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The Courts Patents The Media

Martha Stewart Out To Exterminate Patent Troll Lodsys 150

Posted by timothy
from the taking-back-the-inch-and-the-mile dept.
McGruber writes "Gigaom's Jeff John Roberts reports that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO) has filed a lawsuit against Lodsys, a shell company that gained infamy two years ago by launching a wave of legal threats against small app makers, demanding they pay for using basic internet technology like in-app purchases or feedback surveys. In the complaint filed this week in federal court in Wisconsin, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia asked a judge to declare that four magazine iPad apps are not infringing Lodsys' patents, and that the patents are invalid because the so-called inventions are not new. The complaint explained how Lodsys invited the company to 'take advantage of our program' by buying licenses at $5,000 apiece. It also calls the Wisconsin court's attention to Lodsys' involvement in more than 150 Texas lawsuits. In choosing to sue Lodsys and hopefully crush its patents, Martha Stewart is choosing a far more expensive option than simply paying Lodsys to go away."
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Martha Stewart Out To Exterminate Patent Troll Lodsys

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  • ...and suddenly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorinLynx (31751) on Friday September 27, 2013 @06:52PM (#44976387) Homepage

    ....out of nowhere I have a heck of a lot more respect for Martha Stewart.

    It's like MAGIC!

  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Friday September 27, 2013 @07:01PM (#44976435)

    One thing about Martha, she isn't about to take any crap off anyone. I think these assholes tried to shake down the wrong woman.

  • by pla (258480) on Friday September 27, 2013 @07:03PM (#44976445) Journal
    Lodsys has finally encountered the perfect enemy - Queen bitch, completely self-absorbed, and very, very wealthy. Martha Stewart not only has the money, power, and influence to defend herself, but if she has taken personal offense to their tactics, she won't stop until she has completely and utterly destroyed Lodsys.

    Yay!
  • by asifyoucare (302582) on Friday September 27, 2013 @07:23PM (#44976535)
    By suing she's firmly announcing to other patent trolls that they'd be better off pursuing other targets. Sure, this one time action costs more than giving in, but it might be cheaper in the long run.
  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 27, 2013 @07:44PM (#44976637)

    I've always had respect for Martha, yes she may be a bit of an elitist bitch, but she taught a generation of people (women and men) to cook and garden and fix up their houses, and she did it in a way that was accessible. She also paid the price for her arrogance and moved on. If she is willing to fight back against the trolls and stand up to their demands, It's a good thing!

  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Friday September 27, 2013 @07:55PM (#44976675) Homepage Journal

    One thing about Martha, she isn't about to take any crap off anyone.

    I doubt she's even aware. This is the company, not the person.

  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday September 27, 2013 @07:56PM (#44976685) Journal

    What I admired is how she opted to go to jail and serve out her sentence even though protested it. Yeah, she looks a bit cranky, but that took real backbone.

  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:03PM (#44976719)

    How often does a company choose the greater loss to make a point without approval from the top? I'm sure, at the least, she's aware of the situation.

  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkFencer (260473) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:07PM (#44976733)

    I always had sympathy for her after her jail sentence. She went to jail for a MINOR insider trading case (where they couldn't even prove that, just obstruction of justice), while those who collapsed the economy got off scot free.

    Hope her company drives the patent trolls into the ground. And then she decorates the grave with some potpourri warning signs to other trolls or some such.

  • HQ approval (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:27PM (#44976819) Homepage Journal

    You make a good point about the approval from the top, however calculating the 'greater loss' can be complex, especially if you're considering long term. Sort of like how many/most companies today will fight 'frivolous' lawsuits to the hilt - it's more expensive in the short term, against that litigator, yes, but in the long run if you're seen as a target you face so many more lawsuits it's actually cheaper to fight.

  • Re:...and suddenly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:06PM (#44976953)

    She went to jail for a MINOR insider trading case (where they couldn't even prove that, just obstruction of justice),

    My understanding is that she went to jail for "lying" to Federal investigators, which is a felony. She said one thing, her stock broker said another. I suspect they wanted to teach her a lesson so they "believed" him and not her and off she went to the fed pen.

    They couldn't prove insider trading simply because she wasn't an insider at that company. That is she had no business or employment relationship at the company in question. She merely owned stock, which she sold after talking to her broker. I understand she did know the president of the company, but that doesn't make her an insider.

    I always thought it should have been her broker that should have served time. My understanding is she sold her stock based on his information and if that information was confidential, then wouldn't make him guilty of insider trading instead?

  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:22PM (#44977045)

    Plus it might give other trolls the idea that going after patents/sueing for bullshit claims may not always end in their favor. Kudos to her!

    In the bigger picture, it will only make a difference if the people responsible for Lodsys's antics are held personally responsible. Otherwise a troll isn't really going to care if their company goes under as long as they walk away with some money in the meantime.

  • by cheekyboy (598084) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:45PM (#44977119) Homepage Journal

    So its ok for the feds to lie to us, for fbi to lie, for Obama to lie, its ok for all politicians to lie to everyone daily.

    Hey feds, the sky is red. Arrest me.

    All of the SEC is spineless and corrupt and a in cahoots with the corp elite.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:58PM (#44977149)

    >Next time you read about an injustice, think about what the victim could do to take the bullies to task. Then ask "why didn't they do that?"

    They answer is simple. The victim didn't have the financial resources to fight back. Justice in America is strictly pay-for-play.

  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:24PM (#44977233)
    When it comes to patent trolls, you have not only to get their planes, but also target their parachutes. Total war.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:56PM (#44977309)

    Amen. She got busted because she was a successful woman. Not in the club, as George Carlin would say.

  • Re:HQ approval (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday September 27, 2013 @11:11PM (#44977351)

    Correct. Martha is not one of the typical fly-in CEOs that's there for 3 quarters and throws away the long term viability of the company for the quick profit. This is _her_ company.

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