As many of you know, a company called Uniloc recently sued me and a number of other companies for “Patent Infringement”.
(You can learn about it here).
Here is the Patent that they claim I infringe on (They claim that I infringe on “their” idea by USING the Google Play store to distribute X-Plane for Android):
Take the time to read it.
Is this patent actually the code to create an e-commerce system, or a vague description of one, thus allowing whoever wrote that patent to SUE whoever ACTUALLY writes (or in this cases USES!) such a system?
As you see, they claim that somehow, by USING the Google Store to distribute X-Plane, I infringe on “their” idea.
Specifically, they claim that I am infringing on claim #107, which reads:
107. Computer code executable on an electronic device to prevent unauthorized access to electronic data stored on the electronic device, the computer code comprising: code for storing license data on a portable licensing medium configured to communicate with the electronic device; code for determining whether to allow access to the electronic data based on the license data; code for verifying the license data stored on the licensing medium by communicating with a registration authority having verification data; and code for providing updated license data received from the registration authority to the licensing medium.
So, somebody named Martin S Edelman wrote the words above on a piece of paper and sent them in to the Government.
Now, according to Uniloc, that means that I owe them money… despite, of course, my never having seen those words, or any words like them, ever in my life before they sued me.
And, with MILLIONS of patents in force, there is no way that I, or anyone else, COULD have read every patent even if we DID spend our time reading patents instead of writing code!
Note that Uniloc did NOT actually PROVIDE me or Google with any good or service… someone named Martin S Edelman JUST wrote down a shockingly vague idea above… and Uniloc is now suing us, claiming that we are DOING the thing that some guy named Martin Edelman (who I have never met, heard of, or spoken to) wrote down on a piece of paper some years ago.
When I wrote X-Plane, did I actually WRITE X-PLANE IN COMPUTER CODE AND DELIVER IT IT TO CUSTOMERS THAT WANTED IT, or did I write down the words “Computer code executable on an electronic device to simulate airplanes”, and then SUE anyone that actually CREATED OR USED a flight simulator, claiming that they infringed on “my idea”? WHICH OF THOSE DID I DO? WHICH OF THOSE IS UNILOC DOING?
Well, as it turns out, over the course of some years, we convinced the United States Patent Office that the claim made above is not, in fact, first ever-thought-of by Uniloc!
So, the United States Patent Office, after several YEARS of proceedings, and huge financial cost to the people being sued, admitted that they never should have approved claim 107 in the first place… it is invalid. (Interestingly, one of the arguments that Uniloc made against us was that we found TOO MUCH evidence proving that their idea was not new. To quote exactly from their court filing: “Multiple grounds presented in a redundant manner by a petitioner who makes no meaningful distinction among them are contrary to regulatory and statutory mandates, and therefore are not all entitled to consideration.”)
That, in our defense, we did NOT prove that claims 21 and 22 are un-patentable!
So, Uniloc is now continuing the suit, claiming that we infringe on claims 21 and 22, after the claim that they made against us (107) was overturned!
What are claims 21 and 22?
21. A system according to claim 1, wherein the licensing medium comprises a memory installed in a cellular telephone.
22. A system according to claim 21, wherein the licensing medium is not removable from the cellular telephone.
So now, based on the words you see above, they are starting the case against us all over again.
How long can this go on?
Well, took about 3 years to overturn the FIRST claim.
And the patent has 113 claims.
So that should give you a rough idea.
So that is what the patent system REALLY is.
Here is their full filing with the court, which is of public record, so I can share it with you. I think it makes interesting reading. What does it have to do with creating a flight simulator, and sharing that simulator with willing customers?
NOTE: You will see from this filing, made by the Etheridge Law Group (a law firm) and Hellmuth and Johnson, PLLC, (a second law firm) that the patent is OWNED by a lawyer for Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (a third law firm).
Is Etheridge Law Group a company that deals in flight simulators, or lawsuits?
Is Hellmuth and Johnson, PLLC, a company that deals in flight simulators, or lawsuits?
Is Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, LLP, a company that deals in flight simulators, or lawsuits?
Did a LAWYER for a law firm in California INVENT the technology that Google ACTUALLY CREATED?
Who is prosecuting this: The inventors or the lawyers?
How does this trail of money lead to an inventor, when every name I can find, including the patent OWNER, is a lawyer?
Would it surprise you to learn that Unilocs’ place of business is actually a law office?
No need for a knee-jerk reaction: Do the research and decide for yourself.