back to article Patent troll sues Oprah, Sony over online book viewing

An IP-squatting firm is suing Oprah Winfrey's production company and Sony Electronics over patent infringement for using and promoting software that displays books on the internet. Illinois Computer Research claims Oprah's Bookclub violates its US Patent 7,11,252 - a method of "Enhancing touch and feel on the internet." The …

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  1. Seán

    Permanent solution

    Surely if these IP slugs were to die whenever they sued that would tend to reduce their numbers.

  2. ffrankmccaffery

    sweet

    its just a shame apple arent being sued aswell otherwise it would have been just perfect

  3. Jeremy
    Pirate

    All your base are belong to us.

    Which stupid git at the USPO granted that one?

    They're smart though. Oprah will probably settle to avoid sullying her all important pristine reputation for distributing mindless pap to Americans who'd rather not have think for themselves.

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Stop

    Patent date : 2000

    Wouldn't that mean there was prior art in the area?

    I mean, call me cynical but I was viewing information about books online waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy before 2000 :)

  5. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Pirate

    Takin care o bidness

    Makes sense to get as many of the family that can read into the friendly chairs in the courthouses of the world's most leading nation.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Any prior art around?

    Like, say, allowing customers to browse the stock in a real, bricks 'n mortar bookshop, but not letting them take the whole book away without paying?

    I wonder who the unsung genius was who "invented" that one.......

  7. jake Silver badge

    This is just daft. No ... It's silly. Monty Python stile.

    Punter: "Hi! I'm selling something! Here's a description, and a preview!"

    Lawyers: "You can't do that ... we have a Patent!"

    The mind boggles ... What's next, is this group of idiots going to sue the newspapers of the world for printing classifieds? Or (hopefully) they will win, and there will be no more ads on TV or radio ...

    As I said, silly.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Hope he wins....

    ...then Phil K can sue for double the money for unauthorised use of his works for profit (i.e using the title of his works to gain said money from lawsuit).

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    This should be fun to watch!

    Much as I wouldn't mind seeing anything to do with Oprah (all-time most annoying woman on TV) taking a kicking, I can't see heavyweights like Amazon sitting quietly in the corner and letting this parasite build a possible precedence case to come at them with later. I suspect Amazon would be quite happy to provide extensive evidence of prior art.

  10. TMS9900
    Coat

    Eh?

    I thought for a patent the subject couldn't be 'obvious' and there had to be no prior-art?

    Oh, this would be America, right?

    Mine's the one with 'Patent For Computing Device' in the pocket.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    More proof (if it were needed)...

    ...that lawyers are just a cancer on society. They create nothing and they destroy everything.

  12. Mike Smith
    Paris Hilton

    I wonder how long it'll be..

    ...before the rest of the world tells the US to roll its half-arsed patent system up, coat it in Vaseline and put it in the appropriate storage? Seems to me that any company or individual wanting to launch something even vaguely innovative would do well to avoid The Land Of The Free (TM) as grasping chancers like this guy who would push ROI through the floor in a couple of months.

    Paris because... well, Vaseline...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    To quote from the patent..

    "A system for enabling touch and feel over the internet provides a three-dimensional representation of a good being sold, that three-dimensional representation being viewable from a number of different directions."

    I can't see how this is interesting when dealing with books, but it's simple enough to set up a service as discussed in the article without going fancy 3D. Why the hell would you? Also, wtf do they even mean by "touch and feel"? I'm pretty sure I don't get a haptic interface when reading through Kindle.

  14. /dev/me
    Paris Hilton

    Patent pending?

    I seem to remember someone had patented patent trolling *searches* [url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/10/halliburton_patent/]haha![/url] And if you read [url=http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=20080270152&OS=20080270152&RS=20080270152]this[/url] it's clear that suing Oprah and Sony is a violation of Halliburtons intellectual property. Should we warn them??

    I feel I'm in the wrong universe sometimes. Does any of this actually make sense to the natives?

    Paris, as a counter weight to this madness...

  15. Gordon Pryra

    The firm seeks an undisclosed amount of damages.

    Well seeing as how they lost nothing, having never had any intention of producing anything with their "IP", they can go fuck themselves.

    If you ever wanted to see why the people hold the legal system in such comtempt, then this would be a good example.

  16. AliBaBa
    Thumb Down

    who's that crossing my IP bridge

    has anyone yet patented the act of filing for patents? surely a money spinner to fill the coffers of all patent trolls out there. Seriously though, how do these patents get through? Don't you have to have an actual product you have made anymore? just the vaguest of ideas? Is this the basis for the term 'patently absurd'?

  17. J
    Flame

    Lawyers...

    No comments about them.

    But laws should be changed to avoid the possibility of patent trolling, methinks. These scums who buy patents just to sue are parasites, and as such must be "exterminated". Aren't patents supposed to give incentive to innovation and all that? So, if you hold a patent but do not produce or demonstrate research on anything based on the patent (let's say, after a certain amount of time), then you should either not be able to sue to enforce it (because that's stifling innovation and production, just the opposite of the "spirit of the law"). Or, preferably, lose it.

  18. Don Casey
    Pirate

    Stupid move

    I hope they get destroyed; (*&$ing trolls!

    They've chosen to sue somebody who is rich, popular, and articulate... who also likes taking up causes. If Oprah decides to fight this watch out.

    Can you imaging Oprah in front of a jury? She'd have them crying in their seats.

  19. Colin Wilson
    Coat

    It's time they were referred to the case of...

    Arkell versus Pressdram

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Patent

    I've decided to patent the idea of coming up with a new idea.

  21. Andy Barber
    Alert

    @jake

    > Or (hopefully) they will win, and there will be no more ads on TV or radio ..

    ROTFL

    That would be the BBC then? (Apart from ukTV though, mostly BBC but looong adverts.)

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