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Facebook Patents Politics

Candidates Sued By Patent Troll For Using Facebook 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the status:-not-gonna-happen dept.
WrongSizeGlass writes "Ars is reporting that the 'inventor' of the concept of 'providing individual online presences for each of a plurality of members of a group of members,' claims that four million Facebook business account holders, including at least three major presidential candidates, are guilty of infringing his patent. He's suing Facebook for infringing on his patent as well as the three candidates. A Patent Office examiner rejected the patent claims, but the rejections have been appealed."
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Candidates Sued By Patent Troll For Using Facebook

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  • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) * on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @11:24PM (#39193293)

    Suing without a patent in hand has got to be a pretty risky business model.

    Rejected is rejected till its accepted. And its not going to be accepted. Prior art goes way back to CompuServe days, well before his 1995 filing.

  • Re:Ron Paul FTW! (Score:4, Informative)

    by mooingyak (720677) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @11:26PM (#39193305)

    From the summary:

    ... claims that four million Facebook business account holders, including at least three major presidential candidates, are guilty of infringing his patent. He's suing Facebook for infringing on his patent as well as the three candidates.

    This particular usage is simply saying that they are referring to the same three candidates that were mentioned in the previous sentence, not that they're necessarily more legit than any other candidates or anything like that.

  • by PatPending (953482) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @11:30PM (#39193337)

    Political Candidates Sued for Patent Infringement [patentlyo.com]

    Complaint [patentlyo.com]

    P.S. And no it's not in East Texas; it's Central District California.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @12:11AM (#39193657)

    Everybody calm down. Even if this is appealed it will be struck down for the useless crap it is. The appeals process is normal, and the "inventor" has a very real financial incentive to appeal. But keep in mind the patent examiner has lready struck it down, so it's not an actionable patent yet, and will definitely never be.

    No the summary and article are bad. This actually produced an issued patent, # 7,644,122 [uspto.gov] (which issued in 2010). But the patent is now under inter partes reexamination (# 95/001,411; you can look up that application number in Public PAIR [uspto.gov]), and that reexamination of the patent has resulted in all claims rejected. The right of appeal notice (it's not exactly a final rejection; inter partes reexamination works a little differently than ex parte prosecution) is under appeal to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. It may take awhile to get a decision though given the backlog at the Board.

    When that is done, there is an appeal route to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. When the proceeding and all of the litigation is complete, the Office will issue a reexamination certificate, which would cancel all of the claims (if the rejections of record hold up).

    Technically there's nothing stopping the patent owner from suing someone else in federal court, but such litigation would surely get stayed in light of the reexamination in the USPTO.

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