Re: Money stifles innovation [was: Linux stifles innovation.]

Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 17:08:39 EST

> On Sun, 18 Feb 2001 wrote:
> > About a year later I was talking with a group of business owners who had
> > also received a similar demand letter. Some paid, some didn't. Those
> > who didn't pay were not pursued other than the occasional copy of the
> > demand letter.

On Sun, Feb 18, 2001 at 12:57:14AM -0800, Dan Hollis wrote:
> The XOR patent and the fraudulent enforcement of it is the purest
> embodiment of everything that is wrong with the patent system and IP law.

As a person with a some decades of experience with patents and
trademarks, and playing among the various sides, I can state
quite unequivocally that the problem is money.

Courts, or rights, can simply be bought with enough money. And not
necessarily in the way you would think.

Here is a recent and true example:

I owned the domain, and had applied for a trademark.

DirecTV, or DirectV, the satellite people, and subsidiary of Hughes
Aerospace, contested my trademark application calling it 'confusingly

Of course its not confusing similar as trademarks go. They started
by subpoena'ing anyone that could find related to the trademark.
Hours and hours of questions over multiple days.

My own lawyers, a well respected big name law firm, said they really had
no standing whatsoever and for a measly 1/2 million dollars we'd get
the trademark through the PTO process.

However, that is not the end. Even though the PTO would have blessed
our trademark of DemandTV, it would still be up to District Courts as
to decide whether we were infringing. And that is individual district
courts all over the country. Hughes/DirectV could file basically as
much as they want and we would be required to respond.

We could try to sue for injunctive relief, but we would never "win"
because we couldn't sustain the hemorrhage'ing of money.

So they problem is that they have money and you don't so they win.

Hughes was able to obtain the outcome they wanted simply because they
had more money.

Isn't that the golden rule? "He who has the gold makes the rules."

Brian Litzinger <>

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