Friday, September 19, 2014

Kill The Patent Trolls: Matchmaking Edition

From ars technica:

Lumen View gives up on “matchmaking” patent, can’t defend it under new law
A patent troll called Lumen View Technology got stopped in its tracks last year after it sued Santa Barbara-based startup FindTheBest, then asked the company for a quick $50,000 settlement.

Instead of settling to avoid a costly lawsuit, as several other small companies had, FindTheBest responded with a pledge to fight the patent all the way and also slapped Lumen View with a civil RICO lawsuit.

The counter-attack caused Lumen View's patent to be dismantled in short order, when the judge in the case ruled that it was nothing more than a computerized twist on an ancient idea. The patent delineated a process of having parties input preference data, and then an automated process of determining a good match. "Matchmakers have been doing this for millennia," wrote US District Judge Denise Cote in her order invalidating the patent.

Things got worse for Lumen View when its lawsuit became the first case in the country to apply new fee-shifting standards created this year by the Supreme Court. In May, Cote ruled that Lumen View would have to pay FindTheBest's costs, as punishment for seeking a "nuisance settlement" and then threatening "full-scale litigation" with "protracted discovery."...MORE