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August 06, 2010


Erik Sherman

Joe, you're quick to pat yourself on the back, but let's take a look at how you categorize this. First, you mention my piece for BNET in the context of "one of the many web publications that obsess over lawsuits against Apple." First, if you have ever bothered to read my blog over any period of time, you'll see that although I do often look at Apple - it's one of the major companies that BNET has asked me to focus on - the VAST majority of coverage isn't about lawsuits targeting Apple. And, frankly, I wouldn't put ANY of the web publications you mentioned in that category.

Next, you are haughty about people not having noticed that a law firm filed the suit. However, it took you a good 2.5 to 3 weeks to note it yourself. I'm not sure that entitles you to a smug smackdown.

Also, you are acting as though it doesn't count if a law firm files the suit. From a business and management perspective, it certainly does. The potential damage is the same. There is even a more difficult management issue, because a company can't potentially find an IP weakness of the plaintiff and then horse trade.

Joe, I know you and have done some work with you. I even like you. So, please, if you have a slow week, sure, bring new info to the conversation - particularly when I have a strong suspicion that you have access to a corporate PACER account and so could easily order a copy of the court papers that I (and, I suspect, others) couldn't get at the time, although I checked online for a source, and one place that had part of the complaint available didn't didn't display the page that tipped you off. (If you know a workaround for that, I'd be delighted to hear it.)

Absolutely correct the unwarranted description as a public interest group. The self-positioning sounded fishy to me at the time, which is why I wrote "a group calling itself Americans for Fair Patent Use." But please omit the unwarranted level of self congratulation as well as the mischaracterization of other sites. Not only might you injure your shoulder with the back patting, but you leave yourself open to unfair criticism should someone find a bit of information that you didn't have.

By the way, if the topic of lawyers acting as patent trolls is of interest, you might want to look at this piece I wrote last month about a law firm having created a company to buy some patents and sue eBay:

Jack Waldron

I think you need to take a closer look at you're article. Something I can't do without subscribing. But the very first sentence calls them a "public interest group" and not a "group called...". So your objections ring false. If you really had misgivings you should have done a bit of research before posting. The fact you write for a place called Law360, should be incentive enough to get a PACER subscription. So you can report with confidence. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

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