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flylo
04-01-2018, 12:43 AM
Watched a Netflix show on Patent Trolls WOW what a bunch of lowlifes set up shop in east TX in empty room next to the courthouse to steal from people. A patent for the instruction on using a stick as a dog to to fetch. How to scan a document to an e-mail, do it & you owe them. Average settlement out of court $340K. Turns out the judges sons were the lawyers doing most of it. Even got Newegg & the CEO was on the show.

ed_h
04-01-2018, 01:23 AM
I know a guy who does this. Buys up patents with no intention of using them. They just look for people who might be infringing on one of their inventory of patents, and then sue them. Most suits would be expensive to defend, so are settled out of court.

It's a slimy business.

ed

MattiJ
04-01-2018, 03:30 AM
Turns out the judges sons were the lawyers doing most of it. Even got Newegg & the CEO was on the show.
Not really suppprize. US prison business is equally crooked and even more scary.

ikdor
04-01-2018, 03:31 AM
Some day they will piss off the wrong guy. Having someone shot is cheaper than 340k.....

Magicniner
04-01-2018, 05:42 AM
That's the problem with a patent system that doesn't exclude anything which can be show to be prior art, anything which can be shown to be obvious or anything which can be shown not to work.
I suppose it's fun being able to patent your own elbow or someone else's :D

Mcgyver
04-01-2018, 08:09 AM
Some day they will piss off the wrong guy. Having someone shot is cheaper than 340k.....

like the drug trade though, if its rewarding enough there'll be someone else to fill their shoes and it continues. In large part, the source of your society's litigious nature are the judges and juries that give the awards in the first place, that's what creates the opportunity for these scoundrels. Horrible that this goes on, a perversion of the justice system and especially the patent system. All in what is the country most build on innovation and invention. You guys should be screaming for tort reform and patent office reform.

JoeLee
04-01-2018, 08:52 AM
Some day they will piss off the wrong guy. Having someone shot is cheaper than 340k..... Yea, especially in Texas !!

JL..............

JoeLee
04-01-2018, 08:55 AM
I know a guy who does this. Buys up patents with no intention of using them. They just look for people who might be infringing on one of their inventory of patents, and then sue them. Most suits would be expensive to defend, so are settled out of court.

It's a slimy business.

ed This sounds like a crap shoot to me. There are millions of worthless patents that have been filed. Most never amount to anything other than someone thought they had a million dollar idea. This sounds like some of those fly by night companies that buy old debt from creditors and then send scare tactic letters to individuals trying to get them to pay up on a debt that a company has written off.

JL...........

flylo
04-01-2018, 09:09 AM
It said the average out of court settlement was $340k & to defend it was $ 3 million & when you sue to get you cost back the shell company has no assets & goes bankrupt & opens a new shell business down the hall. The patent examiner has 4 hours to disprove anything is legal to be pattented
with the idea the patent is legit unless it can be dis-proven. I took a patent class from one of the best drug patent lawyers there is who did tons with Phizer & was told prior art or use must researched, guess not anymore. He also showed how to break patents & white ones hard to break. So every time you use a stick to play fetch with a dog you owe someone. Mexico looks better all the time as at least you know going in what you get.

Seastar
04-01-2018, 09:35 AM
like the drug trade though, if its rewarding enough there'll be someone else to fill their shoes and it continues. In large part, the source of your society's litigious nature are the judges and juries that give the awards in the first place, that's what creates the opportunity for these scoundrels. Horrible that this goes on, a perversion of the justice system and especially the patent system. All in what is the country most build on innovation and invention. You guys should be screaming for tort reform and patent office reform.

Last year my company, Ritron was sued by a patent troll together with Icom and Tate Electronics.
We all build electronic devices that allows connecting a two way radio to the Internet.
The troll bought an invalid patent that covered such devices and sued us and the other two companies.
The trolls attorney had been cited for improper actions in the past and failed to meet dates set by the judge in federal court. I think he was a drunk. The judge ordered the troll to settle or he would throw the suit out of court leaving them open to a counter suit for damages and legal fees.
Long story short, they settled for nothing to get out of being sued by us.
However, our legal fees were over $250,000 as probably were Icom's and Tate's.
These trolls hope that their victim will settle rather than pay huge legal fees.
I did that once, years ago when a company in Chicago sued me over a supposed trademark infringement. I vowed never again!
Legal fees for even a simple patent or trademark suit can run over $1,000,000 even if you win!
The system is very broken. We have stopped applying for patents because they are worthless in our industry.
By the way, the troll that sued us is in Texas and I heard a rumor that they have now sued Motorola and some others over the same worthless patent.
I hope they go to Hell and soon!
Bill

A.K. Boomer
04-01-2018, 09:37 AM
that's a little "far fetched" with the dog and the stick but i get the point about the other stuff,

what a corrupt society we live in - capitalism was great till people started putting it above and beyond everything else,

The trouble is people equate money with success, and realistically it has very little to do with it.

JoeLee
04-01-2018, 10:18 AM
Your right.... patents are pretty much worthless in today's world. Look at what China does. They steal everything from US manufacturers and make cheap copies and those cheap copies flood the US market. We see post here all the time about someone buying cheap Mitutoyo knockoff calipers etc. etc. etc.

JL................

3 Phase Lightbulb
04-01-2018, 11:07 AM
Having a relevant and large patent portfolio is an extremely valuable asset and have a direct influence on a company's net worth. It's used for many purposes and often helps cultivate new business relationships. In high tech, company's are often acquired just for their relevant patent portfolio.

AD5MB
04-01-2018, 11:20 AM
copied from https://sherline.com/Wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/jm_business_book.pdf

If you have not read the entire thing, make it a very high priority:



Should You Patent Your Ideas?
I have my name on a couple of patents that took a lot of time and effort to get and didnít pay off. I have the basic patent for computerized timekeeping but after getting it I realized I didnít stand a chance in hell of defending it. What am I going to do, sue IBM? Patent attorneys make a living getting you patents, and what you do with it after that is your problem. Ask your patent attorney if they would defend your patent on a contingency and youíll get a lot of mumbling with the end esults being ďno.Ē If the patent they documented for you were so good youíd think they would want a piece of the action. You should realize that if the idea you want to patent has been written about anyplace in the world before you applied that it can make your patent worthless. One thing a patent can usually do is to prevent someone with a similar patent from going after you. A patent search shouldnít cost more than a few hundred dollars to do and should be done to protect yourself. Patents can now be checked using the Internet. You canít put ďpatent pendingĒ on a product unless it is actually being decided on by the patent office. Applying for a patent will protect you and the longer it takes for the patent department to get to it can turn into an advantage. You get 17 years of protection once the patent is awarded, but you will be protected upon application. If it took five years for the patent office to get to it, you could be covered 22 years. Please remember Iím not an attorney and Iím just referring to my own experiences that I learned from being involved with our own patents. Patent law is changing, especially in the area of the Internet. The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing soft patents, and the U.S. Patent Office is also taking a second look at how they approve soft patents in light of the internet. In the age of the Internet, these patent walls are coming down fast and furious and are becoming difficult and costly to protect. Looking closely at old patents can be a humbling experience when you discover how smart people were one hundred years ago. (Reference: ttp://www.uspto.gov)


while we are in the neighborhood:



Selling Imported Products
Sometimes products can come to you by way of an overseas manufacturer. They can be found in import trade magazines. The good part is you may be able to become an exclusive importer for them for a surprisingly small order. The bad part is the agreement isnít much good if you canít buy all of what they can manufacture. Iíve personally seen Asian products sold direct to the consumer at a lower price than an importer with an exclusive agreement paid. This happened within months of giving the exclusive agreement and after that company spent thousands on advertising the same goods. Try suing a company in Asia and youíll see what I mean. Again, if you want to lose your ass, buy a large quantity of merchandise used for something you know little about. You have to know how products are discounted and sold in the area you plan to sell before you sign a purchase order.



Excess Cash in the Checking Account
One of the first things youíll notice of a slowdown in business is a buildup of cash in the checking account. What happens is the money that has been owed to you in accounts-receivable is coming in faster than you have to spend money to deliver new orders. It may look good but donít be too eager to spend it, for you may need it sooner than you think.



German Designs
For the hell of it, I thought Iíd put in my viewpoint on German designs. We have been brainwashed by clever ads proclaiming the high quality of European designs over the years. What I find is that they often take a bad idea and keep tightening the tolerances until it works. They stick with the same design so long that time improves the quality. Americans, on the other hand, will take a good design and change it for the sake of change. Americans may also ruin a good design with the use of cheap components.

My take on this: Germans engineer. Americans over engineer. If a German engineer concludes that a 14 MM shaft will work, that German will specify a 14 MM shaft. An American engineer who makes the same determination will specify a 3/4" shaft. You can usually get 50 percent more power out of an American engine, and the transmission can handle it. Try that with an air cooled VW and the transaxle grenades.

Joe knows, man. Joe knows.

ed_h
04-01-2018, 11:33 AM
that's a little "far fetched" with the dog and the stick...

Yeah, this one seems far fetched, too:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5443036A/en

Ed

Michael Edwards
04-01-2018, 12:01 PM
Yeah, this one seems far fetched, too:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5443036A/en

Ed

Copy and pasted from that link... A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall


Gotta ask yourself how the cat is supposed to chase after something it does not see. :p

A.K. Boomer
04-01-2018, 12:08 PM
Geeze - I can see them patenting their specific hand held laser pointer but not the very act of using it to get the cat to chase it lol

3 Phase Lightbulb
04-01-2018, 12:08 PM
Yeah, this one seems far fetched, too:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US5443036A/en

Ed

IMO, that's a great patent. It's an application of a laser for a specific purpose. They have probably licensed that patent out to many companies and are probably getting steady streams of royalties. No doubt the laser pointers Petco sells for cats and other animals is probably licensed from several patents including this one. EDIT: I just noticed they abandoned it and let it expire so maybe they never licensed it out.

kendall
04-01-2018, 12:43 PM
Some patents I read make me think they were just trying to see what the most farfetched idea they could push through.

And actually, I think with that laser cat toy, specifying 'invisible' light would take any visible laser out of infringement.

flylo
04-01-2018, 02:31 PM
Those should be copyrights not patents because they didn't "MAKE" anything.

flylo
04-01-2018, 02:53 PM
They are suing Apple because this patent company, patented HOW to use a phone. Turn phone on, dial the number, etc. Things should be patentable not instructions. Apple will win but it cost these lawyers a few $$ to try & Apple million to defend, going to East TX where all the cases are heard. The judges wont change the venue or answer the request, they just sit on it.

AD5MB
04-01-2018, 03:35 PM
Apple will win but it cost these lawyers a few $$ to try & Apple million to defend How big business defends against lawsuits: Throw an army of lawyers at the litigants. If a hundred lawyers subpoena a document, you have to send a hundred separate documents to a hundred lawyers. You can not send one to the defense team. They smother your lawyer and overwhelm him. It's cheaper than losing; if you lose or settle in one lawsuit you will face hundreds of lawsuits. That's what the law firms tell them.

Blackfoot
04-01-2018, 04:05 PM
Fifty+ years ago, I worked for a company that built machinery. I had responsibility for all R&D that was done. It included all thoughts of future R&D projects. We were thinking about designing a new egg carton to be made of Styrofaom. Our pattern maker produced several prototype molds and I tried them out to see if a useful product resulted. A few looked good, however, all lacked a proper latch to hold it securely closed full of eggs.

I was given a large stack of copies of U.S. Patents for egg cartons. Almost all were held by one company. I was told to come up with a design that would not infringe on any of those Patents. It took about a month (most of it at home where it was quiet) for me to conclude that not I or anyone else was ever going to "get around" any of those Patents. They were all "broad" coverage Patents. They cost a lot more to get. Whoever was writing them had to be really good at it.

At that time, a Styrofoam egg carton was unheard of. I produced about a dozen of the "split top" design that was hardly ever used by anybody. Mine were white Styrofoam, beautiful, but without a latch of any kind. We sent them out to a handful of egg packers to see how they would be viewed by those who used millions of cartons every year. The only information sent with our cartons was our company name and the city we were in. The response was almost instant. We had not even considered what an egg packer would need to pay for this new foam carton. They didn't care, they just wanted all we could produce. We had to hire an "extra" office girl to handle the response. We almost could not shut it off.

We had to abandon the project (about $150K spent so far). We were in the machinery business period. It was quite a few years later before Styrofoam egg cartons appeared in stores. I was glad I talked the boss out of staying with the program. We were losing more money every month and it was never going to make any money for us. Eventually, one of our customers went for it. We supplied machinery and tooling. They built a new plant in Pa.. The new plant never got off the ground. Their product design was new and bad. Their carton was hard to manufacture. They had equipment (all new) problems and labor problems. After a few years.....they gave up. I can only guess how many millions $$$$$$$ was lost.

Styrofoam egg cartons.....fantastic idea........somebody will make a ton of money with that idea.......I doubt it.

I have no idea how all the Patent issues were resolved.

I hold a few U. S. Patents myself. The Patent system has been so corrupted in recent years that I would (and often do) recommend that anybody thinking about investing in a Patent, stop. Read everything you can get your hands on. If you have a bunch of money to spend, buy lottery tickets.....it will be less painful.

dave_r
04-02-2018, 03:48 AM
Probably was resolved via term limits...the patent became public domain.

That makes them slightly better than the ridiculous term limit for copyright...

J Tiers
04-02-2018, 09:20 AM
That's the problem with a patent system that doesn't exclude anything which can be show to be prior art, anything which can be shown to be obvious or anything which can be shown not to work.
I suppose it's fun being able to patent your own elbow or someone else's :D

Bullcrap.

The law does exclude prior art. It is the examiner system that fails, and bad patents are issued.

Once issued, some court districts WILL NOT invalidate a bad patent. Had our attorney (from one of the largest firms in the area) tell us we had a great case, but not to waste money on it because the court would not invalidate the problem patent, which he admitted should never have issued.

As for the foam egg cartons, stores here used them for decades. They did not protect eggs well, they were junk, but were cheap. Recycling drove them out, and all are now back to being papier-mache.

loose nut
04-02-2018, 09:52 AM
340K to settle a patent claim.

A couple of grand to have said troller "removed" from society.

Do the math.

flylo
04-02-2018, 12:09 PM
Loose Nut, My wife & I both said that same thing while watching. These sleeze ball patent trolls do the same tricks as mentioned with the Apple case asking for countless depositions, documents by the thousands for years back, e-mails for many years, etc.

Seastar
04-02-2018, 12:42 PM
Loose Nut, My wife & I both said that same thing while watching. These sleeze ball patent trolls do the same tricks as mentioned with the Apple case asking for countless depositions, documents by the thousands for years back, e-mails for many years, etc.

That's exactly what happened to us.
We had a steady stream of demands from the trolls.
Luckily, the trolls attorney was either stupid or drunk and offended the judge by missing filing dates and other actions that caused the suit to be dropped.
Bill

dave_r
04-02-2018, 03:32 PM
That's exactly what happened to us.
We had a steady stream of demands from the trolls.
Luckily, the trolls attorney was either stupid or drunk and offended the judge by missing filing dates and other actions that caused the suit to be dropped.
Bill

They don't actually want to go to court, as that significantly raises their costs, and may result in the patent being invalidated, or them having to pay penalties. I would think it's part of their strategy to appear incompetent to the court, rather than being extortionists (for example, by just dropping the court case when the company doesn't settle up front).

Seastar
04-02-2018, 09:24 PM
They don't actually want to go to court, as that significantly raises their costs, and may result in the patent being invalidated, or them having to pay penalties. I would think it's part of their strategy to appear incompetent to the court, rather than being extortionists (for example, by just dropping the court case when the company doesn't settle up front).
I had not thought of that.
You may be correct.
In any case they cost us a bunch of money that could have been put to better use.
Bill

wierdscience
04-02-2018, 10:26 PM
Horrible that this goes on, a perversion of the justice system and especially the patent system. All in what is the country most build on innovation and invention. You guys should be screaming for tort reform and patent office reform.

We have been for decades,only problem is of the current 535 members of Congress 315 are lawyers-

https://www.nytimes.com/1964/01/05/are-there-too-many-lawyers-in-congress.html

Fat chance getting them to put themselves out of work.

danlb
04-03-2018, 12:16 AM
All in what is the country most build on innovation and invention. You guys should be screaming for tort reform and patent office reform.

Unfortunately we got patent reform a while back. They changed our rules to conform to international patent law. That's how we ended up with the "first to file" and disregard for prior art and obvious works.

In the mid 1990s we heard that "GATT Brings Major Changes in U.S. Patent Law". Things have gone downhill since then.

flylo
04-03-2018, 02:08 AM
They don't actually want to go to court, as that significantly raises their costs, and may result in the patent being invalidated, or them having to pay penalties. I would think it's part of their strategy to appear incompetent to the court, rather than being extortionists (for example, by just dropping the court case when the company doesn't settle up front).

You missed the part that the lawyers dads in east TX were the judges & the lawyers the many shell companies (plaintiffs) were in a building across from the court house & the judges(dads) would sit on request to change venues to florida or calif where many plaintiffs were from. 2 of the judges retired & went into business with the sons but I'm sure the sitting judges are friends or family.

A.K. Boomer
04-03-2018, 09:24 AM
340K to settle a patent claim.

A couple of grand to have said troller "removed" from society.

Do the math.

My cousin Vinny's about half that price :cool:

loose nut
04-03-2018, 09:25 AM
Loose Nut, My wife & I both said that same thing while watching. These sleeze ball patent trolls do the same tricks as mentioned with the Apple case asking for countless depositions, documents by the thousands for years back, e-mails for many years, etc.

A great man once said "revenge is a moral imperative". If you don't wack them how will they learn the error of their decisions.

Actually it was Val Kilmer in the movie Real Genius be the principal still stands.

A.K. Boomer
04-03-2018, 09:37 AM
It would be nice if we could get the corruption out of the system. from what i understand about it is if your not a large corporation with deep pockets it's just better to build or create or do whatever your going to do because all anyone has to do is change your design by 3% and call it their own anyways...
document when you came up with it and all the moves it took to get there, but keep in mind that's mostly so you don't get your arss sued later on when "they" claim you stole it from them...

all's it takes is money or knowing the right dirtballs to game the system. nice

Mcgyver
04-03-2018, 11:47 AM
It would be nice if we could get the corruption out of the system.

no kidding, that Texas father son duo is a scary story.

What do you guys say about your elected judge thing? I've heard American legal advocates critical of it. Two reasons, the further down the food chain you get in elected officials the less time anyone has to really notice or care (ie. the school board doesn't get the same critical coverage as the oval office) and secondly they're suppose to service principals not the whim of the electorate. Seems to me getting elected is all to often about curb appeal, catchy phrases and PR..... you might get a lot of judges capable of that and not much more. With appointments and oversight from the profession and no re-elections to face, (supposedly) you get ones who are good judges and who's only real motivation is to serve the law (nevertheless I'm pretty critical of ours as well)

reggie_obe
04-03-2018, 12:22 PM
This seems to indicate that things may be improving for patent holders: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/business/economy/patents-trolls-supreme-court.html

MattiJ
04-03-2018, 12:32 PM
Unfortunately we got patent reform a while back. They changed our rules to conform to international patent law. That's how we ended up with the "first to file" and disregard for prior art and obvious works.

In the mid 1990s we heard that "GATT Brings Major Changes in U.S. Patent Law". Things have gone downhill since then.

I think you have f*cked up the system long time ago all by yourself as US patent law has been running joke longer than I can remember here in Europe.

Otherwise its much the same in here, patents are not much use for small "one man" companies. BIG corporations are the ones benefiting.

J Tiers
04-03-2018, 11:38 PM
I think you have f*cked up the system long time ago all by yourself as US patent law has been running joke longer than I can remember here in Europe.

Otherwise its much the same in here, patents are not much use for small "one man" companies. BIG corporations are the ones benefiting.

European system is the joke. Everyone knows that.

Steal the information, run to the patent office, you get the patent. The actual inventors get the shaft. It has happened many times.

The US system, with the actual inventor protected, was far more "just". The problem with the US system was more an issue of bad examiner research, and that had to be due to bad orders from bosses.

dave_r
04-04-2018, 02:05 AM
European system is the joke. Everyone knows that.

Steal the information, run to the patent office, you get the patent. The actual inventors get the shaft. It has happened many times.

The US system, with the actual inventor protected, was far more "just". The problem with the US system was more an issue of bad examiner research, and that had to be due to bad orders from bosses.

Well then the US system is fixed, as it was just changed to who runs to the patent office first...of course, they retained "bad examiner research".

J Tiers
04-04-2018, 08:22 AM
Not fixed, they retained the bad part, and broke the good part worse.