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11.19.12

Trolls Roundup: Medtronic, Patrick Collins, Parascript LLC (AccuDetect Protectionism)

Posted in Patents at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Selfishness defined

Troll picks cows

Summary: Patent (and copyright) news of interest and a few remarks on those

Software patents and patent trolls who use them are of great interest to us, so this news about a troll losing its case got our attention and the attention of others who write:

It’s always slightly amusing to watch extreme patent aggressors get hoisted by their own petard and lose a patent lawsuit. Medical device maker, Medtronic, is somewhat famous for its aggressive pursuit of patent infringement claims against others. In one case, a few years ago, a judge overturned a ruling that Medtronic had actually won and then scolded the company’s lawyers, noting that their “conduct was in disregard for the duty of candor, reflecting an attitude of ‘what can I get away with?’”

Here is another setback for a troll:

It has become its own genre of legal writing: angry judges denouncing plaintiffs in file-sharing lawsuits for abusing the legal system. Judges in New York, Florida, and Illinois have all handed down decisions excoriating the tactics of peer-to-peer plaintiffs. The latest addition to the genre comes from Massachusetts federal Judge Leo Sorokin.

The plaintiffs in the case are publishers of pornographic masterpieces like Anal Cum Swappers 2. Sorokin notes that one of the plaintiffs, Patrick Collins, Inc, has filed “John Doe” lawsuits against at least 11,570 defendants. Yet the firm hasn’t converted any of those “John Does” into named defendants at this point—and that’s the first step toward actual litigation.

This one is a copyright troll though:

While copyright trolling cases keep popping up, it’s become quite impressive how many courts are dumping such cases often while slamming the trolls’ strategy. It’s now happened again. A judge in Massachusetts has called out a troll for its “lack of interest in actually litigating.” The case involves porn company Patrick Collins, Inc., which has been involved in a ton of these trolling cases — including some of those linked above — along with another company, Discount Video Center, represented by the same lawyer.

The practice of trolling with software patents sure is spreading to copyrights. We saw some examples before.

Speaking of software patents, watch how they are being used to impede development of medical solutions:

Pattern recognition software company Parascript LLC has received two U.S. patents for its AccuDetect software, which is used to analyze mammograms for suspicious lesions that could indicate breast cancer.

Longmont-based Parascript developed the computer-aided detection software to analyze digital mammography images. The software can identify suspicious areas for possible soft-tissue densities and calcifications, the company said in a press statement.

See, this is something I have great trouble with. First, it is a case of software patents, which is a broad thing preventing many implementations on similar ideas, which are abstract anyway. Secondly, rather than share knowledge on how to save life they simply hoard another monopoly, hoping to have exclusive rights over cancer treatment. This is not the spirit in which I earned my doctorate in Medical Biophysics. If they acquired skills at something, then they can offer services around those. Their implementation is already covered by copyrights, so why seek patent monopolies?

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