In celebration, a haiku:
Farked with the wrong guy / had your hat handed to you / buh bye, Gooseberry!
So this brings me to what a twittered about. Tweeted. Whatever. Although it’s only been a couple of recent victories, wherein attorneys were sanctioned and a troll was put in it’s place, there’s an undercurrent of “the times, they are a-changin'” in Patent Troll Land. I’m too lazy to go look up actual stats, (read: I want someone else to do my research because these kids don’t feed themselves, you know) but my gut is telling me that some of it has to do with these guys. As an aside, don’t you hate it when bloggers do that? Hyperlink a few key words like “this is cool” without telling you what is cool so you are forced to click the link? I don’t do that, because I rock. “These guys” = Article One Partners.
This is such a brilliant concept…what these guys do is further upstream than patent defense aggregators. Or downstream. I spent a lot of years in the oil business but still can’t tell you if the gas station is up or downstream. The point is that Article One has gone to the lowest common denominator of the patent troll: THE PATENT ITSELF.
If you can prove that prior art exists, then the troll’s case is DOA. And the super cool thing about the way A1 does this that they are playing off the oldest known fact about geeks: they will do anything just to say they did it. (Or for a free t-shirt, not that that has ever appealed to me.) Patent nerds and techies live to solve problems using their black magic ways. The fact that A1 pays them is icing on the cake. These people doing the work are doing it because they love it. They love to root for the underdog, to take down the Big Bad Troll. It’s inbred in them in exactly the same way that a sense of fashion is not inbred in me.
No, this is not what happened in the Fark case, but because they knew the patent was bogus it allowed them to stand up and say “No thankyouverymuch to your lawsuit there, pal.” My point is that I think what Article One is doing is a very clever and low-cost way to fight the troll problem. You can hope for sanctions against law firms that take on these cases and you can hope that patent reform will someday be a reality, and actually, you know, be reform and not just political posturing like everything else that comes out of D.C. There’s nothing wrong with fighting the battle on a few fronts while the overall war rages. Kudos to Article One for it’s brilliant use of crowdsourcing and making it a sustainable business model for good.