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back to article Go Daddy sued over email alerts

Go Daddy has been sued for allegedly infringing two patents when it sends email alerts to customers whose domain names and web hosting accounts are about to expire. Its accuser is WhitServe, a patent licensing company based in Connecticut. It also runs NetDocket, a service designed to make renewing trademark registrations and …

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FAIL

What a crock of sh1te...

What a crock of sh1te - honestly - people have been sending email 'reminders' for far longer than their patent. Typical patent cr@p - what next - someone called Adam patented the act of BREATHING.

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Black Helicopters

Genuinely Confused...

Getting a computer system to send an email to an address based on a specific set of circumstances is not a difficult thing to do, it's used virtually everywhere. My insurance company reminds me to renew my car insurance, when I buy stuff online, they email me receipts and so on.

I actually wrote a system like this for a company which solicited feedback on its experience days about a week after the customer was due to have completed. Since I wrote this system from scratch, of my own initiative, with no prior knowledge that someone had patented this, am I infringing?

Anon. for obvious reasons...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Genuinely Confused..

Are you American? If so, then yes. Your infringing their patent.

If not, then no. You can't patent something so bloody stupid anywhere else.

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Devil

1999 remember

For prior art, you have to show that it was commonly performed before the patent filing date, not today.

Not only that, you have to read the claims very carefully to see if

a) you do actually perform what is described in the claims or not : if you don't you are in the clear anyway

b) if you do perform exactly what is in the claims, you have to see if you can find some prior art which performs exactly what is in the claims, and then gum up the system by filing a reexamination request

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Pint

Really?

A lot of our in-house system monitoring scripts do this, send emails out when something needs attention, should Whitserv start trolling...well basically every company that looks after it's own IT infrastructure?!

Every day another troll comes out from under the bridge, I'm sure there must be some secret TV channel these people watch..."Do you own the rights to IP? Is your company in desperate need of some free PR? Then call us today! We can help put your IP rights to work for you! You could earn big dollars ( cue prat waving flipping great wads at the camera )! All you need to do is dig out some trivial patent for something that everyone else is using and seems convinced is common sense and in the public domain, we'll do the rest!!! Call today!!!"

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Just described, not commonly performed

''For prior art, you have to show that it was commonly performed before the patent filing date, not today.''

Prior art means that the technique was known before the filing date, no one needs to have actually done it. Actually in the USA it is 1 year before the filing date.

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Silver badge

Re: 1999 remember

There is another part (which doesn't seem to apply to US patents). The patent should not be for the "bleedin'" obvious (that's my phasing).

Sending a renewal reminder email is just a modern version of sending a mail reminder by post. Something which anyone who would like to keep receiving your money has been doing since the dawn of time.

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Prior art

Cat tax reminders.

That is all.

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Joke

You get taxed on your cats?

Which country is this in?

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Joke

Hmm

My sister didn't pay her cat tax

What happened?

They'll whisker away.

I didn't even paws to think of that.

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Go

wait - what?

A tax on cats?

Give that man a medal. Those fluffy, sh*tting-on-my-lawn bastards deserve to pay.

... Oh sorry, is this not my online therapy session? As you were, then

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Holmes

Go further back than that...

You have calendar reminders, birthday reminders going back to the late 80's.

And if you get down to it... the patent is invalid because its basically a system to send messages (e-mail, pager, sms, etc...) based on a triggered event.

Whoever granted this patent should be fired for gross incompetence.

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Joke

Would that be...

A poll(cat) tax?

*yes, yes, I know it’s "pole", but I can't let spelling get in the way of a good pun*

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Coat

Cat tax?!?!?!

Damn, I didn't realise you needed to pay cat tax - I'm not licensed to run my Moggy minor!!

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lol

Is it expensive to tax your pussy?

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Re: Cat tax

Is that what you pay to avoid getting sued for breach of a pussy patent?

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Coat

I refuse

As a point of principle, I refuse to pay tax for my cat. This hugely pettist regressive tax is symptomatic of the way the country is going.

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Facepalm

@Lockwood

For shame...

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Prius art

Whyever didn't you point out that you meant to write "car tax reminders" but you accidentally wrote "cat" instead of "car"? You know, letting a mistake like that stand without correcting it, makes you look ridiculous.

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Joke

Happy cat

Is your cat called Eric, and did the men from the Ministry of Housinge come around in their cat dectector van?

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Facepalm

re: Prius Art

Well at least two of us got the joke there. The downvoters.... not so much.

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@AnotherNetNarcissist

"Fur shame..."

FTFY

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WTF?

Patenetly, patent troll...

IMHO all patent trolls will be first against the wall...

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Mushroom

Expect a letter from my solicitors

I've registered prior use of 'will be first against the wall' and any similar variations.

I have a bank account in the Caymans and an expensive lifestyle to feed.

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On reflection,

The one that is first against the wall will sue all of the others.

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I've sent your prior use of "first against the wall" back in time to the late 1970s

where Douglas Adams used it in [The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy]. (If you aren't familiar with that book or radio show, probably none of this comment will be intelligible.)

You'll probably be surprised to hear that subsequently you yourself were the first against the wall when the revolution came.

As it happens it was the sexual revolution...

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@memsey

>>"IMHO all patent trolls will be first against the wall..."

You'd better make sure you don't stick their names in a database along the way.

I'm sure there'll be a US patent out for "A method of organising executions by firing squad by obviously computerising whatever it was that people have already been doing for fucking centuries"

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Linux

Douglas Adams?!

It's actually standard 20s-onwards Communist exclamations, "... come the revolution, the [lawyers/boyars/bourgeois pastry makers/...] will be first against the wall".

Come the revolution, it will be Mac & MS against the wall.

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Re "obviously computerising whatever it was that people have already been doing"

It seems to me that you are also being allowed to patent "taking a thing that people have already been doing on a computer, but now it's on the LAN / the Internet / and particularly, on a mobile phone."

Like, there are probably SMS patents that define something that was previously and, to us, identically, done in e-mail. Or maybe not SMS specifically, but I believe I've seen reports of patents just as stupid as that, obviousness-wise.

And the mobile phone isn't the last word either... here come the tablet smartphones. And probably a whole new set of patents. Put wheels on a tablet and you just patented the skateboard over again - and also, patented "using a skateboard whilst in possession of a tablet device". (Although I think they advise you not to. Sissies. Well, actually, Samsung told me in the manual not to WEAR my Galaxy Tab phone, BUT I DO. Yeah, I -could- fall over and break it, but I don't drink. Nor board-skate.)

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Happy

re: Mac & MS against the wall

For some reason I read that as "M & S against the wall" - presumably a reference to the bourgeois pastry makers.

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Flame

Go Daddy go!

Please, for the love of all things 'obvious' fight.

I am pretty sure I still have a few examples of prior art from when my dentist used to remind me to get my teeth scrubbed every 6 months.

Also HMRC infringe this patent every year by reminding me to file a tax return.

And finally - my BOFH alert from El Reg - could be costly for us all.

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Looking for an icon

I'm sure we used to have a Troll Alert icon back in the day.

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WTF?

Infringing patents by sending an email?

Out of curiosity, can someone in the patent office tell me how many patents I infringe when I scratch my ass? If licencing rights are too expensive, I might have to subcontract.

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Please let WhitServ go bust.

I doubt it will happen but it would be such fun if the firm went bust and the owners committed suicide. I know that may sound harsh, but people like this are holding up the entire human race and wasting everybody's resources while giving absolutely fuck all in return. At least the victims of muggers have a good story to tell, the victims of these cunts have nothing.

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Happy

v

"IMHO all patent trolls will be first against the wall..."

Next to estate agents, accident claim managers, bankers and who else...?

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Vic
Silver badge

The terminally useless...

> Next to estate agents, accident claim managers, bankers and who else...?

Isn't it about time we built the B-Ark?

Vic.

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Unhappy

The B-Ark

but then we'd all get sick from unsanitary telephones...

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i think....

....its about time the retarded morons that come up with these stupid patent ideas should have their useful organs removed and donated to a human who is worthy of a life. Oh, and without pain killers. Then when that's been done a quick trip to the patient office and repeat for the approver.

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Paris Hilton

but...

Would you really want their organs?

Paris, 'cos I hear she likes organs.

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Silver badge

Why oh why?

Why why why was this patent accepted? Yeah, I know: the USPTO does not give a shit, because the more crap patents they accept, the more their job is secure. Let the courts deal with invalidating them. Lawyers earn money, and everybody is happy. Erm.

H6242

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g e
Silver badge

more prior art

I have shareit automated payment reports in my inbox from 1999 and I'm damned sure they were doing it in 1998, too...

In fact I almost certainly have domain renewal reminders from before then too. In fact most of the world must have.

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Anonymous Coward

A petard they won't wanna be foist by

Whitserve's domain is registered with Dotster.

Dotster's website says, '60-days* before your domain(s) expire will [sic] send notices reminding you to renew them.'

So, on the basis that they can sue Zygo for being a GoDaddy customer, shouldn't Whitserve sue itself for being a Dotster customer?

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Stop

Prior art

I stuck an email reminder on systems I was managing in the early 90's that the team hadn't remembered to load the backup tape.

Assuming this is prior art where do I go for my shed load of cash?

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@Titus

>>"Assuming this is prior art where do I go for my shed load of cash?"

Where I've recordably done things which were subsequently patented by someone else, I guess I could overturn the patent if I wanted, and I could certainly defend myself pretty easily against a request to comply with the patent, but that's about it.

I guess if there was something where you were the /only/ example of prior art, you might try asking the patent holder for money to keep quiet, but this doesn't seem like one of those situations.

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Coffee/keyboard

Hope they win

I hope this troll wins. I hope all the trolls win. Face the facts, stop pretending the current system isn't useless, let's race to the end as fast as we can and get it over with.

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Happy

Lucky American

A small price to pay for living in the free world.

I got my insurance reminder by email last week, maybe this UK company is affected by this patent too.

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FAIL

Patents are killing business

Soon you wont be able to compete with new inventions because everyone have some stupid patent out stopping creativity. Seriously, this patent, like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich patent (Seriously, search for the article here on the reg) is getting stupid and out if hand. I say kill patents, what does it achieve other than trolls register nonsense and wait for a big fish to use that idea.

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@killing business

Not neccessarily.

If your market is not in the states then the patent is unenforceable. I would suspect that if the US Patent system continues along this path then US business will find themselves excluded from the Asian and European markets as local manufacturers undercut them and out-innovate them. May not happen this year, or the next but sure as hell will eventually.

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Boffin

Prior art?

-- Cron + Sendmail + Majordomo

-- Listserv

-- Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0/5.5 (Calendar reminders)

-- Novell GroupWise 5.2

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Silver badge

Hmmm

A patent on sending someone an email when their times almost up and giving them an option to buy more... Seems to this non-lawyer to be the definition of Obvious.

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