Written by

Brandon Shalton




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Goodwill Hunting

Everytime a proposal comes to a city or town to build a trash incinerator, to build a new prison, or maybe to build a nuclear waste dumping site, townspeople doth protest at meetings to stop these activities. While everyone understands the benefits of the projects, the rallying cry is "not in my backyard!".

Patent Abuse affects all businesses. Patent holders broadly interpret their patents to mean more than what the USPTO approved, and are using various marketing tactics that give the equivalent of being rolled-over and having to pay extortion fees to companies where they can't afford to defend themselves.

Almost every business, from the oldest form of business (sex) to selling Girl Scout Cookies is done on the internet. Almost all businesses have some kind of internet presence and use various internet-based technologies to conduct businesses.

Entrepreneurs and inventors that create technology are compensated by companies paying for the use of their products. Many products we purchase today have patent licensing costs built into their Cost-Of-Goods-Sold.

Patent licensing is not the bad guy. The Antagonists are companies that wield their patent like it was a tablet that Patent Moses carried down from Patent Mountain. "Thou shall not have false patent claims" is what should be on the Patent 10 Commandments, but there is no such tablet and no such list of commandments. What you see happening every day since Henry Ford's time, is companies abusing the patent system as a means of limiting competition.

Companies are faced with spending untold millions of dollars each year in defending against patent infringement claims. While some are with merit, so many can be described as being frivilous.

When companies start wielding their Patent as if it was written in stone and broadly interpreting their patent to cover wide-sweeping claims, then this problem does fall into everyone's backyard.

I watch my web log files diligently and I see so many Fortune 100 companies, universities, and recognizable technology companies looking to find more information about Acacia. Some have contacted me anonymously, others, I have had private conversations.

There are currently 8 Adult Industry companies who are defending against Acacia's patent claims in court. While Acacia has targeted companies across the spectrum, it is these 8 current defendants who are on the frontline, and the first ones to test Acacia's patent claims.

For those reading my posts and articles, this is a call to arms, a call to action. While you may not be directly involved at this point, the outcome of the defendant's case will affect everyone. The motto of this site from the beginning has been "Get Informed, Get Mad, Get Active".

I believe most are informed now on the issues. Many have gotten mad about patent abuse cases like Acacia. The last step in this 3-step process is to do something about it.

Contact me at brandon@fightthepatent.com to find out how you can help out, privately and confidentially (all messages are held private and confidential).

Your company may not be directly involved at this point, but you are indirectly affected. Defending against a patent infringement case is very expensive and requires alot of resources, especially against a company that likes to allude to the fact they have millions in the bank, set aside for litigation.

  • I see a clear need to have a NEW organization modeled after the ACLU or EFF that focuses only on patent abuse.

  • I see a need for a grassroots style approach to finding prior art, by having a website that offers awards to people who submit prior art leads based upon targeted patents.

  • I also see a need for more communication between companies who are faced with patent infringement, to know that they do not have to face a patent wielding foe alone.

  • We all clearly see a need for Patent Reform.
In this interconnected Internet times, no company is an island unto themselves.

The big three (Microsoft, Real, Apple) have been quiet and sitting on the sidelines. Maybe they are not getting involved with the defendants for fear of the stigma of "porn" attached to it. Maybe they are waiting to see what happens from the Markman Hearing, or wait until one of their own big clients gets targeted before they wake up.

Microsoft, Real, Apple produces technology that doesn't infringe on the patent, but each also uses their own technology combined with content that ends up infringing the patent. Where are the lawsuits against them?

It has been observed by so many that it would seem that Microsoft, Real, and Apple should be targeted by Acacia and my response has always been, "why bite the hand that feeds you?" Websites that utilize their technology enable infringement, and are far easier targets who don't have the deep pockets to put up a fight.

For any company that steps forward to help in this battle (whether it be Microsoft, Real, Apple, or any other company looking to make a public stand against patent abuse), they will surely receive "goodwill points" for helping to fight against what is so patently wrong.

The one line summary:

If you have audio or video on your website, then the patent abuse problem is in your backyard.



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