04.13.18

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David Barcelou May or May Not be a Patent Troll, But He is Certainly a SLAPPing Bully and Watchtroll is Fine With It

Posted in America, EFF, Law, Patents at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“People disagree with me. I just ignore them.” ~Linus Torvalds

Summary: Like a thin-skinned person/entity (which many in the patent microcosm are), David Barcelou and Automated Transactions (“ATL”) SLAPP their critics and surprisingly enough it’s Watchtroll, who has been threatened by WIPO, coming to the bully’s rescue (double standards)

THE USPTO‘s decades of poor patent grants are a liability. It’s a toxic legacy which empowered patent trolls. As Daniel Nazer (EFF) put it about an hour ago: “Examiners spend an average of ~18 hours per app, roughly half on prior art. It’s no great insult to patent examiners that litigators with huge budgets and expert help find better art. Of course they do.”

The CCIA recently wrote something similar.

“The EFF’s Daniel Nazer (in his capacity as EFF staff) revealed that Automated Transactions (“ATL”) is also a SLAPPing troll, not just a patent troll, like those who send us threats by post.”Daniel Nazer isn’t really the subject of this issue, but he happens to be the main carrier of a message. It’s actually about David Barcelou. The EFF’s Daniel Nazer (in his capacity as EFF staff) revealed that Automated Transactions (“ATL”) is also a SLAPPing troll, not just a patent troll, like those who send us threats by post. Calling patent trolls what they are is perfectly lawful, especially in the US, but being the bullies that they are, they don’t care about the law; they attempt to twist everything and they just try to cause damage to their victims (of legal harassment). Posted about a day ago at the EFF’s Web site: [via]

A New Hampshire state court has dismissed a defamation suit filed by a patent owner unhappy that it had been called a “patent troll.” The court ruled [PDF] that the phrase “patent troll” and other rhetorical characterizations are not the type of factual statements that can be the basis of a defamation claim. While this is a fairly routine application of defamation law and the First Amendment, it is an important reminder that patent assertion entities – or “trolls” – are not shielded from criticism. Regardless of your view about the patent system, this is a victory for freedom of expression.

The case began back in December 2016 when patent assertion entity Automated Transactions, LLC (“ATL”) and inventor David Barcelou filed a complaint [PDF] in New Hampshire Superior Court against 13 defendants, including banking associations, banks, law firms, lawyers, and a publisher. ATL and Barcelou claimed that all of the defendants criticized ATL’s litigation in a way that was defamatory.

This started a sort of ‘chain letter’ between troll apologists (like Watchtroll) and Nazer, who wrote: “This defamation case received breathless coverage from @ipwatchdog that didn’t even mention the glaring First Amendment issues raised by the complaint. [] I thought this was pretty striking because IP Watchdog has itself been the recipient of some bullying defamation threats – I figured the publication might cover defamation with at least an awareness of the free speech issues at stake. [] Do you think it was an oversight for a legal blog to write about that complaint without even mentioning the First Amendment?”

That’s rather interesting and people took note of it; and on it goes: “Weird that the Court just dismissed the Complaint on First Amendment grounds then. The judge must not understand the First Amendment as well as you do. [] That’s right, Gene. Just as I’m sure your statement that the 1A doesn’t protect falsity was made after deep consideration of the nuances US v Alvarez – why would I dare challenge such a scholar of the First Amendment? [] They’re equivalent in the important sense that the 1A rightly protects both (I even liked your Gurry post, not that that’s relevant, I read it before it got taken down). Here’s the opinion by the way. A very routine application of 1A and defamation law…”

“If it’s actually a “watchdog”, then we know whose…”Well, patent maximalists typically protect patent trolls irrespective of anything, including the Rule of Law. Watchtroll is much of the same, which is why we call it that (for nearly a decade now). We rarely make up names for sites unless they’re really bad. Watchtroll is probably the only in this category because let’s face it, who is it a watchdog for if not trolls?

If it’s actually a “watchdog”, then we know whose…

Watchtroll then responded by insinuating that Nazer works for billionaires (the one Watchtroll habitually insults). He said: “Surprise! Surprise! @danielnazer Staff Attorney and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, called me out on Twitter, but now is afraid to a real live debate. I’ve challenged him multiple times, willing to debate on his turf too. Funny how folks like him only talk big.”

“Maybe we can ship Watchtroll 200 years back into the past where he can handwash his clothes and talk about how Web pages (as in Standard Generalized Markup Language) are “computer programs”.”Watchtroll does not debate; I attempted to debate him, but he blocked me and ran away after he had lost the debate. A few hours ago Watchtroll (Gene Quinn) wrote about this and then proceeded to inane “MAGA”-type nonsense, under the headline “America Needs an Eighteenth-Century Patent System”.

Yes, he actually typed that into the headline! Maybe we can ship Watchtroll 200 years back into the past where he can handwash his clothes and talk about how Web pages (as in Standard Generalized Markup Language) are “computer programs”. He actually said this repeatedly. He’s a clueless bully who just throws a fit when losing an argument. He’s nontechnical. Debating him on technical matters is like debating Creationists about science.

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