[Asterisk-Dev] Patent lawyers?
digium-list at 9ux.com
Wed Jun 1 12:54:31 MST 2005
Jonathan Dale wrote:
> Vince Vielhaber wrote:
>> On Wed, 1 Jun 2005, Dustin Wildes wrote:
>>> Just a thought - what about all the other commercial companies out
>>> that are doing the same type of services, ie: Cisco Call Manager?
>>> Are they 'paying' patent fees in order to sell Call Manager?
>> The idea these folks are using is to go after the little guys that can't
>> afford to defend themselves (or are perceived as being unable to) so
>> have a number of judgements in their favor as they get to the bigger
>> Nonetheless, the patents should never have been granted. I understand
>> that Computer & Communications Industry Association (ccianet.org) is
>> fighting it and there is supposed to be some legislation in the works
>> to make it easier/less expensive to challenge. I haven't found any
>> details on that yet - haven't looked either tho.
> Would this qualify for class action status? I mean, IANAL, but it
> would seem that these patents basically say that every email system,
> including Outlook, violates one or more of them. Would it be possible
> to make this into a class action counter-suit to invalidate the
> patent? Not that I would enjoy helping Microsoft, but I wonder how it
> would look if this came to light in the larger technology arena?
We need to see a class action suit that results in some heavy
punishment. It has to be something based on a company seeking patents
frivilously and then using the patents to strongarm others. Invalidation
of the patents would be a nice side-effect. Legislation might help. What
would help most is a case suceeding that might put a scare into others.
We should assume that there will always be a problem of patents being
granted for things that really don't deserve a patent. We need some
litigation that clearly demonstrates damages and remedies. Malicious
prosecution might be a cause of action here.
These people will probably try to claim they are not acting maliciously.
Put the engineers and developers on the stand and the truth will come
out. They knew they were not developing anything worthy of a patent.
They were told by management to apply for one anyway.
I had discussions a few weeks back with a brother. He is on this kick
where he is looking only for things that can be patented, trademarked or
copyrighted. Whatever books and seminars he is into lately seem to
emphasize that in order to get serious venture capital. That sort of
reinforces my belief that management is ordering engineering people to
patent everything they can. It would be so funny to see those management
people do some prison time.
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