Peter Shipley is a Bay Area hacker and patent-holder who sues technology companies under the corporate name Enhanced Security Research, LLC. In 2007, ESR sued Juniper Networks in district court in California for patent infringement. Juniper struck back in February with a novel false-marking lawsuit, which The Prior Art reported on in June.
Juniper's argument, readers may recall, is that every time a browser loads Shipley's web page, an “offense” is committed because his mention of two patents he holds, Nos. 6,119,236 and 6,304,975, constitutes false marking. False marking occurs when a product is marked with the number of a patent that doesn't really cover it.
Shipley's attorneys at Townsend and Townsend and Crew and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi argue that their client is simply posting his patent numbers as part of an online resume, not as a way of trying to sell or market a product. For that reason, they say, he can’t be accused of false marking.
Juniper’s line of attack against Shipley has now attracted an ally: the Public Patent Foundation, which has asked for permission to file an amicus brief on Juniper’s behalf.
PubPat's bid to jump into the case coincides with its ambitious plans for a false-marking litigation campaign, assisted by David Garrod, public interest lawyer by day and patent enforcer by night. (Garrod owns a patent and has sent East Texas love letters to a large chunk of the Internet, and two smaller companies. Garrod and PubPat founder Dan Ravicher are co-authors on the brief.)