if the fight is a long one. This is why innocent people settle.


Wait, this could kill Fark? Completely?
 
2011-01-18 05:33:02 PM  
Just send Jeff to their corporate offices. He will explain that they will get over it, and then it will happen.
 
2011-01-18 05:34:20 PM  
Oh, and on topic, I rate patent trolls about on par with cancer.
 
2011-01-18 05:34:32 PM  

poonesfarm: Maybe you can find someone with a GED in law to take the case pro bono.


The thin headed one for Fark attorney? Will he have time amid his cases for "where's the birf certificate"?
 
2011-01-18 05:34:49 PM  
Time to move the servers to Nigeria.
 
2011-01-18 05:44:08 PM  
Ok Drew, just let us know when the legal fund opens so we can donate. It's about time farkers can actually donate to something that helps us all, and not just one or two people (who really do need help, I'm not saying that).

I for one don't want to see fark turn into half the links be advertisements, and the entire page be full of advertisements. Let us know, Drew.
 
2011-01-18 05:49:23 PM  

SmackLT: damageddude: I hope he has more now as that's not going to be enough if the fight is a long one. This is why innocent people settle.

Wait, this could kill Fark? Completely?


Patent litigation absolutely has driven companies out of business. If the trolls ultimately are not rational actors, or misinterpret what they think they can exact out of Fark by way of a license, yes. Patent damages may attach both to past conduct and can require payment of a royalty moving forward if the infringer stays in business. If the running royalty makes continued operations impossible, companies can decide to close their doors to stop the bleeding. That's an extreme outcome, but not unheard of.
 
2011-01-18 05:54:51 PM  
It's that simple? Really? Cool, i'm going to think of future web technologies and get rich the easy way.

Here is a mock up

img249.imageshack.us
 
2011-01-18 05:54:52 PM  
Dude, one of my headline is a HOTW. Woot.
 
2011-01-18 06:00:18 PM  
I submitted a better patent, so I am getting a kick out of these posts.
 
2011-01-18 06:02:33 PM  

Theory Of Null: It's that simple? Really? Cool, i'm going to think of future web technologies and get rich the easy way.

Here is a mock up


You should patent that, then sue all of these patent trolls.
 
2011-01-18 06:06:35 PM  
marcel-oehler.marcellosendos.ch
 
2011-01-18 06:13:48 PM  
Trick them into suing 4chan and this will be over in less than a week.
 
2011-01-18 06:21:35 PM  
This isn't going to please anyone but me, but John Hilten, the patent partner at McGuire Woods who may know who Kolomoki Mounds LLC actually is, is this guy, exactly. I've met him.
Link

Maybe someone should a disgruntled administrative assistants from McGuire Woods a few drinks. They aren't attorneys (fewer secrets) and most of them are probably hired at will.
 
2011-01-18 06:22:43 PM  
I've helped bust some patent suites in the past.

Prior art can be found with AT&T's Videotext -part of their kiosk when they brought out what I think was called "truecolor" in early 1980s. The trademark will have their attorneys names on it and they can be used to filter the patent applications since AT&T will have lots of them.

CompuServe was also doing some of this at that time as we many BBS systems and fido net. It might be useful to see if Usenet might count as prior art as well.

I hope this suit isn't in West Texas... if so, ask to have it moved based on neither party having any connection to the area.
 
2011-01-18 06:26:02 PM  
You should refer them to the reply in Arkell v Pressdram (1971).
 
2011-01-18 06:32:58 PM  
Well, hey, this patent isn't obvious at all, to a three year old with cerebral palsy.
 
2011-01-18 06:35:42 PM  
This patent is unconstitutional! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
 
2011-01-18 06:37:37 PM  
Vertigo Holding LLC and Vertigo HoldingS LLC are two separate LLCs created in Delaware. They are apparently unrelated.

Vertigo Holding LLC is the entity involved in this lawsuit, evidently.
 
2011-01-18 06:37:39 PM  
BTW while it's Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC bringing the lawsuits, it's actually owned by Vertigo Holdings LLC, which is incorporated in Delaware. As such there's no requirement to list officers or owners. And as far as I can find, no one knows who owns it.

Oh and in at least one filing one of the interested parties is, and I swear to God this is a straight cut and paste from an article "Transmogrification Security AG LLC".
 
2011-01-18 06:39:11 PM  
Drew: Well, your honor. Fark is not like anything really. Its definitely not about press releases. We aren't even the press.

Judge: Don't tell us what it isn't Tell us what it is Mr. Curtis.

Drew: Ok. Its a new aggregator where people can submit links to news stories from other websites and then people can comment on the news story.

Judge: I see. So its like CNN.

Drew: No. We don't report. We re-post other news.

Judge: Alright. Fine. Then please, for the edification of the court, please explain a few of these terms so the Court can understand exactly how it works: Totalfark, Jeff, Attention Whore, Troll, Tubgirl, The Ha Ha Guy, Fark Parties, Great Redesign Debacle of 2008, Caturday, and what is the difference between a moderator and an administrator. Also, explain wishlists.

Drew: Totalfark is a pay to use site. The Totalfarkers pay $5 per month to see all the stories we don't post and to chat with each other. Jeff is a former Admin. Attention Whore is the plaintiff. Troll is also the plaintiff. Tubgirl...we don't talk about. The Ha Ha Guy is a well, your honor...if I may, can I show you the website?

Judge: That would be acceptable.

Drew: Here you go.

Judge: Oh. I see. And ... oh my. And this politics tab?

Drew: DON'T GO THERE!!

Judge: DEAR LORD!!! IS THAT SARAH PALIN HAVING SEX WITH AN ELEPHANT?!!!

Drew: I think Mr. Weener's picture is meant to be a metaphor for how Ms. Palin is Farking the Republicans.

Judge: You sir, are a sick, sick, sick man.
 
2011-01-18 06:42:04 PM  
Here's a nice article from techdirt about Vertigo and the various involved companies and all the lawsuits they're launching at everyone from digg to eHarmony. Alas, not a word on who actually owns Vertigo (new window)
 
2011-01-18 06:44:07 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: Vertigo Holding LLC and Vertigo HoldingS LLC are two separate LLCs created in Delaware. They are apparently unrelated.

Vertigo Holding LLC is the entity involved in this lawsuit, evidently.


Oh fark it. Now I've confused myself. Dammit.
 
2011-01-18 06:44:23 PM  
Also the AT&T patents from that time hide lots of business patents and software patents in their applications. Since they couldn't patent business processes or software at the time, they would put details in applications of things they could to as introduction examples.

Also patent trolls are more willing to settle when they find out that if you beat them, you are going ask to have the patent revoked. Most of the time these things are settled quietly with a cross-licence agreement and both sides go their way since you can't sue the LLC (since they have no money). I don't know if it would work in the USA, but in many other countries you can ask the court to hold or even audit the holding company's records if you can provide some excuse (like they couldn't cover the countersuit but they are pretending to be a million dollar company).

The best thing would be make sure the patent numbers involved in the suit are spread around to all the tech boards and don't make people hunt for that info.
 
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