Patent troll hits presidential candidates

While the tech industry is fast becoming paralysed by patent trolls, US Republican candidates have been given a lesson in what is really happening.

According to Patently O a patent troll has sued Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich for patent infringement for posting their details on Facebook.

The plaintiff runs, a website that claims, not very plausibly, to be “the easiest way to contact your doctor online” which is not something that you would think that a Republican campaign would be bothered about.

But the complaint says that Everymd “provides home pages for over 300,000 member doctors” and “allows patients to obtain information about, send messages to, and submit comments about those doctors.”

The site’s owner, Frank Weyer, claims to have invented the concept of “providing individual online presences for each of a plurality of members of a group of members.” He claims that four million Facebook business account holders, including at least three major presidential candidates, are guilty of infringing his patent.

He approached Facebook and offered to sell the patent, but the social notworking giant passed on the deal. He also claims to have offered the defendants the opportunity to license his patent for $500 per account, but none of the defendants took him up on his offer.

Currently Weyer is fighting the patent at the Patent Office. An examiner rejected the patents claim, which would render the patent invalid, but the rejections have been appealed.

We wonder how many more daft cases like this that it will take before the US government wakes up to the stupidity which is its patent law system.