back to article Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit

Remember Theranos? The blood-testing company worth billions whose CEO Elizabeth Holmes became a celebrity right up until the point when it became clear its revolutionary testing machines didn’t actually work as described? Well, Theranos is dead, and Holmes is still dealing with the legal repercussions, but her vampire company …

  1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    American patent system is ... "something".

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: snmigueelbeer

      Profit before people.

      "Corporations are people" - Mitt Romney.

      1. aks Bronze badge

        Re: RE: snmigueelbeer

        Technically, a Corporation is legally a person. Thats what the word incorporation means. "made flesh"

    2. TRT Silver badge

      I actually found a research paper online that argued that a consideration of public interest in any infringement proceedings should be removed from the US Statute books because it's anti-competitive. In fact the article goes on to reason that the patent system actively encourages research investment as manufacturers etc try to find alternative ways around the patented solution / component. All that does is actively encourage professional patent writers who tighten up the filed designs etc so much that they monopolise entire classes of things.

      You couldn't make it up!

  2. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Coat

    Theranos?

    Didn't they used to make Flasks?

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Theranos?

      No, I'm sure he fought The Avengers...

      1. scaley

        Re: Theranos?

        Surely it's a Linux Distro

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Theranos?

        And he was much more effective than the Coronavirus...

      3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Theranos?

        > No, I'm sure he fought The Avengers...

        No, I'm sure the Flask was DC not Marvel...

  3. IGotOut

    Hands up...

    Anyone here hope the low life DON'T it really bad...anyone...you at the back?

    No?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hands up...

      Are you missing some words in your post?

  4. Schultz Silver badge
    Boffin

    Bad arguments

    The fact that Theranos owned the patent doesn't reflect on the novelty or validity of the patent at all. Similarly, the fact that the company being sued works on Coronavirus testing kit (who doesn't, these days?) does not reflect on the merits of the case.

    I would agree that the patent system is broken, but you can only fix it by thorough screening of the patents, by figuring out what type of innovation should be patentable, by killing the incentives to submit, grant, and litigate in quantity rather than quality. This story does not contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Bad arguments

      US patents have an interesting property in that you don't have to show a working or even practical model to get one granted to you. This is a relatively recent change, originally you had to demonstrate the idea, and it opened up a land grab of vague generalizations that are the foundation of the business model of patent trolls. Its actually a lot easier to make money parasiting off others rather than doing the actual leg work yourself but as we're finding out the hard way with Huawei and 5G there comes a time when all the paperwork and lawyers in the world won't actually make your businesses viable. (That's when you go to Plan 'B' -- buy yourself some politicians.......start making vacuous claims about IP theft......)

      1. trevorde

        Re: Bad arguments

        AFAIK, having worked in the patent/IP area, there has never been a requirement to show a working version. The only requirement is the invention is "novel/new" and the patent applicant discloses a way to implement/perform the invention. The level of disclosure required is so that "a non-inventive person, skilled in the art" can create the invention.

        Most patent systems around the world are broken in that patent offices are motivated to grant patents because that generates revenue/renewal fees. Searches for prior art and examinations are minimal; and broad claims are readily granted. This has led to big businesses, and patent trolls, hoarding patents and using them as a stick to threaten other companies.

        Most patent systems have a "compulsory licensing" clause but this has been rarely enforced; thereby encouraging patent trolls.

        The only ray of hope is that "extension of term" for pharmaceuticals is a little easier in acknowledgement of how long it takes to get a drug to market.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Bad arguments

          The original "true" patents required submission of a "patent model". Something you wanted to patent had to be specific enough that you could make a model of it to demonstrate it's function. It's true that it didn't have to work as such, but it DID prevent a boatload of the vagaries and trolling that happens with the current system.

          1. Zolko

            Re: Bad arguments

            "Something you wanted to patent had to be specific enough that you could make a model of it to demonstrate it's function"

            yes and no: having worked in the development department and made some stuff that was then patented, I had to provide drawings and descriptions of the things "we" wanted to patent. The end result was the stuff that I had provided, PLUS some extra claims about potential unknown solutions that we had never talked about, let-alone developed, to form patent claims that where very specific to begin with, but then included some vague description on some alternative "solutions" whose only objective was to prevent competitors to by-pass the patent using different techniques, and which might or might-not have worked. Of course, these "alternative" claims were inserted by the patent attorneys that did the patent writing. And who probably earned twice my salary.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bad arguments

          "The earliest law required that a working model of each invention be submitted with the application. Patent applications were examined to determine if an inventor was entitled to the grant of a patent. The requirement for a working model was eventually dropped. In 1793,[20] the law was revised so that patents were granted automatically upon submission of the description."

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_patent_law

          Just to remember that Theranos tests did not work. It's no surprise that this troll is trying to get an injunction and offering a quick 'license'.

          Here its another win-win for patent troll and victim company.

          Patent troll sues, wants injunction, but offers free license.

          Victim company cannot risk delay, agrees to free license.

          Patent troll gets a confirmation of the validity of its patents it can cite in court for future lawsuits against other companies. Do these patents work? Well your honor, [victim] company, the leaders in the field say yes!

          So patent troll can force licenses for its troll patents that do not work. And victim company ensures new entrants pay a penalty for entering the market, which lets them charge a higher price.

          I recall Microsoft did this trick repeatedly to pretend it was the inventor of the smartphone even though it copied the Nokia Communicator and Handspring Treo.

        3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Bad arguments

          I would think one (amongst many) solutions to patents being rubber-stamped simply for filing fees is that when a patent is invalidated, the granting patent office would have to pay 10x the filing fee back to the party suing for invalidation.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Bad arguments

            Greta idea! I'll patent the idea of patenting many, many things on a regular basis and then watching them later be invalidated and the cash will roll in!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed a trick by not calling themselves 'Thanatos'...

  6. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Flame

    CoVID 19 Witch hunts

    Somebody on one of these threads was wondering when the coronavirus witch hunts would be starting, with some early paranoia about people of Asian appearance, which didnt really take off, at least in the civilised world.

    This looks like an excellent opportunity to set the pitchfork and flaming torch armed mobs after ... patent lawyers and their vile parasitic hives.

    Another silver lining to emerge from a global catastrophe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

      Using the "cases outside China data" from 22/ Jan to now is here:

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-cases/

      Stick it in a spreadsheet, the daily rate of increase is about x1.1844. So 9 initial people* 1.1844^56 = ~117000 cases yesterday

      Meaning that by 21st May, EVERYONE on the planet is infected.

      -----------------

      Lets run some other scenarios, instead of 9 initial cases, there are 100.

      That's x1.1345, now its 13th June till everyone has it.

      Doesn't help. You need to really flatten the growth till a vaccine can be made, then give it free to everyone so nobody is left spreading it.

      -----

      You don't need pitch forks, because the biggest pitch fork is Karma. Try offering "thoughts and prayers".

      See Moscow Mitch? All those obstruction games he's playing right now on the Covid bill? 78 years old, he has a about a 12% chance of dying from Covid 19 by the middle of the year. Thoughts and prayers Mitch.

      Jeanine Ferris Pirro, the Nazi version of Judge Judy on Fox News? the woman pretending it was a "leftist plot to make Trump look bad"? 68 years old. ~7.6% . Thoughts and Prayers Pirro!

      Wes Edens (one of these patent trolls in the story) 58 years old, 3.37%. "T&P" Wes.

      So don't get angry. No pitch fork needed. Go look at Wikipedia for the ages do a mortality estimate and offer them your "thoughts and prayers" on the impending Karma.

      Wayne Robert LaPierre, Jr. (NRA) 70 years... "TP" Wayne.

      See how much better that makes you feel?

      And as for the younger ones with their lower probability? e.g. Katie Williams, is speeding up the spread to her heroes! Those preachers that preach "Republicanism" as if it was "Christianity" that refuse to close their churches, TP them!

      ------------

      Just stay away from public events, avoid crowds, wash your hands, wear a mask (yes I know USA has a shortage and so should be limited to heath care workers, but other countries have plenty and they are not on ration and they do work).

      Look at South Korea, they have it almost capped, using the basic testing/ isolation / hygiene.

      Look at China, they have it almost capped using testing / isolation/ hygiene.

      Look at Italy, not capped yet, but they tested a whole village to find that half of the people infected didn't have symptoms but were spreading it, after isolating all the the positive tested results, they had 10% of the expected cases for that group. Pretty impressive what testing and isolating and basic hygiene can do.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

        Especially testing and isolating, but the UK still has its head in a bucket or has decided that it can write off people's lives because it's cheaper.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

          The bucket is actually a report from the COVID-19 Response Team at Imperial College London. Although I enjoy blaming the government for everything the only thing I can fault them for is the lack of the exceptional communication skills requires to get a clear message through click bait media. Massively oversimplifying the report: a draconian response last week causes severe problems late in the year whereas a more 'business friendly' approach means not as sever problems problems now but essentially over before the start of Winter.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Case isolation would not work

            Given the Italians found that there were more people asymptomatic and infectious than showing symptoms, the Imperial College London model is based on a false premise.

            1) Isolating people with symptoms would miss more than half of the infectious people.

            I note Prof Crisanti (also of ICL) was involved in that Italian case, but not involved in your cited study.

            https://www.ft.com/content/0dba7ea8-6713-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3

            “In the UK, there are a whole lot of infections that are completely ignored,” Prof Crisanti told the Financial Times. “We were able to contain the outbreak here because we identified and eliminated the ‘submerged’ infections and isolated them,” he said of the Vò approach. “That is what makes the difference.”

            2) Their 7 day and 14 day numbers are optimistic

            "Home isolation of cases – whereby those with symptoms of the disease (cough and/or fever) remain at home for 7 days following the onset of symptoms Home quarantine – whereby all household members of those with symptoms of the disease remain at home for 14 days following the onset of symptoms"

            Look at the Diamond Princess, it was evacuated at latest before 1st March, with 696 cases. Now there are 712 cases now. 16 reported March 18th, 18 days after the last day on the ship.

            https://virusncov.com/covid-statistics/diamond-princess

            So I doubt the 14 day number.

            3) Their models assume [(hard isolation), followed by (weak isolation)] vs (medium isolation).

            That would be foolish, you would do [(hard isolation) followed by (medium isolation)].

            You do (hard isolation) now, because lots of people are in the population showing no symptoms but infectious. Unless you can test everyone immediately, you need to curtail that NOW. Immediately. Boris cannot offer tests for everyone immediately, so he needs to be do (hard isolation) now.

            You do (medium isolation) later because you need to delay the infection till a vaccine is available.

            If it springs up again, you back to (hard isolation). Such a model was not analysed by ICL.

            4) "Business friendly" (your term?) misses the point that *trust* is needed for people to return to business as usual, and there is zero chance of that without action.

            5) The Chinese now have nearly flat result. Do you imagine they would just stop those as ICL suggests is the option?

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

            It was not necessary for the UK to wait for this report which was released yesterday before taking action. Action could have been taken before following the Asian countries' lead (and it's hardly unknown ground given the previous pandemics) and refined with the release of this report.

            But it's nice to see that the UK has finally decided that more testing is worthwhile. Shame they're still not testing NHS workers as a pretty basic requirement for fighting this virus is that staff are disease free and do not spread it amongst themselves, patients who are in hospital for other reasons, or visitors.

            The UK's 'business friendly' approach is cod-science bullshit. Nobody still really knows if the virus mutates or not, this year's immunity might mean nothing next year. People need to be cured and the spread of the virus needs to be stopped, now.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

              People need to be cured and the spread of the virus needs to be stopped, now.

              The former is impossible as yet and the latter would require a coordinated global shutdown of every household everywhere to achieve or the virus pops up again in a giant game of whack-a-mole. I mean, theoretically that is possible, but theoretically the next knock on my door could be Nicole Kidman begging for sex.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

                Yes, people criticise lockdowns because they think it's not obvious how to stop the lockdown but once you have got the numbers under control with a lockdown you move to the South Korean model of constant testing and monitoring.

                The question is how is the UK's unique laissez faire solution any better? It basically amounts to letting people die and not having to do much as if that were something commendable because then you don't have to think about what to do next.

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

                  people criticise lockdowns because they think it's not obvious how to stop the lockdown but once you have got the numbers under control with a lockdown you move to the South Korean model of constant testing and monitoring

                  I don't disagree with this, but that isn't the point you made that I replied to. What you said was "People need to be cured and the spread of the virus needs to be stopped, now.", and I explained that simply isn't realistic (we all wish it were).

                  The question is how is the UK's unique laissez faire solution any better?

                  The UKs science driven approach is to lock down but not until the upward curve gets going, because they don't think people will obey the lockdown over anything more than the short term. Looking at the St Paddys day drinking stupidity, its easy to see that the young at least will take scant notice.

                  People in relationships that don't live together will want to see each other, without being too crude, to "get jiggy with it", young people living with their parents will want to get out of the house and see their friends. Spouses cheating on their other half will want to see their bit on the side. Families will want to visit each other. People will need to shop for things. So it goes. The UK approach is trying to figure out when that limited lockdown would be best implemented to result in the fewest fatalities at either side.

                  Boris bashing is all trendy and fun, but you're simply not being realistic. The people he should be listening to are stood either side of him while he announces to the rest of us how he's implementing their plan. There's no way to win this thing - we're all going to lose people we care about, we're all going to lose money, and we're all going to lose some freedoms somewhere down the line.

                  The only way to know whether now was the best time to lock down or a month either side, will be looking back from the future. Hindsight is, appropriately enough, always 2020.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Pitch forks unnecessary, Karma is good enough

                    You have a good 7-14 days before lockdown takes effect, so you shouldn't wait until the curve takes off before doing it. In fact you don't even know when the curve will take off because you're not testing asymptomatic and systematic people (some will have had flu, some will have this, if you don't test you will never know). You're just waiting for the dead bodies to pile up before deciding to do something to bring it back down to the level that you should have started mass testing and monitoring in the first place.

                    I restate that if there's no testing, no lockdown, and no monitoring of people's contacts and where they've been then it's not science-driven, it's just handwavey political bullshit.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: CoVID 19 Witch hunts

      Patent override, job done... if it weren't for the fact that governments aren't in hock to lobbyists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CoVID 19 Witch hunts

        Perhaps you meant are rather than aren't?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: CoVID 19 Witch hunts

          I could care less.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But this is true capitalism!

    Why criticise it? True capitalism at it's finest! Anything else would be commie, eh, BOB?

    But more seriously, this *is* true unfettered capitalism - like the Tennessee guy and his stock-piling of hand sanitisers https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-51909045 - or Trump offering to buy exclusive rights to a covid-19 vaccine. https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-confirms-that-donald-trump-tried-to-buy-firm-working-on-coronavirus-vaccine/

    Capitalism will kill us all.

  8. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

    If ONE PERSON DIES because because of that patent litigation then ALL THE BOARD MEMBERS AND THE CEO may be eligible for CAPITAL MURDER CHARGES and thus become eligible for THE DEATH PENALTY and it will be made sure the JURY is SHOWN YOUR WILFUL AND WANTON INTENT on such actions which means THEY WILL CONVICT ON CAPITAL ONE MURDER CHARGES !!!

    The judge will have no choice BUT to sentence those board members as Felony Accessories TO MURDER and THEY TOO WOULD ALSO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE DEATH PENALTY !!!

    THIS IS A WARNING TO YOU EXECUTIVES --- if YOUR COMPANY'S BEHAVIOUR results in the removal of a working life saving device from a patient and they die because of that, YOU WILL BE FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER ONE !!!! In the United States YOU AND YOUR ACCOMPLICES ALL CAN FACE THE DEATH PENALTY as punishment upon conviction by a jury of your peers!!!!!

    Conduct Yourselves Accordingly!

    ---

    1. hittitezombie

      It doesn't work like that.

      1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

        Actually YES it does! There is a Necessity Defense in the USA and IF the manufacturer (executives and the board) perform actions and show wanton recklessness and/or gross negligence and/or disregard for the life of a patient by disabling or otherwise causing or enabling the disablement of a life-giving device, THOSE members CAN ALL be charged with Murder One or Felony Accessory to Murder in the United States even IF the act(s) took place in a foreign country !!!!!

        THAT makes them eligible for the Death Penalty !!!

        It's been in the last three years where many state legislatures have changed their laws to make this become CRIMINAL matters and NOT CIVIL matters!

        The USA is a VERY DIFFERENT country than Europe --- The professional globe-trotting private Bounty Hunters WILL be GOING EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD coming after them especially to bring them back to the USA BY FORCE, especially when they can get 10% to 30% of the total bond of posted reward!

        See these guys:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZgZJRQqm7Y

        (NOTE: Bounty Hunter "D" in this video is a fully licenced bounty hunter while Patty Mayo WAS once long time ago a licenced bounty hunter but in this specific video is legally only an observer/actor!)

        The good stuff starts at 6:10

        They don't eff around in the USA --- THIS is what's waiting for them !!!!

        ---

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          You forgot one little detail : those assholes who you want to accuse of Murder One are rich. They set up a company, snaffled the patents and started litigation in the same week. They have money, and in the US, that is a great shield against your bounty hunters.

          They have no need to leave the country, they already have lawyers.

          1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

            NOT if the head honchos get CONVICTED by U.S. Juries !!!!

            Most people don't know that in 90% of cases (OJ Simpson excepted!) juries TEND to CONVICT a defendant! It doesn't matter if they're rich or poor, juries are already TICKED OFF at the lawyers for making them come in for jury duty where they get, in MANY southern and midwestern states especially, only $10 US per day and NO OTHER PAY for the missing work because in much of America there IS no paid time off or sick leave from work! You server on a jury YOU DO NOT GET PAID PERIOD !!!!

            If you're an hourly worker you don't get paid time off so you LOSE WAGES! AND...for the privilege of being forced to serve on a jury, you could end up homeless (evicted) because jury duty doesn't pay enough to make rent! AND in the US, it's not that uncommon to have a case go on for 2 to 8 weeks at a time!

            So juries in the USA tend to convict within mere hours of deliberations because they are so Pi$$-ed off! So in this case where an American citizen has a ventilator not working because of a DELIBERATE act or policy coming from the company's officers, THAT WILL GET YOU A CONVICTION and in many states that CAN be a Capital Offense when it has to do with life-saving or life-giving gear! i.e. They get Murder One or Felony Accessory to Murder which is ALSO eligible for the Death Penalty in the USA!

            --

            They DO NOT EFF AROUND IN THE USA !!! If an American dies from their WILLFUL and WANTON negligence, these days those board members no matter if they are in another country CAN AND WILL face Capital Murder charges !!!!

            --

            AND the private Bounty Hunters WILL come with guns blazing to TAKE YOU BACK to face AMERICAN JUSTICE no matter where you are in the world !!!!

            --

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              If you can prove your statements as to how incompetently your criminal justice system is run then that can be used in Europe to prove that somebody won't receive a fair trial, and shouldn't be extradited. Please be our guests.

              And private bounty hunters won't come with "guns blazing" to almost anywhere other than the US, since the entire civilised world prohibits carrying firearms without good cause.

              From our point of view "private bounty hunters" are also known as "illegally armed vigilantes trying to kidnap people", because that's not a thing outside the US. It's also not a good reason to have a firearm. In other words, they wouldn't be allowed to enter with weapons.

              If they entered without weapons and then tried to break in to somebodies house to "arrest" them then they'd be liable to arrest for (without limitation) a breach of the peace, unlawful threats, breaking and entering, unlawful arrest and kidnapping, and frankly they'd stand zero chance of getting the person out of the country even if they did manage to kidnap them since the first question that'd be asked at the aircraft would be "so, where's the extradition warrant?", and i'll let you figure out what happens when they figure out that it's an unlawful kidnap attempt.

              If you want somebody from another country then you stick in an extradition request, and our police arrest them, they go before our courts to confirm there is a case to answer and then we stick them on a plane (if there are any flying) to the US.

              1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                You REALLY have NO CLUE as to HOW the Private Bounty Hunter System actually WORKS in the USA!

                A bounty hunter typically receives between 10% up to as much as 30% of any Broken Bond by a felon on Bail or otherwise encumbered by a judicial order. A REWARD is also many times posted by a county, state or federal agency and can in many cases be anywhere between $100,000 up to as much as TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS for some criminals at large!

                A PRIVATE bounty hunter simply needs retrieve a felon or person-of-interest and bring them back to the United States! The state DOES NOT SPECIFY the means of retrieval. They ONLY CARE that the felon re-enters U.S> custody! There are more than a few cases of US Bounty Hunters going into Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK and kidnapping the suspect(s) to successfully bring them back to the USA.

                Since it is NOT ILLEGAL to retrieve a felon (or person of interest) by force, AND the bounty hunters ONLY get there reward when they bring the person back, THEY WILL USE ANY MEANS POSSIBLE !!!

                AND YES they SMUGGLE IN GUNS because it is NOT illegal to confront and/or retrieve a criminal if you are a bounty hunter! The state does NOT ASK HOW you brought them in...they only care that you did bring them back to AMERICAN JUSTICE !!!

                YES! The external country can REQUEST extradition BUT NO U.S. JUDGE would sign that extradition order on a LEGAL Bounty Hunter's successful retrieval if the retrieval causes no grievous harm to bystanders or the body public .... SOOOO when you have 5 million dollar reward for some guy currently living in Luxembourg, HELL YES those bounty hunters will be smuggling and carrying GUNS to get their man! Especially when its for a $5 million BOUNTY!

                So long they get back to U.S. territory, they are AOK under the law in MANY individual states statutes.

                AND since EVERY STATE has different bounty hunting laws, the rewards (i.e. Bounties!) are different sizes and the level of legal protection of the felon and hunter hunter is also variable! In SOME states rewards are STILL given for felons on MURDER or CAPITAL OFFENSE crimes where the felon is killed during retrieval (i.e. WANTED: Dead or Alive - Reward: $5 Million)

                ---

                EVERY STATE in America is DIFFERENT -- What YOU Europeans THINK is Illegal is actual VERY LEGAL in many U.S. States !!!!!

                --

                AND LEGAL PRIVATE BOUNTY HUNTING of FELONS is STILL a thing in MANY U.S. States!!!

                --

                1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                  AND YES !!! SOME U.S. Private Bounty Hunter SPECIALIZE in foreign retrievals DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES to get their felon(s) back to U.S. Territory!

                  They work and use military, honeypot and subterfuge tactics JUST LIKE Israel's Mossad or Shin Bet or Blackwater USA do! It's USUALLY a quiet retrieval with a tasered felon cuffed and taped up after a QUIET break-in to their apartment (i.e. and subduing ANY local guards with tasers) and then brought to a waiting white van (i.e. small lorry) and then taken to the nearest local general aviation airport for rendition by private jet back to U.S. mainland or the NEAREST U.S. territory!

                  YES! It happens! Foreign Bounty Hunting is FULLY legal from MANY individual states viewpoints so long the felons get brought BACK into local custody for trial and/or serving of a sentence!

                  --

                2. Peter2 Silver badge

                  There are more than a few cases of US Bounty Hunters going into Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK and kidnapping the suspect(s) to successfully bring them back to the USA.

                  Great. Produce an actual EXAMPLE of this happening then.

                  *insert sound of crickets chirping*

                  1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                    Hows this one:

                    Ottawa Valley man abducted by U.S. bounty hunters:

                    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa-valley-man-abducted-by-u-s-bounty-hunters-1.474105

                    And even "DOG the Bounty Hunter" (aka Duane Chapman) was another who went into Mexico illegally to retrieve a suspect! I should note in that one case, he was caught and indicted. (Mexico has SOME influence in the US when it comes to Bounty Hunters) It's even ON his TV SHOW where he went into Tijuana illegally! (that's why he got caught --- the proof of the operation was on his TV show!)

                    Again, there are US firms that specifically go into foreign lands to retrieve suspects whom YOU WILL NOT HERE ABOUT because they are not disclosed publicly.

                    ...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > From our point of view "private bounty hunters" are also known as "illegally armed vigilantes trying to kidnap people", because that's not a thing outside the US.

                Just to point it, it's definitely possible to hire mercenaries to... er... let's call it "obtain" people from pretty much any country. It just depends on how much $ you're willing to burn doing it, and how much blow back you're prepared to put up with.

                1. Peter2 Silver badge

                  I think your too addicted to hollywood films.

                  Who'd take the job? They would have a limited ability to deliver, have very severe risks involved both during and after the operation (if they got caught, they'd probably never see daylight again as an example would be made of them to discourage any re-occurrence) and the "blow back" would be on a scale last seen in the Trent Affair last time America tried this in 1861. ie, major diplomatic crisis and if they did manage to kidnap somebody the extradition of everybody involved would be demanded and probably granted to preserve international relations.

                  And if they didn't? Well, best never deploy abroad anywhere again ever in case there was an "accidental" friendly fire incident.

                  1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                    Sorry! But my background IS originally in HumInt and SigInt !!! This is ONE AREA I definitely have INSIDER knowledge of !!!

                    Lets try:

                    Blackwater/XE/Academi (or whatever their name is now!) for one

                    and

                    Executive Decisions LLC

                    and

                    CounTerr Group

                    and

                    about 30 OTHER firms I PERSONALLY KNOW OF (and once in a while get to yada yada yada!!!) ....so U.S.-oriented bounty hunters bring fugitives from justice is NOT A NEW THING --- It's been done since the 1960's !!! Mostly ex-Operators from various US and foreign militaries!

                    ./..

                    Let's see .... If I want to GET A FELON BACK HERE INTO THE U.S. via specified means, I have more than a few numbers I can call personally! It will cost me a pretty penny .... BUT it WILL get done !!!

                    ,

        2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Headmaster

          It doesn't work like that.

          I think what was being referred to by this comment was your tenuous grasp of capitalization and punctuation. At the risk of appearing purely antagonistic, I offer you one plea: stop that.

        3. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          @StargateSg7

          The patent holders will simply point out that, as noted in the article, they offered a royalty-free license to the testing company. By doing so, they have made the patented tech available. Thus they are not "withholding" their tech and, if anyone dies, it's not their fault.

          Given that, the rest of your argument falls apart, legally.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Given that, the rest of your argument falls apart, legally.

            That's OK. It falls apart pretty readily even withholding that.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        It doesn't work like that.

        Next you'll tell us that shouting doesn't make things true.

  9. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

    It also doesn't matter WHERE you are in the world, because private U.S. Bounty Hunters WILL be coming for you to BRING YOU BACK BY FORCE to U.S. territory to face AMERICAN JUSTICE and a Jury of Your Peers !!!

    --

    1. BinkyTheHorse
      Mushroom

      You do realize this Team America: World Police crap is exactly one of the reasons why the US patent system is so broken?

      In modern times, it is difficult for a lot of businesses, even small ones, not to be obliged to interface with US law in some way. Hell, in IT, it is virtually impossible in some sectors not to rely on some US-based intermediary (credit card companies, the leading mobile app stores, Paypal, Steam, Patreon, etc.). The patent trolls wised up to that - it's much easier to target some small business in a foreign country than a US-based company with billions of VC funding that can potentially very effectively push back. Essentially, this creates a larger hunting ground with more defenseless prey.

      So, maybe, instead of futilely frothing at the mouth on an Internet forum, you should be spending that energy on writing to the Congresspeople representing you. Because not everyone here can do that - but you can.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        But Stargate might like to cut down on the frothing; otherwise I fear his congresscritter might ignore him.

      2. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

        WHY Would I do that? There are TIMES and CASES where I WANT this to happen so that the perpetrators ARE PUNISHED SEVERELY !!!! Heck! in some states cattle rustling is STILL a life-in-prison crime!

        Bad Boys! Bad! Whatchya Gonna Do When They Come For You!

        BOUNTY HUNTING works GREAT in the American Justice System .... That covid testing patent troll or that italian company suing the doctor for making a valve HAD BETTER WATCH OUT !!!!

        If an American Citizen DIES because of their policies or actions, DAs (District Attorneys) and Federal Prosecutors WILL indict and choose a jury that WILL CONVICT !!! American Juries tend to be Pi$$-ed OFF juries so they 90% of the time convict the rich AND the poor equally!

        Like I said, if the prosecutor PROVES wanton negligence and/or malicious intent causing death, that CAN be Murder One on ALL the board member heads!

        --

        In this case, the AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM WORKS !!!

        In other cases, it REALLY SUCKS to be sentenced to a 20 year federal prison sentence just for downloading and internet-sharing 13 popular music tracks or Hollywood videos! (YES it has happened -- depends upon the laws of the particular state where the offense occurred!)

        P.S. Don't speed more than 16 kmh (10 Mph) over the speed limit in Arkansas or Virginia unless you want to spend 5 days in the local county jail and get a $3000 fine! If its 25 kmh (15 mph) over the limit that rises to 30 to 180 days in the local county jail and a MINIMUM of a $10,000 fine!

        Local county jails REALLY suck big time! They ARE worse than state prisons! -- You're stuffed 4 to 6 people in a 10x10 feet (3m by 3m) jail cell with an OPEN toilet in that cell for 24 hours per day! There IS NO general courtyard in county jail --- YOU STAY IN YOUR CELL 24/7 !!!! Even State Prison only stuffs 2 to 4 people to a cell which is usually larger in size AND you get to go outside in a courtyard for at least 1 to 3 hours usually!

        --

        --

        ..

        --

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I was caught doing 29mph over the speed limit on a motorway, back in the 90's.

          I got issued an on the spot £30 fine, and sent on my way....

        2. IareFlash

          !!! REALLY !!!

          To much shouting and massive overuse of exclamation marks (! In case you didn't know)

          Everyone (outside of America) knows its nothing to do with right or wrong, the US justice system operates depending on rich you are.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Stop

      If a US bounty hunter tried to grab someone in the UK they could be charged with 'false imprisonment'. Obviously if they did attempt to "BRING YOU BACK BY FORCE" (sic), then they could also be charged with GBH, assault etc.

      If there was an Interpol red notice for the suspect then they could be arrested by the UK police and would face extradition proceedings, but in general, the only people that can arrest people in the UK are the police.

      tl/dr US bounty hunters have no jurisdiction outside the US.

      1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

        The Foreign Retrieval Bounty Hunters ALREADY KNOW THAT --- They DO NOT CONSULT with local police! THEY KNOW they would be arrested/imprisoned for such tactics in MANY European countries!

        HOWEVER, they do it spy-style with honeypots, quiet break-ins and street-level kidnapping AND it's ALL PERFECTLY LEGAL TO DO in MANY of the local states books! So long the felon gets rendered BACK to U.S. Territory NO U.S. Judge will sign off on an Extradition Order on a LEGAL Bounty Hunter doing the job they were hired to do!

        The UK or Germany can cry all they want but the Circuit Court Judge WILL NOT sign off on ANY foreign power's request for an extradition of Bounty Hunters because IT IS A LEGAL ACT TO RETRIEVE A U.S. FELON and IT IS ILLEGAL for that judge to sign such a request by said foreign power for a LEGAL ACT !!!!

        Like I said EARLIER, every state is different! What is legal in one state may be totally illegal in the one next door!

        Example: Speed 25 KMH over the limit in Maryland gets you a $375 traffic ticket and that's it!

        In Virginia, which is right next door, that 25 KMH gets you an up to $10,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail on reckless driving FELONY CHARGES which stick with you FOR LIFE meaning you CANNOT get student loans, you CANNOT get state or federal housing assistance (i.e. no Section-8 housing!), and NO welfare or SNAP benefits or state-level worker re-training when laid off!

        Some states ARE EXTREMELY HARSH in their criminal proceedings with SEVERE PENALTIES such as a long stay in the local county jail sitting locked up 24/7 while the state right next door gives you a traffic ticket for you to pay online!

        Too many foreigners THINK they know U.S. Law and and end up VERY VERY SURPRISED when they find themselves with a SERIOUS felony conviction and 6 months in the pokey for what they personally consider MINOR acts!

        AND both Judges and local juries are ANYWAYS by default NOT VERY WELCOMING of foreigner misdeeds! They TEND (90%) to convict for the FULLY applicable amount of retribution/restitution that is allowed to be applied to defendants!

        So THERE YOU HAVE IT !!!! America REALLY IS a very, very, very different country when it comes to its legal system! For the most part, it works relatively decently for the average joe!

        --

        P.S. When pulled over on a traffic violation, turn OFF the vehicle, immediately put your keys on the dashboard and ALWAYS keep your hands held tight on the TOP part of the steering wheel where the local sheriff's deputy can see them! THEY WILL approach your car with their GUN DRAWN or at the very least held close to their holster ready for a quick draw and shoot scenario if they THINK you're doing something strange !!!

        REMEMBER: they don't EFF around here! It's REALLY EASY to get SHOT during a traffic stop!

        --

        1. ma1010 Silver badge

          Yes, please stop

          Dude, you're making me embarrassed to be an American. The world ain't a comic book. Please start taking your meds again.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Yes, please stop

            Ssg7 is one of the Reg Commentariat resident kooks. If he bothers you, best just to ignore him. He's not going to change.

            1. Androgynous Cow Herd

              Re: Yes, please stop

              I wish this was Usenet so I could just say WTMKF.

              1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

                Re: Yes, please stop

                I have MUCH BETTER TRAINING than you do when it comes to WTMKF --- UNLIKE YOU, I had a REAL ONE ---- We called all our special friends with whom we were told to have some REALLY SERIOUS one-on-one long-distance conversations with as "Pumpkins" -- I think you get the drift ......

                ...

              2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Yes, please stop

                Ah yes, the old "*plonk*" !

        2. Adelio

          If that is true then it tells you all you need to know about the gun culture in the U.S. of A

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Obviously if they did attempt to "BRING YOU BACK BY FORCE" (sic), then they could also be charged with GBH, assault etc.

        Actually they'd be charged by the NHS first for the medical treatment they'd need, then that stuff you said.

        Dog the Bounty Hunter may be a big deal in America, but frankly I don't fancy his chances against the boys down the Duck & Parrot given he'll be operating without a firearm.

        1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          Just so you understand HOW American Bounty Hunters THINK, here is an actual quote from one:

          Redditor /u/earthworm_jim7 asked, "Say I was trying to avoid capture... in your opinion, what would my best course of action be to do this?"

          A former Redditor replied:

          Really the only way is to leave the country (well, the only way when trying to evade good teams), and even then probably about 50% of bounty hunters would still come after you. I'm part of the 50% that would not.

          SEE? 50% of U.S> Bounty Hunters WILL goto another country to bring you back because the reward can be so high that the risk of falling afoul of another country's law enforcement is WILL WORTH the effort!

          ---

          These 50% of Bounty Hunters KNOW that by acting as agents of the court (usually State-level rather than Federal), the rules are VERY RELAXED on foreign excursions to bring back felons and scofflaws, and that NO judge would sign off on an Extradition order from a foreign court to send back an "illegal" bounty hunter, since BOUNTY HUNTING IS A LEGAL THING to do in the USA !!!

          ANY YES many still bring their guns and tazers over because it's easier to do their job with those tools.

          Sooooo, it doesn't really matter WHAT COUNTRY you goto! THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU !!!

          Canada, UK, Germany, etc .... it's the AMERICAN attitude of: (sing it staccato!)

          Bad Boys! Bad Boys! Whatchya Gonna Do When They Come For You!

          ..

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      WHY NOT go the WHOLE HOG and RanDOMlY VAry tHE CApitALIsaTION WIthIN WoRDs?

      H3Y, w#y n07 gO fu11 l33t sp33k 4S W3LL?

      Stop it, just stop it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        why not !-- !-! !! - ! !! -! -- --- !-! !!! ! -!-! --- -!! ! -!!! !!- - !-- !! - !!!! ! -!!- -!-! !-!! !- -- !- - !! --- -! -- !- !-! -!- !!! !! -! !!! - ! !- -!! --- !!-! -!! --- - !!!

        1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          I don't speak Morse!

          Klingon! Do You Speak It!

          Then You Understand What I'm Sayin' ?

          WHAT DOES COMMANDER WORF LOOK LIKE ????

          Does he LOOK like a B%%%% ???

          --

      2. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

        oK i wILl dO thAT tOO !!!

        ThANks Fer da TIP !!!

        I USED TO be TRULY L337 --- I even bought 2600 Magazine monthly WHEN I was YOUNG!

        I could even WHISTLE the phone ATDT tones to dial phone numbers without a keypad --- I was THAT GOOD !!!

        ---

        noW ??????? i AM ur Wrst NIGHTnare of SpeLLing and MUlti-CAps !!!!

        ---

        If it pleases you, here is my AWESOME and FAVOURITE pizza place to order from with some of the BEST TASTING genoa salami and spicy ground and sliced meats pizza in almost ALL of Europe!

        Galitalia Roma Unas Pizzeria: 007-8-495-696-1232

        when calling from the UK --- AND ask for the #83 Able Archer Special -- that's the option you need to order when calling them.

        I also suggest the AUTHENTIC Proscuitto Slices Pizza where they cook the entire pizza first and THEN add the slices afterwards when it's out of the oven! You need to ask for the Menu Item: TU-95 with the ASX-21 menu extras otherwise you WILL NOT get the Proscuitto slices with it because that's not normally on the public menu --- it's usually a locals-only menu item!

        I've been there quite a few times over the years when Iggy Koro used to own it but after he died two years ago, his son-in-law Iggy Kost now does the kitchen! He's not as friendly as Poppa Iggy but the pizza is DEFINITELY STILL AWESOME !!!!

        Give'em a try! TASTEEEEEEE !!!!!

        --

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > noW ??????? i AM ur Wrst NIGHTnare of SpeLLing and MUlti-CAps !!!!

          My father's written communication went like this too, as he developed early-onset Alzheimers (really). If it's not something you've considered may be happening to you, please speak to a doctor and get some testing done. :(

          1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

            Already had MRI's and CATs done --- So far so good !!! My only issue would eventually be vascular in nature and that's a dietary problem not a diffuse array of Amyloid plaques issue!

            ANYWAYS ..... I like those sudden lapses of memory ... it makes for perfect plausible deniability!

            I Can't Remember A THING !!!!

            --

  10. Public Citizen
    Devil

    Since there is a Declared National Emergency, which gives both the Executive Administrators and the Medical Officers in Charge a great amount of power to Commandeer any needed supplies,item or technology, the Patent Trolls may find themselves not only with an empty sack but also a big legal bill from the people they have attempted to sue over this.

    Spawn of Satan being the patent trolls.

    1. hittitezombie

      There's a very simple solution. Federal Gov lawyers take over the defence. The lawyering time becomes virtually infinite, and the cunts can only give up before the cost bankrupts them.

      Patent trolls win because the other side cannot afford for the lawyering time, not because they are right.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      The US government has the right to take over a patent and manufacture (or contract out the manufacture of) the items which it covers, subject to paying "reasonable compensation" to the patent owner. It's a sort of "eminent domain" for patents, look up "section 1498".

      Maybe they could even argue that "reasonable compensation" to a patent troll for a patent to solve a public health crisis would be a tidy $0.00?

      1. John G Imrie

        I don't think you can go as low as $0 that would be counted as theft. $0.01 should be ok though.

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          I don't think you can go as low as $0 that would be counted as theft. $0.01 should be ok though.

          Those kinds of deals usually specify $1.00 as the "thing of value" exchanged. Still, a bargain.

      2. EricM

        0.00 as "reasonable compensation" for suing patent lawyers in this situation is too generous...

        On an emotional level I'd like to see the the pitchfork- based responses above implemented, but that's a bit too much 18th century style ...

        But what about some 100hrs of community service to make up for the crap they cause?

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: 0.00 as "reasonable compensation" for suing patent lawyers in this situation is too generous...

          >>>100hrs of community service<<< Mopping floors in a hospital.

          1. moiety Silver badge

            Re: 0.00 as "reasonable compensation" for suing patent lawyers in this situation is too generous...

            ...with a toothbrush superglued to their foreheads.

            1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

              Re: 0.00 as "reasonable compensation" for suing patent lawyers in this situation is too generous...

              In the infectious ward.

      3. Trygve Henriksen

        Do you still have any coins containing silver in the USA?

        If so, 30 of those would be the correct amount.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Antimicrobial is silver you know.

  11. Dave 15

    Simple solution

    When filing such complaints as this you should need to list your products using the technology (no product and claim is dismissed). Second you should have to put on the claim the names and addresses of the directors and legal team involved then when you are profiteering by over charging for a valve and complaining when a replacement is made you can be injected with the virus and isolated in a wood casket for burial when you eventually stop scratching at the lid

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Simple solution

      Yes. Absolutely that. You can only file a complaint over a patent that you use to create a product.

      I said it before and I'll say it again : patents that are not used should be invalidated automatically by the Court. No need to do an expensive and extensive review of existing patents, just wait for the trolls to show up in Court, ask them what they're making with their patents, and if there's nothing, boom, case thrown out, trolls fined for contempt, lawyer trolls disbarred and everyone has a good laugh.

      That would eliminate patent trolls overnight.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Simple solution

        It would also eliminate companies such as ARM who design processors, but licence them to other companies to make them.

        1. KroSha

          Re: Simple solution

          Not really:

          Judge: "And which of your products use this patent?"

          ARM: "Well, y'honour, we designed this processor, which is in licensed production by AMD, this processor, which is being made by..."

          See, common sense simples.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Simple solution

          It would eliminate a great many small companies, which can use their IP as collateral for obtaining funding. When you restrict the value of IP to practicing entities, you make it much less liquid, and therefore considerably reduce its value for securing capital.

          However, the Reg Commentariat has by and large decided that patents are Evil and only holy engineers should be allowed to own them. The local patent warriors not interested in economics; they're interested in ideological purity.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Simple solution

            > It would eliminate a great many small companies, which can use their IP as collateral for obtaining funding.

            It's not the only possible source of funding. It's just one of the leading "in vogue" options some people go with.

            > However, the Reg Commentariat has by and large decided that patents are Evil and only holy engineers should be allowed to own them.

            "Patents are evil" yes. But "engineers should be allowed to own them"... wtf? Hell no. Patents are evil remember. The concept should be removed from IP law entirely.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Simple solution

              "Patents are evil" yes. But "engineers should be allowed to own them"... wtf? Hell no. Patents are evil remember. The concept should be removed from IP law entirely.

              No. We are perfectly happy with Patents.

              We are not happy with software patents, which are only actually granted in a handful of countries such as the US, having been banned pretty much everywhere else because the idea as practiced in the USA is insane.

      2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Simple solution

        That would eliminate patent trolls overnight

        And also kill pretty well any small business - i.e. a lot of those actually innovating and trying to protect their work from being simply stolen by bigger businesses. For a lot of these, they simply do not have the ability to go from initial idea, through development, and get a commercial product on the market. Once they've had the idea, developed it to the point where they have something patentable - they then need to negotiate with a larger outfit to incorporate that into products.

        As pointed out, ARM doesn't make it's own processors. That they licence the tech to others doesn't mean they wouldn't get caught by a "make it or lose it" rule. If you think ahead, as pointed out by another commenter here, all a troll need do is pick on a tiny minnow and "persuade" them to take a licence - then BINGO!, the troll has a licensee and so the "ARM defence" works for them too. A small minnow couldn't afford to take on a troll and win (I've read estimates that it costs around $250,000 to defend AND WIN a patent infringement case in the US) - their only choice would be to take a licence or fold.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That $11,000 valve story

    Surely this isn't true.

    Tell me it ain't so....

    1. hittitezombie

      Re: That $11,000 valve story

      Medical supplies are always expensive, especially in the US!

      1. Raphael

        Re: That $11,000 valve story

        Except the story comes out of Italy and the litigious maker of the valve is based in Luxembourg.

        So nothing to do with the US and their medical costs.

        (and I'm a Kiwi, living in Middle Earth, so no dog in that fight)

      2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: That $11,000 valve story

        That will be $10 for making the item, another $10 for packing it and shipping it from China, $80 for profit, $900 to go against R&D for it. And ...

        ...

        ...

        The other $10k for insurance for when someone (or their next of kin) claims it was defective and sues you for $gazzilions.

        I'd like to say that was just a joke, but from what I see/read it looks a lot like it has a firm basis in reality.

        1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

          Re: That $11,000 valve story

          Ladders:

          Recently here a decent 8' fiberglass ladder cost anywhere from $120-200 depending on brand and features.

          Ladders are ladders, so not much R&D costs, fiberglass resin and mat are cheap, the aluminum and casting process for the steps is relatively inexpensive at production levels. My back of the envelope cost for a ladder including transport is $40 (half of which is personnel and infrastructure costs). The rest is profit and costs for insurance. There is not much profit in ladders or there would be more manufacturers.

          Insurance for ladder manufacturers is expensive because people have gotten away with dancing on the top of a ladder with tools of various sorts in their hands, falling and being maimed or killed, and said manufacturer losing a judgement in court. There is $5 worth of caution stickers on a typical ladder and it still isn't enough to inure the manufacturer from frivolous lawsuits that win.

          Stupid should hurt, and there shouldn't be a payday. Or like a friend of mine suggests, remove the safety stickers and let nature take its course.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That $11,000 valve story

          > $900 to go against R&D

          Quite rightly too. People never seem to appreciate just how much coke - and how many strippers - are needed for proper R&D.

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: That $11,000 valve story

            No, that's R&R

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That $11,000 valve story

      https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/17/21184308/coronavirus-italy-medical-company-threatens-sue-3d-print-valves-treatments

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: That $11,000 valve story

        In the UK i'd just tell them that i'd be filing a defense of "necessity" on the basis that they couldn't supply it, and it was required to save (ten and counting) lives and that the decision would be made by a jury.

        Anybody with any sense would quietly let it lie at that.

    3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: That $11,000 valve story

      @AC: "Tell me it ain't so...."

      That's the reason why a guy I used to work with at the Local University, who now works for a medical equipment supplier, owns three Ducati Motorcycles and some sporty looking Kawasaki Z something or other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That $11,000 valve story

        Why? Can't he afford a reliable bike? :-)

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: That $11,000 valve story

      Healthcare is a sector when it's easier to ask a lot of money, as politician and administrators know that trying to control costs is unpopular, and take advantage of it, often expecting a "compensation" in return. Sometimes you have little choice but paying extortionating prices because the suppliers have no competition, and heavy lobbing. Isn't the US government lawfully forbidden to deal to obtain lower prices on meds?

      That's why Shkreli believed he could get away with his scam, but he was too greed even for the sector and failed.

      It's good anyway that cases like this are now under a spotlight. Maybe a life-critical valve can't be cheap, but it would be interesting to know what the manufacturing costs are...

    5. MarkTriumphant

      Re: That $11,000 valve story

      They look very similar to some parts made by the company I work for (also a medical devices company). The plastic parts are often single-use and therefore cheap, but one is needed for each patient. The expensive bit is the ventilator to drive them.

      1. adam 40 Bronze badge

        Re: That $11,000 valve story

        That would be this one wouldn't it?

        https://www.intersurgical.com/products/critical-care/starmed-respiratory-hoods-and-masks

        So no need for bounty hunters to extradite. NO NEED!!! (sic)

  13. Tom Servo

    But where's the Trump angle?

    Googles Fortress Investment group & Trump - Oh, there it is, involved with Deutsche bank funding his property tax scams.

    I need a shower just reading this article.

  14. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Re. Patent Hell

    Incidentally its not just 3D printed ventilator parts. In the US people can't even legally ask if their heart pacemaker, ICD or other implant(s) have any known firmware defects that are unpatched, nor even find out which version of the software they have.

    People have DIED from possible malfunctions linked to this issue when they might have been saved, just to protect IP. Its totally unconscionable to permit such an atrocity.

    I would say that this is an issue important enough to justify FEDERAL INTERVENTION against any company that misleads its investors and the public in this way, and take direct control of the board so this can never happen again!

    <cough> recalls-pacemakers-due-to-software-error/548668/ </cough>

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00428-017-2244-6

  15. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Bad Blood

    A great book to read if you get the chance is Bad Blood by John Carreyrou which goes into detail about the whole sorry Theranos saga. While opinions will obviously vary, I did get the impression from it that Elizabeth Holmes did actually believe she could produce what she aimed to, and for the right reasons - but was drastically led astray by self interested business partners and advice, and got herself into a situation she couldn't really get out of.

    Still, America huh? Showing to the world once again how to lead in Corporate bottom feeding.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Bad Blood

      Agreed, Bad Blood is a terrific book. I'm surprised you found the picture of Holmes attractive. The best that might be said of her is that she's a tragic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. But she seems to have been an obnoxious employer and a thoroughly deceitful business person.

  16. oiseau Silver badge
    Flame

    Scumbags

    ... designed solely to extract money out of a legitimate business. And while Labrador Diagnostics may sound like a legitimate testing company, there is no evidence that it exists on anything but paper. It was created as a limited liability company in Delaware literally this month. Within three days of it existing, it sued the testing equipment maker ...

    Seem to be in the same league as the scumbags behind the still to be solved .org scandal ie: Ethos Capital et al or the VCs that swoop down on bonds emmited by countries with defaulted economies to buy them for pennies on the dollar and then litigate to extract their pound of flesh.

    The system is rotten at its core and contrary to what many legitimally outraged people may think, ridding the world of the likes of Irell & Manella won't solve the issue as there will always be another dipshit outfit to take their place and continue to disgrace the practise of law.

    I just hope common sense prevails and things get properly rectified, lest someone come up with the notion that it would be a great opportunity to strike a match: there's far too much petrol in the streets and then it will be rather late.

    O.

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It'll be a tough job selling these claims to a jury.

  18. RLWatkins

    They're being sued for a lab-on-a-chip patent...

    ... which looks essentially like stuff I've been seeing in journal articles from three or four universities over about a decade.

    How did anybody patent this? There's a whole bunch of prior art floating around out there. And hell is full, etc....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US Election is cancelled

    I told you, a dodgy Republican would block an election "on safety grounds", and on the basis of that the Trump would block the full election, and the partisan loaded Supreme Court would block the elections "for safety".

    Here it was a Primary vote, but that makes little difference. The ploy is clear.

    Ohio Mike DeWine, first of all joined a lawsuit filed by 'vulnerable people' to try to get the election blocked till June. The judge ruled against him, since they can vote by post. DeWine stopped the election anyway, citing the 50 person limit of his own health department.

    There is zero chance that the pandemic will be better by June. He has effectively found a way to kill the election.

    "DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose filed a joint lawsuit Monday afternoon in order to get the election postponed. But Judge Richard Frye declined their request later Monday, saying that to postpone the vote would set a "terrible precedent," the Associated Press reported."

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/ohio-governor-calls-state-postpone-tuesday-s-primary-elections-n1160816

    ""The Ohio Department of Health and the CDC have advised against anyone gathering in groups larger than 50 people, which will occur if the election goes forward."

    See, told you.

    You see the lack of testing going on? You see how its like Republicans are working hard to spread the virus? You can run the playbook, there is no scenario in which a November election is now safer than this Ohio primary in March. So there is no election.

    US election is cancelled, Trump stays in power.

    You've lost your democracy, you just don't know it yet.

    You'll get a promise of elections "when it is safe", then the definition of safe will be "when I think its safe", then the Supreme Court will be split along party lines when challenged in the definition of 'safe', and Trump will delay until the Supreme Court has decided. It will eventually rule its up to him. He will never hold an election ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dear CNN, there will be no elections

      You wrote this:

      https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/politics/trump-cancel-2020-election/index.html

      "No, Donald Trump can't cancel the 2020 general election"

      Followed by lots of words on the basis of state and federal law, the laws says this, the law says that etc. Words from lawyers.

      Mike DeWine cancelled the election DESPITE the court ruling against him. You can say "oh well that's the primaries which are under state law and the election is covered by Federal law" as if that makes any difference.

      Who enforces that Federal law? Bill Barr's office! It's just words on paper here without enforcement. About as meaningless as laws that let Congress get Trumps tax returns, or Subpoena witness, or hold people in contempt. Barrs DOJ simply does not enforce these, and so words on paper mean nothing.

      DeWine has already showed you what they're planning here. You can see this is a dry run.

      Barr won't enforce the law against DeWine (or Florida Republicans who will also block elections).

      Lawsuits to use the courts to enforce the law would be pushed up to the Supreme Court.

      The Supreme Court has already shown its partisan nature in the Gerrymandering case.

      That's the end of your elections.

      There will be lots of gaslighting, perhaps a promise of elections later, or in 4 years, but it will never happen. The ability to stop an election is hardest for day 1, day 2 is easier, day 2000 is trivial.

      At that point, who would then enforce elections? Biden? A Bernie mob?

      Martial law would be called, to secure Trump from any mob, and Biden can't even string full sentences together.

      How would those words work out for ya?

      Try it now: See how Barr just cancelled prosecution of the Russian front companies used to funnel money to the Trump and GOP PACS? Write an article full of words from lawyers saying how the law stops Putin setting up front companies in the US to funnel money to preferred candidates and interfering in US election.

      Does it change the reality?

      No!

  20. EveryTime

    A "free limited patent license" is probably a trap

    They claim that they are offering a royalty-free license for (only) covid-19 use.

    That is a PR move, and almost certainly a trap. The terms very likely include an explicit agreement that that the patent is valid, an agreement not to attempt to invalidate the patent, an agreement not to design a work-around the patent, an agreement to pay a royalty for every work-around used, etc.

  21. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Say what, now?

    > the worst pandemic that the world has known for 100 years

    Errr... try 10 (11?). And that's only because the later MiddleEast one fizzled.

    And the 1950s & 1960s pandemics killed over a million people each.

    Factor in that the epidemiologists are saying coronavirus's actual mortality rate is much lower than its already-low apparent mortality rate (on the basis of more people being currently infected than are aware of being infected, because of its relatively slight symptoms and because its symptoms mimic ordinary cold+flu).

    Basically, if you're not in your 70s+ or you haven't got CVD/heart problems or diabetes, you're looking at a normal flu season. During which many thousands die routinely each year.

    C'mon, ElReg, don't YOU start in on the hysteria meme, too. We expect better from your beacon of sanity.

  22. John Savard Silver badge

    Solution?

    Couldn't Italian law be used to force him to share the plans, because saving lives trumps everything? And because the law required him to do this, no lawsuit could be made in italy - against the doctor, but they could always try suing the Italian government.

    Of course, the U.S. might threaten trade sanctions for disrespect of intellectual property.

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