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DVD-by-Mail Services Cleared In Patent Troll Case 73

eldavojohn writes "Media Queue holds the rights to patent 7389243 which is simply a patent on the notification system (like e-mail) to users of changes in the status of their DVD rental queues. Of course, they filed suit in a random place against Netflix, Blockbuster and everyone else sending e-mail updates about DVD-by-Mail services. It was later moved to California and was dismissed last week. In related news on the ailing patent system, the USPTO unveiled a new plan to reduce backlog in its system by offering pending patents special examiner status if the holder abandons another co-pending unexamined application."
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DVD-by-Mail Services Cleared In Patent Troll Case

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  • Common sense? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by X.25 ( 255792 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:14AM (#30364668)

    It is incredible that we have laws for everything, but judges are seemingly not allowed to simply use common sense.

  • Re:Common sense? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:17AM (#30364700) Homepage Journal

    Define common sense.

    The problem with USPTO new proposal is probably going to be more patent applications. People are going to submit two, and then cancel the second one, suddenly giving special status to the other one. If you are a patent troll, then it is worth the risk.

  • Re:Random Place? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cmiller173 ( 641510 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:32AM (#30364888)
    Since they didn't file in east Texas which is the patent troll mecca any other place would be random.
  • Re:Random Place? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:47AM (#30365096) Homepage

    Yes infact.

    Unless there is a tech company somewhere in sight of the relevant courthouse, then it is a fantasy juridiction that has no relation to any of the actual parties. If the relevant judge were acting with any sort of maturity he would tell both parties to get lost and find a venue that has some relation to either of them.

    Whereas California or Delaware actually represent places where (tech) companies are incorporated or actually do business.

  • Re:Common sense? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Manax ( 41161 ) <toertel-slashdot@@@manax...org> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:04AM (#30365336) Homepage
    You are being simplistic. Just because you don't understand any of the details behind a case, doesn't mean the case is really "obvious".

    It's easy to only have a couple of details of a case, and come to a snap decision, and claim that it's "obvious" and groan about how if only someone would apply "common sense"...

    Reality is often more complicated. Case in point. Woman burns herself with coffee from McD. If you only have that information, maybe you blame the woman, but it turns out there are more details that escape the 7 word summary. Turns out the coffee was kept near boiling, turns out McD corporate policy was to keep it much cooler (but still hot), turns out they had multiple complaints regarding the temperature but ignored them... To be fair, I haven't looked into that case in detail, but it should be clear that it's possible that there is more to the case than the summary.

    And there are plenty of situations where, once the judge hears a complaint, he tells one of the parties to "get lost". If they don't, then perhaps there is something more to it... Oh, and it seems like the judge did exactly that in this case.
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:17AM (#30365522) Journal

    Everyone knows that if you're going to try to enforce your ridiculous patent, you don't file suit in your own jurisdiction or the defendants jurisdication. Real patent trolls file in the Eastern District of Texas. Had they done that, they would have gotten their settlement.

  • USPTO is a joke (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thelonious ( 233200 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:06PM (#30367050) Homepage Journal
    Half of the things they allow as patents are in my opinion common sense applications of technology that should not be limited in it's usage. A patent for updating customers via email notification that DVD order status has changed? Brings to mind Microsoft's patent on displaying images based on file creation date or some other such 'duh' idea. The fact that companies can get these patents just seems utterly ridiculous. Wasn't Amazon at one time in a patent dispute over their 'one click buying' which essentially meant storing your shopping cart and account info via a cookie and giving you a button to click to process an order. The kind of things that if you sat a web developer fresh out of dropping out of college down they would slap together as a solution. And now these obvious things are off limits to people without a patent? I thought obvious technology was not supposed to be patentable? It seems that when talking about IT type patents they use this idea of an average man to determine if it is 'obvious' technology. And when you take an average of people inside and outside the IT business you end up with someone that doesn't even know what a cookie is.

    Am I the only one that thinks it has gotten beyond ridiculous?

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller