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Facebook Sued By Rembrandt IP For Two Patent Violations 105

Posted by timothy
from the paint-me-a-picture dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars is reporting that the patent-holding company, along with the heirs of Dutch programmer, Joannes Jozef Everardus Van Der Meer (deceased 2004), have filed suit against Facebook for violating two patents relating to social media web sites. The two patents in question were filed for back in 1998, a full four years before Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg first entered university at Harvard. Among the claims made in the lawsuit is that Facebook's "Like" button violates one of Van Der Meer's patents. Facebook even cited one of Van Der Meer's patents in one of their own filings later on. The suit seeks unspecified damages."
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Facebook Sued By Rembrandt IP For Two Patent Violations

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  • by fufufang (2603203) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @02:06PM (#42851181)

    I think patent should only cover ideas that are implemented. Under the current system, if you patent some ideas that cannot be implemented now, you essentially stop people in the future from implementing them, until your patent expires. This stifles innovation.

  • by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 10, 2013 @04:15PM (#42852247) Homepage Journal

    "The way the patent laws work, and have worked for 200 years, is that when someone else uses it—whether intentionally or unintentionally—they owe a reasonable royalty," said Melsheimer. "It's not necessarily a function of bad intent or malicious planning. The notion that the original inventor didn't succeed in commercializing the invention is, legally speaking, not relevant.""

    Patents are absolute monopolies which allow any and all royalty rates ... reason doesn't enter into it.

    Not so. Patents are absolute monopolies that can be used either for injunctive relief, which allows no royalties by definition because the infringer is no longer allowed to continue infringing; or for monetary damages, which allows a "reasonable royalty". In other words, you can either get 0 royalties and have an absolute monopoly, or you can get a reasonable royalty and no monopoly. You simply cannot have "any and all royalty rates," like 100% of revenue or infinite dollars per unit or whatnot. Check out 35 USC 284.

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