Thursday, September 27, 2007

Troll Tracker: Tracker of "Patent Trolls", Blogger . . . Patent Infringer?

When newspaper and magazine articles list the "perils of blogging," issues like defamation, disclosure of trade secrets, and bad publicity are almost always near the top of the list. But patent infringement? Fuggetaboutit.

Well, it turns out that the anonymously written Patent Troll Tracker may have stepped on the wrong toes in its' criticism of "trolling" activity, particularly in the E.D. Tex. According to the blog, the author allegedly received the following e-mail from Ray Niro of the law firm of Niro Scavone, Haller & Niro:

Please identify yourself. You may be infringing United States Patent No. 5,253,341.

Raymond P. Niro
(Transmitted by Donna L. Wartman)

For those that may not be familiar with that patent number, the patent was one of the infamous patents asserted by the now-defunct TechSearch back in the 90's against a slew of companies, as well as the Internet Patent Newsletter author Greg Aharonian. After enduring a 7 year reexamination, the patent managed to escape with 1 surviving claim.

Needless to say, this set off a firestorm at the Troll Tracker Blog, and the author (referred to as "Mr. Tracker" in subsequent correspondences) decided to push back.

Read Troll Tracker's response here (link)

Read Troll Tracker's follow-up letter here (link)

Read Niro's reply here (link)

For background information on the Niro/Aharonian tussle, see this article from the San Francisco Weekly dated December 6, 2000 (link)

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