In plain English: Take photos of a race, tag and sort by bib number and date, and search for photos based on that tag via the Internet. That’s it.
We’re having a hard time seeing how this patent “promotes the progress of the sciences and the useful arts” given that it seems to be a patent on numerical sorting and searching. Indeed, the Supreme Court recently ruled that claims that simply add “do it on a computer” to an abstract idea are not even eligible for patent protection. We think the patent clearly fails this test. (It’s also likely not infringed). But because it can take months (and even years) for the court to even consider those issues, they will likely never be decided. Patent litigation is expensive, so many small businesses can’t afford to fight back no matter how weak the patent. That’s part of the problem. Companies can get 20 year “monopolies” after an average of 19 hours of review by the Patent Office. And because the cost to get a patent can be orders of magnitude less than the cost to defend against it, there is an incentive for people to get patents in order to later force defendants into settlement.
via Cost of Defending Against A Troll Is More Than Just A Bridge Toll | Electronic Frontier Foundation.
This same coalition has fought for years in courts around the country to explain how the trolls were abusing the legal process to extort settlements from unsuspecting John Does. While several district courts have agreed, this is the first time a federal appeals court has weighed in.
via Crushing Blow for Copyright Trolls: Appeals Court Halts AF Holdings’ Extortion Scheme | Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“Once a troll gets the names it’s looking for, then it already has what it needs to put its shakedown scheme in motion,” EFF Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz said.
1-800-CONTACTS also protests that there is nothing “scandalous” about its CEO visiting Ditto’s site to check out its product. We agree. There is certainly nothing wrong with keeping tabs on the competition. What we do think is scandalous, however, is what the company did next. After checking out Ditto’s product, 1-800-CONTACTS apparently went out and purchased a patent in order to sue its competitor.
via UPDATED: Help Stop 1-800-CONTACTS from Abusing Patents to Squelch Competition | Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Jailbreaking exemption to DMCA is about to expire, EFF would rather it didn’t — Engadget.
Back in 2010, the US Copyright Office added a set of anti-circumvention exemptions to the DMCA, effectively making it legal for smartphone users to jailbreak and/or root their devices. These exemptions, however, were never made permanent and now, they’re about to expire. The EFF doesn’t want this to happen, which is why it’s decided to launch a campaign dedicated to the jailbreaking cause. With this initiative, the EFF is hoping to convince the Copyright Office to renew its exemptions and expand them to a wider range of devices, including tablets and video game consoles.