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04.02.18

The Latest SLAPP From the Patent Microcosm Shows Just How Abusive Patent Extremists Can be Towards Their Critics

Posted in America, Patents, Site News at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The reality of writing about patent “scams”

SLAPP
Image source/context: Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP)

Summary: Reaffirming its commitment to a highly aggressive approach, the patent microcosm once again sends me legal threats (for merely writing about nefarious actions)

TODAY is Easter Monday here in the United Kingdom. We planned to take a break from publishing. But publishing is not easy for reasons other than motivation or need to rest etc. I certainly don’t wish to write about myself (too boring a topic), but sometimes I have no choice. I’d rather focus on the issues.

In relation to a patent “scam” which we last wrote about yesterday, TechDirt has just weighed in. It wrote about what happened a week ago. Yes, I immediately shared the letter with them, knowing that they are a famous victim of SLAPP (same person who had threatened me for my postings) and knowing that they are thus familiar with such matters.

“Readers should remember that the patent ‘community’ is all about lawsuits, so it’s only good at suing or threatening to (in order to coerce people), not really fearing disbarment for SLAPP.”As some background, Michael W. Shore is the main person behind misusing tribal immunity to secure dodgy patents. US politicians are already all over this, calling it all sorts of nasty things and creating legislation to stop this (it was in the news last week). TechDirt had covered this before and it was all over the news (New York Times etc.), so we’re not talking about some obscure issue. Many people in various blogs have called this a “scam”, which is why I put that word in quotes. A Federal judge called it a “sham”. PTAB recently ruled against it as well. There are many layoffs in Allergan these days, so they must be getting desperate. We in Techrights already wrote nearly 15 or 20 articles about this topic alone (some of these were very long). We focused on the tribes and we focused on Allergan, rarely remarking/writing about individuals (such as the lawyers involved).

Readers should remember that the patent ‘community’ is all about lawsuits, so it’s only good at suing or threatening to (in order to coerce people), not really fearing disbarment for SLAPP. Such disbarment very rarely happens. It’s like they feel immune (and enjoy impunity) from a political system that is dominated by lawyers. The said action is just the latest of the abuse I receive for covering patents. There’s more of it (this one I made public because it’s very obviously frivolous). The USPTO should get its house in order/check because those patents that it grants are fueling/empowering a bunch of bullies, who not only threaten companies (patent trolling and blackmail) but also reporters, bloggers, critics etc. Coming to their rescue are extremist sites like Watchtroll, which are so eager to ‘kill’ PTAB that they post attack pieces almost every day (today too there was a piece about PTAB, this time by Hans Sauer and Melissa Brand). PTAB bashers are crazy. Some have even become racist and menacing. They’re not pleasant people. They’re schoolyard bullies.

“Legal threats like these aren’t new; this has been done to me before, I think about half a dozen times (e.g. Charlatan Shiva, who claimed credit for inventing E-mail as soon as the real inventor of E-mail died).”Interestingly enough, the above-mentioned threat (good summary with background at TechDirt) came on around the very same day IP Kat published Right of publicity not a right to control one’s own image by censoring disagreeable portrayals, says appeals court in de Havilland case (how timely an article!).

Legal threats like these aren’t new; this has been done to me before, I think about half a dozen times (e.g. Charlatan Shiva, who claimed credit for inventing E-mail as soon as the real inventor of E-mail died). Readers certainly know that the EPO sent me several legal threats. It’s just legal bullying from reckless thugs whose intent to silence critics; even if there’s no lawsuit it’s supposed to ‘chill’ the critics and thereby suppress further reporting (or other activities). After the EPO had done what it did (legal threats) it only emboldened me to write even more about the EPO and the latest case (misuse of tribal immunity) will be no exception. I will write about it even more from now on.

“If you ‘dare’ write about patents critically (as in critical thinking, no puff pieces) and you make a difference/have an impact, expect to be bullied.”TechDirt has published the PDF that the bullies sent to me (as image; lawyers do not like sending a copy-paste-friendly version of their threats; they never do). I have no idea how he got my home address (whois.net has another address), so I am guessing that law firms might have some special access to some databases, but IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer). The PDF says it was sent by FedEx, but it was never sent (or at least not received), so it’s probably part of an intimidation tactic, sending someone to one’s home to ‘chill’ the person even further (or a relative like my spouse). I have received some rather nasty and borderline violent threats/letters lately and would rather not have my address out there for all to see. That is the kind of stuff which can chill not only the critic but also family members or other tenants. Pure evil.

What is the lesson of all this? If you ‘dare’ write about patents critically (as in critical thinking, no puff pieces) and you make a difference/have an impact, expect to be bullied. The EFF has already gotten sued (repeatedly in fact) by people whose patents it ‘dared’ criticise. It always won the cases. But at what cost (legal expenses)? To think that ‘tiny’ Techrights too has become a target may make it noteworthy. But that won’t silence us.

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