06.04.15

‘Stupid’ Scott Horstemeyer is Not Just an Internet Joke But Also a Bully (Updated)

Posted in Patents at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scott Horstemeyer
Photo source

Summary: Stupid is as stupid does, as Scott Horstemeyer from Atlanta serves to show, trying to silence critics using threats and a frivolous lawsuit

FREE speech requires tolerance towards those whom you don’t agree with. When the EFF calls some patents “stupid” it’s an expression of an opinion or a clear example of free speech. Anyone with some tact can see that it is nothing personal. It is also more objective than subjective because there are yardsticks by which to measure the triviality of a patent. Many patents these days seem like satire (but aren’t).

Scott Horstemeyer, who ‘possess’ (i.e. has his name on) an exceptionally stupid patent has just done something very stupid. Failing to grasp how the Streisand Effect works, he decided to bully EFF staff not only with threats but also with an expensive lawsuit. As Joe Mullin, who researchers trolls, has just put it: “The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been involved in plenty of litigation, but until now, it’s always been the one filing suit—seeking to create change in areas like free speech, copyright, or government surveillance.

“Horstemeyer has done something very stupid here, but given his stupid patent, at least he is consistent.”“Now the EFF finds itself on the other side of the “v.” Scott Horstemeyer, an Atlanta attorney and inventor whose patents were the subject of a monthly EFF feature called “Stupid Patent of the Month,” has sued the advocacy group over an April 30 blog post entitled “Eclipse IP Casts A Shadow Over Innovation.” Horstemeyer also named Daniel Nazer, the EFF lawyer who wrote the post, as a defendant.

“The EFF revealed the lawsuit in a blog post published yesterday afternoon. “We stand by the opinions expressed, and we will defend the lawsuit vigorously,” EFF general counsel Kurt Opsahl told Ars in a brief interview.”

Horstemeyer has done something very stupid here, but given his stupid patent, at least he is consistent. As Mike Masnick put it: “Back at the end of April, the EFF featured a patent held by Horstemeyer in its monthly “Stupid Patent of the Month.” We actually reposted it ourselves. You can go back and read those original posts detailing how and why the patent is stupid. But Horstemeyer isn’t happy. It apparently hurt his feelings for his little patent to be called out among all the stupid patents for extra special treatment. So he had a lawyer send a threat letter claiming that the post included “false, defamatory and malicious statements.””

Judges don’t tend to be totally stupid, so Scott Horstemeyer is unlikely to win this case. He can only avenge by inducing legal fees on the EFF (and himself!). How stupid is that?

Update (6/6/2015): Horstemeyer has dropped the case.

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