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Good things DO come out of Texas

patent troll

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#1 Tuishimi

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 15:37

http://arstechnica.c...-win-this-year/



In 2011, Alcatel-Lucent had American e-commerce on the ropes. The French telecom had sued eight big retailers and Intuit, saying that their e-commerce operations infringed Alcatel patents; one by one, they were folding. Kmart, QVC, Lands' End, and Intuit paid up at various stages of the litigation. Just before trial began, Zappos, Sears, and Amazon also settled. That left two companies holding the bag: Overstock.com, and Newegg, a company whose top lawyer had vowed not to ever settle with patent trolls.

Then things started going badly for the plaintiff. Very badly. Instead of convincing the East Texas jury to hand Alcatel the tens of millions they were asking for—$12 million from Newegg alone—they got a verdict of non-infringement. And as for the one patent they had argued throughout trial was so key to modern e-commerce, US Patent No. 5,649,131—the jury invalidated its claims.

Alcatel-Lucent was scrambling. The company's patent-licensing operations were contentious but lucrative, and it surely had plans to move on from those eight heavyweights to sue many more retailers. The '131 patent, titled simply "Communications Protocol" and related to "object identifiers," was its crown jewel.

Alcatel-Lucent went all out on appeal. With upwards of $19 billion in revenue, the company was easily able to amass legal firepower not available to your average patent troll. For its appeal, it hired Wilmer Hale, the kind of top law firm that handles high-stakes appeals with lawyers that have their own Wikipedia pages.

Last Friday, May 10, Alcatel-Lucent's appeals lawyer, Mark Fleming, made his case to a three-judge panel. Representing Newegg and Overstock was Ed Reines, the same attorney who helped Newegg blow apart the infamous "online shopping cart" patent on appeal earlier months earlier.

Federal Circuit judges typically take months, and occasionally years, to review the patent appeals that come before them. Briefs in this case were submitted last year, and oral arguments were held last Friday, May 10. The three-judge panel upheld Newegg's win, without comment—in just three days.



#2 jerzdawg

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 16:02

While I'll never understand how patents fully work I believe that broad patents should never be allowed in the first place. I am all for a company protecting its research and technology but I highly doubt all of those companies "stole" the info for e-commerce. Protecting a companies assets are one thing, but if your company solely exists because of patent lawsuits they should be thrown out in court.

#3 M_Lyons10

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 16:09

Texas, unlike some other states (And our Federal Government) actually treats businesses as if they want them there and appreciate their contribution to the economy and jobs... No wonder really that Texas doesn't have a problem in regard to either...

#4 DocM

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 16:39

^^ precisely. The business of Texas is business, and they've set up their tax and regulatory systems to match.

The Texas legislature just passed enabling legislation last week that'll VERY likely result in SpaceX building a commercial spaceport and super-heavy lift rocket factory near Brownsville, and they have their engine & stage test facility in McGregor (near Waco.) Lots of other aerospace companies going to Texas as well. I also hear 6 large overseas companies are deep in discussions to set up near Waco.

KA-CHING!

#5 McCordRm

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 16:41

We're not COMPLETELY ignorant in Texas.
The media just has a habit of putting the worst of society in front of the
camera.

#6 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 16:51

We're not COMPLETELY ignorant in Texas.
The media just has a habit of putting the worst of society in front of the
camera.


That's because the main media is liberal, and Texas is pretty hardcore conservative.
Politics aside, Texas is an awesome state. Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are great cities.
The only thing I really don't like about Texas is the extreme summer heat.

#7 Growled

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 18:18

The three-judge panel upheld Newegg's win, without comment—in just three days.


At least someone has the balls to put those patent trolls back in their place. Good job.

#8 necroxd

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 00:21

That's because the main media is liberal, and Texas is pretty hardcore conservative.
Politics aside, Texas is an awesome state. Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are great cities.
The only thing I really don't like about Texas is the extreme summer heat.


LOL go to Amarillo. Its nice and cool. Austin isn't that bad neither is Dallas. Then again I am from Houston so we might have a different definition of hot.

Also were conservative on some things. Houston has an openly gay mayor. She does a good job.

#9 Growled

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:06

The only thing I really don't like about Texas is the extreme summer heat.


I thought I read somewhere that Texas was in the third hottest region in the world. I like hot weather but I'm not sure I want it that hot.

#10 siah1214

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:13

Then again I am from Houston so we might have a different definition of hot.

Houston is the pressure cooker of Texas. Texas is hot. Obnoxiously so.

Rick Perry is a bit of a douche. Cuts funding for firefighters, just in time for the entire damn state to go up in flames. And disasters like West, TX are made possible by lax regulations. It's going to bite us in the ass.





#11 DocM

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:26

Houston is the pressure cooker of Texas. Texas is hot. Obnoxiously so.


I found San Antonio acceptable - hot but not so humid as the pressure cooker that is Houston.

>
And disasters like West, TX are made possible by lax regulations. It's going to bite us in the ass.


Chemicals like concentrated ammonia and nitrates are explosive and federally regulated, and no regulation matters if they're violated with impunity.

Also, the latest headline is that the ammonia and nitrates were not the primary cause of the explosions (there were 2), and an intentional cause is among the 3 remaining possibles. A firefighter who was at the scene was later arrested - found to have bomb making materials. Still under heavy investigation.

#12 dead.cell

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:44

I found San Antonio acceptable - hot but not so humid as the pressure cooker that is Houston.


San Antonio is great in the spring time especially. Very nice winds out there, as opposed to the windless environment that is Houston, where it can feel like you're walking into someone's mouth when you step outside. Austin is becoming the next Silicon Valley, with Dell and other manufacturers / game developers out that way. Apple's got a $300 million facility in the works that supposed to employ more people than Dell currently does in Austin.

Personally, I like not having to worry about state income tax here in Texas too. :yes:

#13 Raa

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:48

Once again it just goes to prove how broken the patent system really is...

#14 DocM

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:03

San Antonio is great in the spring time especially. Very nice winds out there, as opposed to the windless environment that is Houston, where it can feel like you're walking into someone's mouth when you step outside.
>


Actually, Houston seemed more like the Jolly Green Giant's armpit with a wool sweater on to me.

Care to guess what we were doing in San Antonio on this still morning, and why afterwards we had to git 'n skit before the cops arrived? :ninja:

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#15 jnelsoninjax

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:27

We're not COMPLETELY ignorant in Texas.
The media just has a habit of putting the worst of society in front of the
camera.

I feel the same is true of most states, exspecially Florida!