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July 21, 2010



There are options:
1) request reexamination.
2) Join forces with others in suit.
3) Join forces with larger newswires.

This is a weak patent and/or has narrow claims. Make sure the claims have been properly interpreted and design around them.

The bad thing about business-method patents is not that they exist, it's that they don't get examined well and rejected. Software and business method patents need an independent database that is indexed and searchable. The lack of a good, indexed database hinders examination and quality of these patents. If there were more searchable art, there would be less bad patents.

International Shoe

For a story about small company defendants, a notable omission is a discussion of proper personal jurisdiction in E.D. Texas. For example, eReleases appears to be a small company based in Maryland. Is it so clear that eReleases is subject to personal jurisdiction in Texas that the issue need not be mentioned?

Joe Mullin

International Shoe,

Thanks for your comment. As you can see in the complaint, none of the six defendants are even near the Eastern District. Only one is even in Texas (Houston).

Many plaintiffs seem confident that they'll be able to stay in Texas using one strategy or another. Picking defendants scattered around the country is one of those strategies. And sometimes it works.

It certainly doesn't look clear, but we'll see if venue becomes an issue.

The suit does claim all defendants do business within the Eastern District. Essentially, it appears that a client or two in ED Tex is enough to allow an ED Tex lawsuit, from the plaintiff's point of view.

Joe O'Neil

I don't see what the big deal is over "business method" patents. I mean, if something took a company time, effort, and resources to develop - how is that any different from a patent for a physical device that also gives them a competitive advantage?

patent litigation

In light of Bilski, requesting re-examination seems like a no-brainer. This patent seems to be about as close to a "method of organizing human behavior" or an "abstract idea" as you can get. It's patents like this one that help bring patent law into disrepute and supply the anti-IP with endless ammunition.

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