Interview With An Inventor, Part II

On this fair Monday morning, let’s continue our Interview with an Inventor, started last week here with Part I.  My goal in these questions was to divine how much time this particular inventor put into actually trying to get his product out there and if litigation was part of the strategy from the outset, if at all, or if it was something that ended up being a necessity because of the 400 lb gorilla companies that are (theoretically) preventing new entrants into the marketplace.

In this part, we’ll cover the next three question in the 10-question series:

3.  How have you approached the “big players” in your industry to attempt to get them to license your patent? What resistance were you met with, and how have you overcome it?

4.  What is the biggest barrier for small inventors to overcome when trying to approach the “big players” in their market?

5.  For you and your product/patent specifically, what is the single most troublesome thing about current patent reform legislation?

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3.  How have you approached the “big players” in your industry to attempt to get them to license your patent? What resistance were you met with, and how have you overcome it?

I have had extensive engagements with big companies, about a number of my patents, most of it negative unfortunately. Despite the fact that I have extensive technical educational background (a BS in EE from Caltech) and industry experience (I worked at IBM and two startups) one still universally gets the NIH response from companies.  

Let me give you an example.  In one instance a friend of mine knew the founder of the company.  He got us in touch with inhouse counsel, who proceeded to tell us he did not want to see any due diligence or evidence materials that would explain the utility of the patents, either by way of their current or future business.  This was rather amazing to me, since I asked them how I was going to demonstrate the value of the patents if they were not going to consider what materials we had prepared to show …exactly that.  This is an example of the corporate “blinders” I mentioned before.  Inhouse attorneys are taught to avoid looking at anything, or commenting on anything that relates to third party patents. This pretty much means there is no opportunity for a reasoned discussion.

Finally we reached a compromise where we agreed we would at least TALK to outside counsel on the phone to explain the relevance of the patents.  This of course was rather inefficient, awkward, etc., and prevented any meaningful assessment on their part.  We also agreed not to initiate any lawsuit during a limited grace period, all of which was fine by us.  

Despite all these handicaps this company did in fact make an offer on my portfolio. For reasons that are too numerous to list here (but I posted about it online) negotiations broke down.  Sometime after the grace period expired, I sent them a polite letter explaining to them in detail now why the patents had value – an opportunity they prevented me from doing before.  They then proceeded to try and kill my patent filings in the PTO as some kind of preemptive strike or payback.  Unbelievably they “manufactured” prior art to make it look to the PTO that they had already come up with my idea before me.  This was pointed out to the PTO after I discovered it but it was not until years later that they admitted the charade. The whole affair was just appalling to me to see what lengths they would go to not only denigrate my work.

Since that time I have had an occasion to send a number of other companies what I consider fairly friendly letters inviting them to take licenses on technologies I have invented.   In almost every instance they don’t even bother to acknowledge your letter.

This is why so many small inventors seek other channels, such as through brokers, to help monetize their assets. They have neither the connections nor the muscle to get the attention of large players, who can simply ignore you until you find someone willing to represent you in a lawsuit.

4.  What is the biggest barrier for small inventors to overcome when trying to approach the “big players” in their market?

Access.  It is almost impossible, unless you know someone in the company with authority directly, to get any attention whatsoever.  If you send them a letter inviting discussions it will be ignored 99% of the time.  To some extent this behavior is a legacy of older, now defunct case law which made it prohibitive to talk to inventors, because that could expose the company potentially to a charge of “wilfull” infringement later. This created a corporate mindset that pretty much shut down any exposure to third  party ideas, no matter how useful they might be, out of fear of being called out later for having “infected” the company with an outside “virus” if you will.  Engineers in fact were routinely told (in earlier days at least) NOT to read patents of any kind, again out of fear of being “contaminated” with third party ideas.

IPTT Comments:  So this is very interesting to me. I do understand the idea of not wanting to talk to inventors because what if someone at your company actually had the same idea?  What if that idea was just a slight tweak and Mr. Big Company had actually filed a similar patent that was still pending…you don’t want to open yourself up to trouble in the form of treble damages for willful infringement if you talk to a sole inventor.  So this makes sense.  But as our inventor acknowledged and as I mentioned in my backgrounder , agent or broker companies exist to help the smaller player get in the door.  I wonder if inventors don’t want to take that route because they lose a percentage to the brokerage firm?  Does it give an inventor less street cred if they have to use a broker vs. get in the door on their own?  Not judging, just asking.

Which, by the way, I realize those brokerage firms are NPEs.  Yeah, I get it.  But let’s keep it real here:  a company that can knock on Mr. Big Company’s doors and help you get in is not the same as an Intellectual Ventures or IP Navigation who actively seek out nebulous patents and set about suing the world over them.  No, there are decent NPEs out there who serve just the type of purpose our inventor would need them for.  Like the patent Shark Tank, if you will.

congressjpg-84c7dc3227d9b3ec

5.  For you and your product/patent specifically, what is the single most troublesome thing about current patent reform legislation?

As I see current legislative efforts, they are mostly driven by an anti-patent rights bias, and therefore are almost exclusively are directed to reducing inventor/patent owner rights.  There is not a single provision in any of the proposals that makes even an attempt at balancing interests.  [In my opinion], the current (now tabled) legislation was crafted and sponsored almost entirely by large corporate interests who simply don’t want to respect or compensate small inventors for their technical contributions.  Consequently every provision is intended either to make it harder for the small guy to get a patent, to make it easier to kill that patent even if it is granted, or to make it impossible for that person to enforce it. Every aspect of the bill is engineered to facilitate what I would call “economic infringement” meaning, rigging the game to make it easier for big companies to simply take/infringe patents with the knowledge that their maximum downside is less than the economic advantage they derive from using the invention.

IPTT Comments:  I’m on record many, many times agreeing that legislation is not the way to curb patent trolling.  It’s right there in the name of the offender: “troll”.  It may slow them down temporarily, but overall, anyone called a “troll” is going to come back swinging a few months or years later with a whole new set of workarounds.  It’s impossible to stay fully head of them with laws.

That said, I don’t agree that the current legislative attempts were crafted solely to keep Big Companies from paying small inventors.  I think, rather, that they are attempts by politicians to seem relevant because patent trolling all of a sudden came into vogue.  Cool people like me have been following the problem for many, many years.  So, nice try crashing the party, Congresspeople.

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Because that’s a lot of words already I think we’ll stop here and pick up next time.  Look for the remaining parts Wednesday and Friday of this week!

JustSayin_small

IPTT

{Cool shot of Congress found here.}

 

Interview With An Inventor, Part I

I don’t often get in fights on Twitter, but when I do, it’s with IP Watchdog because he’s a bully (only sometimes, but still) or with inventors who feel that any attempt at curbing patent trolls will adversely affect them and their ability to sue people who infringe on their ideas.  OK, so maybe I exaggerate a little (or a lot because I am never prone to that) and they don’t think that any attempt is a dig at them, but it feels close sometimes.

I happen to “internet know” a couple of inventors, and one of them graciously agreed to answer some questions for me.  It’s not an attempt to appear fair and balanced because that is not something I strive for here.  It’s pretty clear where I stand because hello?  THE NAME OF THE BLOG.  But I’m not completely devoid of  a conscience and am aware that there are often other interpretations of the patent landscape that cause people not to see things my way.   Hard to believe that someone would disagree with me, I know.

Nevertheless, I put together this list of questions for some random dude my friend guy-I-internet-know my inventor:

  1. How long did it take you to get a patent on your idea, from the time you originally thought up the idea, to when your patent was issued?
  2. What items have you commercially produced using your patented invention?  If your invention is technology-based rather than product-based, what products have you brought to market using your patented technology?
  3. How have you approached the “big players” in your industry to attempt to get them to license your patent? What resistance were you met with, and how have you overcome it?
  4. What is the biggest barrier for small inventors to overcome when trying to approach the “big players” in their market?
  5. For you and your product/patent specifically, what is the single most troublesome thing about current patent reform legislation?
  6. Do you acknowledge the existence of Patent Trolls? If so, which company would you name as an example?
  7. Outside of legislation, what do you think can be done to update the patent system so that it is more inventor-friendly? This can include adjustments at the Federal level to do with the USPTO, or things at the local level, like educational events for kids.
  8. Do you think that “loser pays”-type litigation rules will hurt the small inventor? If such rules were universally adopted in the US, do you think it would make you less likely to sue a potential infringer?
  9. How much time and effort do you put in to determining if infringement actually has taken place prior to filing suit/sending a demand letter? What resources do you use, meaning do you try and reverse-engineer products or technologies to see if competitors are infringing?  What’s your due diligence process, in other words?
  10. What are your feelings about the recent failure of the Senate to pass a patent reform bill? What would you like to see in a bill?

This will be a multi-part series because that is a lot of words up there in those questions!  We’ll start with just the first two here to sort of set the stage.

So without further ado, I present to you an Interview With An Inventor, Part I:

DocFromBackToTheFuture

Note: This is not the inventor I interviewed, as far as you know.

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1. How long did it take you to get a patent on your idea, from the time you originally thought up the idea, to when your patent was issued?

I have quite a few patents, but I will give an example of just one, namely US Patent No. 6,782,510 which deals with content filtering, a feature which is found in many corporate email systems.  It has been cited 85 times by the PTO so I am fairly proud of it.  The invention allows an administrator to control what kind of content can be distributed, on a recipient basis, so that different policies can be used for different audiences.

I thought of the idea in late 1997, and filed January 1998. It took more than 6 years to get it issued, which is not atypical unfortunately in this business.  There is a serious problem with the PTO not performing their review fairly and timely, which costs inventors because by the time you get your patent, the technology may now be obsolete, or the market may have changed.  A perfect example is US Patent No. 8700538, which deals with letting members in a community exchange playable media, such as DVDs.  I filed for this in 2004, yet the patent took 10+ years to issue. There were a number of companies that came and went in this interval that I could have licensed and helped improve their offerings to make them more commercially viable.  The PTO delays pretty much killed the entire economic opportunity there.

2. What items have you commercially produced using your patented invention?  If your invention is technology-based rather than product-based, what products have you brought to market using your patented technology?

I do not try to commercialize all my inventions because sometimes it is just a matter of economics, meaning I don’t have access to capital that can help me hire a developer or market it in an effective/competitive way against established large companies. Even if I had a perfect email filtering program for example, there is no way I could compete against a Symantec, McAfee, Google, etc.

In other instances I *have* invested gigantic sums of my own money to commercialize inventions where the big companies are not yet present.  If you look under the company name “Patent Savant” for example you will see a number of filings made by us covering patent data acquisition systems. We spent several man-years and $$ trying to bring this to fruition but have had limited success because the law changed (which reduced the value of the product) and the market became very crowded just as we were entering.  We still have all the underlying code, tools, etc., however, and may pivot to implement a different variant in the near future.

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Stay tuned for Part II!

JustSayin_small_New

IPTT

{Image of Doc from Back To The Future found here.}

 

 

Something Awesome This Way Comes (on September 18th)!

For my last post, I was complaining about Adam Carolla and am sad to report that he has neither answered my question nor taken me to dinner.  Thanks for nothing, you crybaby, you!  I still think I’m on the right side of that one, ya’ll.  He’s just being stupid.

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Not lost on me, the photo is of a little girl…

 

Next up: you all remember your 9th grade English class and having to read Ray Bradbury, don’t you?  In a twisted take on the title (because alliteration, for the win!), today’s topic (!!) involves something very near and dear to me, which is exposing patent trolling behavior for the nastiness that it is.  There are a myriad of ways to do that, but the one I chose was to collect and report on demand letters, those pesky, threatening diatribes sent out en mass by companies who buy up nefarious and/or never-should-have-been-issued patents and set about antagonizing people into paying a license for them or face scary-expensive litigation.

In February of a couple of years ago, I was driving to The Woodlands, TX to pick up a check for some consulting work I was doing at the time and whilst sitting in my Ford F-150 it struck me:  If I can put up a website for people to enter in their demand letters, maybe we can build a database of information about who these trolls are, how and where they operate, what they’re asking for, and who they’re sending letters to.  This is pre-litigation information, and therefore it’s not obtainable through public resources like actual lawsuit information is.  If people would come and input information, we could get out ahead of litigation and, possibly, prevent it.

How?  Well, my thinking was (and remains) that if I provide a way for people to discuss these letters anonymously, maybe they can get together and form a proper defense.  I want That Patent Tool to be the first place someone goes when they receive a demand letter, a place they can do a search and find out if their patent has been at play before, see who else got a letter, and maybe log into the forum and start poking around.  See, the thing is, these guys work on anonymity and cloaking and being all secretive.  If I can get people to enter in information and expose, at the very least, the patents they’re threatening over and the amounts they’re asking for, that might clue others in.  Then, everyone who’s been sent a letter can stand up and say “Um, no.  We don’t think so.  You’re going to have to take us all to court if you want to see a dime.”

Imagine.  Imagine what that would do to the trolling business model.  They count heavily on being able to sneak in licensing requests that are either low enough for Mom & Pop to shell out for with a simple-interest loan from rich Uncle Bob, or just below the litigation cost threshold so bigger companies will sign over a check and have done with it.  They’re not stupid, these guys.

But if we can expose this model and get people searching a database and talking about it, we can force the trolls to take it to litigation every single time.  I’m no mathematician, but that’s gotta put a hurtin’ on a war chest, right?

So I created That Patent Tool in less than a week of coding.  I spent a day finding proper hosting and buying the domain and then six days and nights coding.  I may or may not have gone that entire week without showering and now you can never say I’m not transparent and authentic because that right there is keeping it real, folks.  I don’t even remember if I ate, it’s all a blur.  I know I busted out the rally cap a few times, because nothing says “I’m a legit coder” than wearing your husband’s baseball cap backwards and taking a selfie.

RallyCapCropped

Fun facts: This is one of two known selfies in existence because I’m neither a 12 yr old girl nor a Hollywood starlet (obviously), and oh look! Crumbs on my shirt, which means I ate at least *something* that week.  And now you know.

Anyway, here we are two-plus years later and what has the USPTO gone and done?  Set up a webinar to help business owners find relief from patent litigation.  It’s all right here in their flyer.  And if you’ll look closely on their list of resources for people who’ve been sued, you will find a familiar link.

The webinar takes place this Thursday, September 18th from noon-1:00 Eastern.  Login details in the flyer linked above.

I plan to attend and would encourage anyone and everyone to spread the word and join in!  If I can find a way to hack into the system and make myself presenter, I may even give some advice in person.  Just kidding, Uncle Sam!!  I’m not an attorney so I can’t give advice.

The hacking thing might happen though…

JustSayin_small_New

IPTT

{Hilarious crying baby photo taken by Jill “Like Candy From A Baby” Greenberg.  Check her out, she’s awesome.  Selfie by me because that’s what a selfie is.}

So Where Are You Taking Me To Dinner With Your $450,000, Adam Carolla?

Just read this update from Joe Mullin on the Adam Carolla whiney-baby fight against the “podcasting troll”.

We all know by reading this and this that I disagree with Joe on the labeling of Personal Audio as a patent troll in the general sense of the word.  As previously stated, he differs in my mind from the standard troll because he a) actually created a “product”, if you will, using the patented idea and sank his own money into it, and b) he sues people who are actually in the same line of business that his patent covers (as opposed to, say, people who have never come close to infringing on anything in their lives).

Adam’s a funny man, and I like his comedy but I don’t like when people are disingenuous.  So you’re telling me that Personal Audio moved to dismiss their case, and Camp Carolla said…no?  Whaaaaat?

What the Ars Technica article doesn’t state is when Personal Audio backed off. Their statement released yesterday is pretty ouchy, though:

“Adam Carolla’s assertions that we would destroy podcasting were ludicrous on their face,” said Personal Audio CEO Brad Liddle. “But it generated sympathy from fans and ratings for his show. Getting his fan base to continue to donate to his legal fund is a cynical exploitation of the publicity power he enjoys as an entertainer.”

cars-adam-carolla-top-gear-ko

 

If you want material for your comedy show Adam, I invite you to spend a day in Texas.  The funny just writes itself in the Lone Star State.  I’m wondering if it embarrassed you to have the suit dropped, because of this:

When Personal Audio first began its litigation, it was under the impression that Carolla, the self-proclaimed largest podcaster in the world, as well as certain other podcasters, were making significant money from infringing Personal Audio’s patents. After the parties completed discovery, however, it became clear this was not the case. As a result, Personal Audio began to offer dismissals from the case to the podcasting companies involved, rather than to litigate over the smaller amounts of money at issue.

Oooh.  It’s the “small amounts of money at issue” thing that got you, no?  Look, I get it.  I’d like to think we could all make bazillions of dollars off Teh Interwebs but not everyone can be a Goop.  Personal Audio is no longer coming after you though, so you’re swinging for the fences and no one’s even pitching to you.  Your site is still up, and there’s been no update letting contributors know that their funds aren’t needed anymore.

You’re behaving like the man in line at Sonic who got tots instead of fries and no matter how many times the clerk tells you she’ll gladly swap them out for what you ordered, you insist upon a lifetime of free slushies just because YOU WAS WRONGED, MAN!!

You got what you wanted, Personal Audio dropped the suit.  You’re now the one who’s wrong by leaving your crowdfunding site up and collecting money for something you no longer need.

 

JustSayin_small_New

 

IPTT

{Adam Carolla punch image found here.}

NPEs? Prepare To Have Your Mind Tableau’d

I’m on the email update list for npedata.com and they recently came out with stats for 2012 patent litigation.  My first thought was “Yay!  Now I have something to do on Saturday night!” because normally my dance card is all filled up with The Nanny reruns.  My second thought was “.csv files?  Seriously?”

It’s not that downloadable .csv files aren’t cool, they’re just so plain.  Normal.  Uninteractive.

Enter?  Tableau.  Data visualization software that makes it super easy to create dashboards that not only show you something in a pretty way (maps! bars! scatter plots!) but that let you interact with your data.  You can touch it and feel and hug it and kiss it and call it George.  If you want to, I mean.  Not that I do that during commercial breaks of The Nanny.  As far as you know.

The NPE Data has been put into a Tableau workbook for your downloading and interactive pleasure here, at my number one Alter Ego, Interworks.

NPE Data Grid

 

This is the first of many visualizations to come, as there are many different kinds of  NPE litigation-related data and patent data and honestly?

They could all use some tarting up.

JustSayin_small_New

IPTT

Oh, Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, You Silly Thing, You!

You slay me, I AM.  A while back you published this article about a study that came out, touting the damage that patent trolls do to start ups.  OK, not necessarily start ups, but “entrepreneurial activity”.  And not necessarily “patent trolls”, but NPEs/PAEs/Euphamisms-of-the-Month.  But whatever, we all know what we’re talking about here and if you don’t, I have no idea what would land you on this blog other than a search for Big Derrieres.  And if that’s the case, well then let me introduce you to Mr. Charles Barkley.

Disclaimer: Mr. Barkley is not a patent troll and even if he was I wouldn't call him one because dude is huge.

Note: Mr. Barkley is not a patent troll and even if he was I wouldn’t call him one because dude is huge, and I value my life.

 

Back to the article, Mr. Joff Wild says the following:

I am not going to argue with the idea that VCs would have ploughed more money into certain companies if they had not been hit with lawsuits by PAEs. That seems pretty self-evident to me – VCs, like any other kind of investor, dislike uncertainty.

So we’re on the same page then, right?

Only no.  No we are not, because he goes on to say:

However, what I did not see in the study is any evaluation of the merits of the cases brought by the PAEs Tucker writes about. Instead, I saw a few anecdotes about what seem like egregious cases, but nothing that demonstrated these were typical. It seems inarguable to me that PAEs willing to spend millions of dollars taking their cases to court when they cannot get someone to take a licence believe that their patents are being infringed and that they have a good chance of convincing the court to agree. Thus, it could just be that Tucker has spent her time and the CCIA’s money discovering that VCs are unlikely to sink money into companies whose products infringe patents.   I could be wrong, of course; but we don’t know because Tucker does not look into it.

You’re forgetting something:  With patent trolls, the merits of the case don’t matter.  That’s sort of the whole point of all the railing against them.  Whether the patent is invalid or infringement occurred matters not to the entrepreneur looking for money:  once you’re sued by a troll you have to respond, and that eats time and resources that would have been better spent on things like growing a business and hiring employees.  Tucker didn’t spend her time deconstructing the cases?  Probably because she likes to spend it doing something worthwhile.  Like making the point that patents can be used as a weapon to slow down start ups and innovation.

As for the patents themselves, Mr. Wild notes:

Furthermore, the patents that PAEs seek to license and are sometimes forced to litigate do not just appear out of the ether.

No they don’t.  They appear out of the USPTO, who has clear issues with their patent examiners.  See my three-parter here:  Interview With a Patent Examiner Series.  Sorry it sorts them Part III first.  Dunno what’s up with WordPress on that…

I do agree with Mr. Wild on one thing though:

All in all, therefore, this study does not come close to making a case for legislative patent reform.

Right.  Well, “right” in the sense that I don’t think patent reform is going to solve the patent troll problem.  Certainly things are ripe for updating in the grand ol’ US of A patent system, like how examiners are vetted and hired and what skill sets they have and by that I mean you need to hire lawyers at the USPTO so they can fight off the lawyers that the companies hire to get their client’s stuff patented.  I think we can agree on this.

Finally, I want to address this comment:

It might not be ideal, but it is a whole lot better than passing sledgehammer laws based on anecdotes and flawed research.

I’m aware that the plural of anecdote is not “data”.  I’m also aware that all research is inherently flawed, if it’s done by humans, that is.  We all bring a sense of bias to our research, I’m not sure that will ever not be the case.  That doesn’t mean you throw it out and decide unilaterally not to make decisions based on it.  Again,  I agree that “sledgehammer laws” are stupid and ineffective but articles like Catherine Tucker’s highlight that the problem does in fact exist, even if it doesn’t delve into every level of detail that I AM would like to see.

In closing, though I like to make great sport of people who do not completely agree with me, I do want to say thank you for this:

None of this is to say that there are not problems and issues to address with regards to abusive patent litigation in the US, clearly there are.

There are real problems and real issues with patent litigation today.

I happen to think Ms. Tucker’s article does a great job of highlighting a specific one, even if you and Barry don’t agree with me.

JustSayin_small

IPTT

{Sir Charles image found here.}

Life360 Founder Uses Foul Language, Still Gets Sued

You know what the biggest problem with patent trolls is?  Oh sure, it’s that they cost companies buckets of money and stifle innovation by shutting down start ups.  Those are bad, of course, but the real tragedy here is that they make people like Chris Hulls call someone a “piece of shit” and then look stupid in the process.

Side note:  I was always taught as a child that if you had to use foul language, you were stupid because smart people are wordsmiths and can come up with a much better way to say whatever it is that a good, solid “FUCK YOU!” was meant to convey.  That, and I got a mouth full of Ivory soap for calling my older brother a jackass once (which his 11-yr-old self totally was) so yeah, I don’t cuss very often.

The story goes that Life360 has been patent trolled to death, they’re mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take it anymore.  Tell me that’s the wrong attitude?  You can’t.  But the problem here is that AGIS doesn’t fit pretty much anyone’s definition of a “patent troll”.

To start with, they have 11 patents, with more pending.  Your typical troll will have one, perhaps as many as two, and both are so old they fart dust.  These guys?  Not so much.  Additionally, they actually make a product called LifeRing that services our military and first responders.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for, Chris.

notThedroidsyourelookingfor

 

Which is the problem with trolls:  if they come at you often enough, you’re going to get fed up and react poorly to anyone’s attempt at a licensing deal.  It’s a sad by-product of the culture of trolling.  Life360 has been hit by four or five trolls so not exactly a hoard, but when you’re the start up, as we’ve talked about, every hit hurts.  And Hulls wasn’t in the mood to put up with anymore shenanigans and ballyhoo, so he blew up on the last guy to come after him.

The Pando Daily article quotes him as follows:

“I’m getting a huge groundswell of support for shunning standard legal advice, which feels great.  My plan is to take this fight the duration, invalidate the patent, and make sure they can’t do this to anyone else.  Who knows.. maybe it will make others take a stand?  As a broader idea, maybe this type of action needs to come from Series B/C/D companies, as smaller ones don’t have the cash for a fight, and bigger ones are beholden to their own legal teams.  We are right in the sweet spot where I can still make these brash decisions and apologize for the mess later.”

Listen dude, I’m all about the shunning.  I get that.  And to shun a lawyer?  DOUBLE POINTS.  But I don’t own a company and people aren’t depending on me for their livelihood and you so should have listen to your legal counsel because I think you picked the wrong guy to make an example of.  The AGIS request for licensing discussions is one you should have accepted.  You’d have paid a fair price, far less than what it will cost you to “take this fight the duration”, as it doesn’t seem these guys are out for blood, just recognition that they got there first.   Further, it doesn’t seem like you’ll get this thing invalidated (said she who gave it a cursory read and is not a patent attorney).

hulls-224x300

Nice guys don’t cuss, just ask Jerry Seinfeld.

 

I do want to say though, that I totally {heart} you for the whole “we can clean up the mess later because we’re funded, beotchez!”  I can only imagine how good it felt to say that.

My point though is that it’s sad that this is what companies have come to:  either being bankrupted trying to fight the real trolls or coming out swinging against an enemy that isn’t really there.

As the awesome folks at Above the Law put it in their write-up:

A response like this is what happens when you’ve been patent-trolled one time too many.

Exactly.

JustSayin_small_New

IPTT

{Obi-wan image awesomeness found here. Picture of Chris Hulls found on Life360’s website.}