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End Software Patents by Peter Brown

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| On Thursday May 8, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal
| Circuit (CAFC), in an en banc hearing listened to oral arguments in In Re
| Bilski. The Bilski case is where the legal battle over software patents in
| the U.S. is currently being fought, and is particularly important because the
| court has specifically requested guidance on the scope of patentable subject
| matter. This "en banc" hearing is a very rare occurrence; it means all twelve
| judges of the court participate in the hearing and will consent or dissent
| with the majority ruling.
| [...]
| In reaction to the hearing, ESP director Ben Klemens said, "We can be
| relatively optimistic about the odds that the courts will actually eliminate
| patents on intangibles like software. There will be twelve judges hearing
| Bilski's case, and only five of them are guilty of bringing us into this
| mess, and all twelve are aware that the Supreme Court will overturn a ruling
| that doesn't do enough."


They still scrutinise someone who tried to stop abuse of the system:

Cisco execs deny directing Patent Troll Tracker blog

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| Cisco's former PR manager, along with the company's VP of worldwide
| intellectual property denied directing the now-defunct and controversial
| patent troll blog. Former PR Cisco spokesperson, John Noh, along with Mallun
| Yen are being sued for defamation by Texas attorney Eric Albritton. According
| to Marketwatch, Albritton claims that the Patent Troll Tracker blog, which
| was authored by former Cisco IP Director Rick Frenkel, called his ethics into
| question.



Troll Tracker blogger Rick Frenkel moves to Wilson Sonsini

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| Frenkel-2 Former Patent Troll Tracker blogger Rick Frenkel has left Cisco
| Systems and moved to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a top Silicon Valley
| law firm, where he is of counsel. Today is his first day at the firm.
| "We were impressed with his breadth and depth of experience," said Michael
| Barclay, an IP litigation partner at Wilson Sonsini and a PTT reader,
| natch. "Rick has developed a lot of knowledge and insights about patent
| trolls that will be helpful to our clients who have to deal with them."


Blogger, Revealed

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| Live by anonymity, die by anonymity.
| Yes, I have been unmasked. It happened quite the way this blog happened - I
| got an anonymous email, from the guy who probably collected the bounty,
| telling me I better tell everyone who I am (and he clearly knew), or else he
| would take care of it for me. The clear threat in the email is that he would
| do it in a way I wouldn't be happy about. I don't know what that means, but
| as I have been growing weary of anonymity anyway, here I am.
| [...]
| Someone may have made $15,000 or so from a bounty posted by Ray Niro on this
| one - not sure I'll ever find out who or how. I don't actually even care.


Boca Resort Opens New Front in Assault on Global Patent Holdings'
JPEG-on-a-Website Patent

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| Ray Niro emailed me yesterday, complaining about the personal attacks being
| made on him in Slashdot.
| [...]
| He also tells me he now definitely knows who I am. I'm waiting for
| confirmation, since he didn't tell me my name. Then we'll see. According to
| him, one of my "friends" turned me in for the cash. Thanks, whoever you are,
| if true.
| Meanwhile, I might as well get rid of a couple of posts I have saved, and was
| planning to post next week, when I'm not going to be able to post for various
| reasons. You know, go out with a bang, so to speak!


JPEG Patent's Single Claim Rejected (And Smacked Down For Good Measure)

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| The patent had been used, repeatedly, by lawyer Ray Niro, against a wide
| range of opponents, including a patent system critic. The end result was a
| drawn out review process where all of the original claims were rejected, but
| a single new claim was added to the patent, which Niro insisted covered JPEGs
| on a website.


Admitted Patent Troll Finds The Phrase 'Shell Entity' Offensive

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| However, it looks like some patent attorneys are trying to go even further
| with that concept. Ray Niro, in defending Scott Harris (who, you may recall,
| licensed his own patents to be used in lawsuits against his own firms'
| clients), is demanding that the phrase "shell entities" not be used either,
| claiming that they, too, are used negatively.

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