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Apple, Research in Motion, and a gaggle of other deep-pocket firms have been slapped with a wide-ranging patent infringment suit by an obscure Texas firm. The suit alleges that Apple and RIM - plus AT&T, Insight Enterprises, LG Electronics, Motorola, Pantech Wireless, Samsung and Sanyo - are in violation of one or more of seven …

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Flame

Invoke the Texas clause

Well... I guess the companies affected should lobby their senators (pet ones or otherwise) to invoke the Texas special clause. It is the only state in the US which has a secession allowance in their Union treaty.

That would solve it - from there on they can happily sue anyone they could. In the independent state of Texas. With JWB as a president...

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Troll

Vulture Central?

I know that the Reg likes to refer to itself as Vulture Central, but it seems that East Texas is the true version, with vulturous (is that even a real word?) lawyers pecking for the scraps of meat from other peoples bones.

It's just yet another example of how the U.S. patent system is completely broken.

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Anonymous Coward

Pick one at random, Bluetooth

Patent is 'turning on device discover mode when first powering up / turn it off when powering down".

As opposed to the BlueTooth design of "turning it on when you want to discover something".

So to be novel and inventive, they would have to be turning on discover mode at startup "only when you DON'T want to discover devices", because otherwise it would be covered by the BlueTooth design itself.

Ahh the USPTO, it should be clear to everyone that the USPTO did not do it's job and you cannot sign treaties that assume it has. In particular any patent from the USPTO has not had the prior art and inventive tests done properly.

ACTA should not assume something different from the real world information we have about te USPTO's antics. If they enforce US patents for example of cross recognitition, the first thing must be a test to see that the prior art and inventive tests have been done before even beginning enforcement of a USPTO patent.

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Fuck it

Abolish patents already, or at the very least reform them so they aren't this stupid and easy to exploit. "Protect inventors" my arse. They just cause trouble and allow lawyers, corporates and patent trolls to play their games at our expense.

Think that patents are the reason sick people die because these little pieces of paper artificially inflate drug prices outside reasonable levels. Annoyingly retarded.

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Paris Hilton

Vexing, isn't it.

"Think that patents are the reason sick people die because these little pieces of paper artificially inflate drug prices outside reasonable levels. Annoyingly retarded."

The problem with that, not that I entirely disagree, is that it costs a metric shitload of money to develop a new pharmaceutical. Despite what many people seem to think, and in some cases what the pharmaceutical companies themselves say, they aren't in it to save the world, but to make money like any other company.

So, in order to recoup all that investment, they patent their product and sell rights to it under licence until they get their money back and see a profit.

If they couldn't do that, then they wouldn't spend the money to develop the drug in the first place, and people would still die because no one would be inventing the drugs that they need to save them.

Now I won't say that Pharma's don't abuse this system, because I've seen them do it from up close, but simply abolishing patents doesn't solve the problem because removing revenue protection also removes the incentive to do R&D.

It's a bugger, especially if you're poor, but there you are. There are probably solutions to this conundrum, but I'm buggered if I know what they are.

Paris, just to lighten the mood a bit, really.

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Anonymous Coward

blah blah blah

"the firm has expanded its practice to include this challenging and complex area of practice"

or:

"the firm has expanded its practice to include this nice little earner".

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this is getting ridiculous

A Bluetooth off button, Mail Sync and multi-tasking?

Do they know how many lawyers Apple, RIM &co can afford?

Doubt this will fly, even in E. Tx.

Though, that said, the Word XML thing was spectacularly unexpected, so who knows.

Wasn't it possible to switch stuff off or put a device in standby mode prior to this startling discovery?

I seem to remember having my mail on multiple machines quite a while ago?

And Multi tasking has been around since the big G came up with a novel idea for spare ribs.

"Down with this sort of thing" - Ted Crilly

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Giggle

Had to have a small giggle about Apple being sued for patent violation just days after they sued HTC.

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Stop

Obvious next step

Bring a motion to dismiss with prejudice, on the basis that the patents in question should never have been granted in the first place on the grounds of significant prior art and/or blinding obviety; countersue SmartPhone Technologies LLC for bringing a case that is without merit, knowing the patents in question to have been falsely granted, and seek to have them branded vexatious litigants.

What the USA needs is a simple law, that in civil cases no money may change hands until the verdict is delivered and all avenues of appeal are exhausted.

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Silver badge

And oddly enough,

Texas would also be the best state in which to possibly win that case.

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Urf

Whilst the outlawing of Word amused me greatly, all this patent faff in the USA is really beyond a joke. There should be some clause whereby if a firm is not actively using a patent (i.e. in the R&D/manufacture of mobile phones in this case) then the patent expires within a few years.

I realise there are problems with the above, but it would stop all these parasitic lawyers hoovering up patents and suing every Tom, Dick and Harriet.

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Nuke the place

and destroy all electronic technology for miles around. Solved.

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FAIL

Dan Quayle had it right

In asking why the US has 5% of the world's population, and yet has 90% of the world's lawyers

I suspect cases like this prove it

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Grenade

Good Ideas can always be abused

Its like anything else in the world. Come up with a good idea and someone will find a way to abuse it. How many things were invented for a specific purpose then twisted to something else. TNT anyone.

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Black Helicopters

TNT anyone?

No thanks, but if you've got any C4 going spare.

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Coat

no...

...but i've got a C5* going spare

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* For our american cousins - google "sinclair C5"

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FAIL

Re: AC @ 10:55 GMT

Texas does not have a secession clause as part of its annexation. It does have the right to divide itself into as many as four extra states.

If the Eastern District court no longer proved amenable to patent lawsuits, I feel confident that the collective resourcefulness of the legal community would find a replacement venue for their activities.

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Gold badge

Curiosity:

Can you sue the District Court of the Eastern District of Texas for corruption, or something similar? It's obvious their judgement on patent infringement cases is distinctly out of line with the rest of the justice system in the US...maybe this constitutes some form of offence?

Not recommending it as an action, merely an honest curiosity as to how the law works in that regard.

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fraud

Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”.

For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org.

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Coat

Title

I agree the patent system needs reform/abolishment. However, since there would be next-to-no incentive to be the first to innovate if we did away with patents, perhaps make a requirement for "unique and novel." Yes, yes, it supposedly already requires that. But I'm talking, if someone invents a Warp Drive, grant them a patent. If someone invents coating the wires connecting to a warp drive with "identifying colors based on purpose" toss it out! Or perhaps "graphically displaying warp drive power graphically based on percent-of-maximum" crap. You get the idea.

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