Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents The Courts

Notorious Patent Troll Sues Federal Trade Commission 102

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the your-business-is-stupid dept.
Fnord666 writes with news that the notorious scanner patent troll MPHJ Technology caught the eye of the FTC, and decided to file a preemptive lawsuit (PDF) against the Federal government. From the article: As the debate over so-called "patent trolls" has flared up in Congress, MPHJ became the go-to example for politicians and attorneys general trying to show that patent abuse has spun out of control. ... The FTC was going to sue under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which bars deceptive trade practices. MPHJ says that the FTC is greatly overstepping its bounds. The patent-licensing behavior doesn't even amount to 'commerce' by the standards of the FTC Act, because the letters are not 'the offer of a good or sale for service,' argues MPHJ. Furthermore, MPHJ has a First Amendment right to notify companies that it believes its patents are being infringed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Notorious Patent Troll Sues Federal Trade Commission

Comments Filter:
  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Carewolf (581105) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @09:32AM (#45964765) Homepage
    They are right. It is not commerce it is blackmail.
  • First Ammendment? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @09:45AM (#45964927)

    MPHJ has a First Amendment right to notify companies that it believes its patents are being infringed.

    What? Isn't this akin to saying the spam in my inbox is protected by the first ammendment, since the senders have an religious belief/conviction I'd be interested in cheap Viagra?

  • Speech act? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vintermann (400722) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @09:57AM (#45965043) Homepage

    Legal notification of infringement is an example of a speech act that does more than convey information. Like giving a marriage vow, signing a painting or entering the password to your net bank, it has a function outside conveying information (formal commitment in the first case, asserting authorship and identity in the next).

    Using free speech as an argument to defend that is idiotic. They might as well argue that they have a constitutional right to lie on their tax forms, or to their shareholders.

  • Fire! Fire" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @09:59AM (#45965055)

    MPHJ has a First Amendment right to notify companies that it believes its patents are being infringed.

    This is the corporate equivalent of shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.You really need to be sure that you are right before shouting.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sirlark (1676276) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @10:53AM (#45965661)
    The best outcome here would be to have a law introduced saying you are not allowed to rent-seek on patents (or any other IP for that matter). You may only hold a patent if you are actively using it yourself. Not a subsidiuary, or parent company. The company that holds the IP must be using it. If the patent is sold off then the buyer must actively start using it within X amount of time, or it becomes invalidated. Researching and development should buy you a couple of years so you can patent early and still take some time to market.
  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tuoqui (1091447) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @11:20AM (#45965959) Journal

    Just prohibit non-practicing entities from extorting money via patents.

    If you have a patent for a better process for making widgets and you arent in the business of making widgets then you dont get to harass widget making companies.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeffAtl (1737988) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:27PM (#45969021)

    Maybe there should be more options than just "approved" or "rejected". There could be a weaker status than "approved" that forces the burden on the patent holder if it is ever challenged.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

Working...