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Being sued, in East Texas, for using the Google Play Store [video] (youtube.com)
1565 points by egb on June 8, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 400 comments

A comment from a reddit thread states: The gist behind this case is that the Judge's son owns patent law firm in East Texas where they often represent both sides. This guy doesn't live in East Texas. However, the dad lets these stupid cases into the town to bring business to his son. Really shady.

I agree with clavelle's comment. It's not so much the laws, but the system that allows this to occur.

Link here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/4n08jj/developer_i...

> The gist behind this case is that the Judge's son owns patent law firm in East Texas where they often represent both sides.

Isn't this a blatant conflict of interest? If this isn't grounds for disbarment, what is?

Maybe the firm doesn't represent both sides simultaneously. Maybe they usually represent the patent troll, but if someone needs a patent troll defense lawyer they'll do that too. Basically, as long as patent litigation is in town, business is good.

Just to add to this. I am sure the legal community in East Texas is close knit. There may never be blatant impropriety, but no one wants to be on the wrong side of a judge in town.

(i.e the Judges Son tries a case with a different Judge in town, but that Judge is buddies with the other Judges.)

That helps, but the judge working cases his son's law firm also works is pretty bad too.

To be clear, Meyer does not allege anything of that sort in the clip. He says, "Bo Davis is a lawyer in the Eastern District of Texas that represents patent trolls and their victims. Bo Davis is Judge Leonard Davis's son working a law practice in the very same district in which his father is a judge. So, if Judge Leonard Davis can encourage more patent trolls to bring more lawsuits into the Eastern District of Texas, his son is one of the people that's gonna rack up the billable hours."

So there's no allegation that Judge Davis (now retired) actually presided over any of his son's cases, merely that his son stood to benefit from the overall patent-troll friendly climate of the Eastern District court. Not really a clear-cut recusal situation. If anything, the fact that his son's firm represents trolls and victims alike meant there was less reason for a specific bias on behalf of the judge.

>>Not really a clear-cut recusal situation.

One of those 3 letter federal agencies, that government spends $billions on, needs to look at this "not really clear cut situation".

This corruption is a government feature, not a bug. Washington needs trial lawyer money and has had trouble figuring out how to fleece Silicon Valley directly, so trial lawyer patent abuse is a win-win for Congress and the Obama Administration. Remember-- the entire basis of this nonsense is the patent office issuing vague patents, everything is running exactly to plan.

Good points, thanks for clearing that up.

The bit about "specific bias" is interesting. I wouldn't assume that the judge is biased for or against patent trolls, but his position gives him reason to be biased for patent trolling, which isn't quite the same. It would be to the advantage of his son to make a big deal out of cases which don't deserve it. Accepting cases about ridiculous patents would do that, as would encouraging trials for patent cases which are obviously legitimate.

Whether that's happening or not I have no idea, but he clearly has an incentive to keep things stirred up in this area.

Oh absolutely. The judge is entertaining all those patent cases simply because it's good for his son's law practice. Unacceptable.

IANAL but according to Wikipedia, being related to the judge is grounds for the judge to recuse him/herself from a case


It's worse than that.

The situation is that with patent suits able to be brought anywhere and brought in East Texas by preference, a significant amount of that areas economy is now based on this racket and so the culture of the area is very oriented towards enable patent trolls, especially given a general contempt of outsiders characteristic of a small town.

In the pre-Internet era, one needed to take an unlucky to get murdered or shaken down by the corrupt culture of Smokey And The Bandit style US small towns. The ambiguity of the law and the convenience of entrenched interests now means that

It's been going on for a long time. Recent article: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/How-east-Tex...

2006 article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/business/24ward.html?pagew...

Choice quote: "'During the TiVo-EchoStar trial, 90 percent of my revenue for one month came from one of the law firms in the case,' said Phillip W. Gurganus, manager of the local 68-room Hampton Inn, where rates run $77 a night." Guess what he'd chose if got on a jury? Certainly a decision that kept business in East Texas.

According to the wikipedia page for the Eastern District of Texas both of the judges he names are retired from the court, one in 2011 and one in 2015. How does he claim in 2016 that these judges are presiding on his case and cases like it?

Well, he did say it has been going on for many many years.

He got sued in 2012, and it's still going.

Perhaps they are on senior status: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senior_status

No, they both show as retired from the court. They're both in private practice now.

It is more than shady; it looks like glaringly unethical behavior. The nepotism and conflict of interest are completely clear.

> This guy doesn't live in East Texas. However, the dad lets these stupid cases into the town to bring business to his son. Really shady.

How is this not legally considered a conflict of interest in cases where the judge had relation to one side of the case? I don't know much about the law system but I would assume their are provisions in place to prevent these types of conflicts.

It's in the US and I find it hard to believe that noone has so far shot these kind of scammers. Aim right, citizen! For the greater good!

Harry Brown lives in the U.K. unfortunately.

I think that's the typical US for you.

Did you even watch the video? He says it right on there.

That's true, but please edit did-you-even-read challenges out of your posts to HN. That's in the site guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

It's enough to just point out what the article/video says, like your second sentence does.

Patent trolling issues aside (they're valid, but discussed and I'm just another one of the "software patents suck guys"), I'm surprised that Google doesn't provide protection for developers using the Play Store. It's a very critical service for developers writing code for Android -- though it's not always required it is if you want your app to be seen.

They certainly don't have to and I'm not sure if Apple or Microsoft do or not for their equivalents, but I know Microsoft offers patent indemnification for a lot of things these days. It would be in Google's best interest to have a patent indemnification policy for Google Play store.

I'd love to know what the actual numbers look like but I'd be willing to bet that the costs are extremely low since it works as a deterrent to these kinds of lawsuits. Patent trolls go after these lone developers because they'll settle rather than incur the cost. It's an easy buck. This guy didn't make Google Play, he didn't write the code that "supposedly" infringed on the patent. He simply used it because that's the only way for practical purposes to publish an Android app. And since the patent covers a large set of features that Play uses for licensing, he couldn't have published through Play and not infringed in the eyes of Uniloc. The law allows anyone in the chain (including the guy playing with the Flight Simulator) to be sued for infringement, but they'd be very unlikely to do this kind of garbage if they knew Google would bring their legal team into the fold. By not protecting their developers, Google has a deterrent to people using their platform.

I find it oddly funny how Google hasn't stepped in to support their "clients", I'd think they'd help shutdown patent trolls so developers can continue to improve and distribute applications

Seriously - what the fuck Google?

It's only a matter of time until a patent troll writes a for loop on the store index to send out infringement suits DMCA-takedown style.

> It's only a matter of time until a patent troll writes a for loop on the store index to send out infringement suits DMCA-takedown style.

Perhaps a competing troll owns the iteration patent.

No, iteration is fair game, but `for` is an API name patented by Oracle. Legally, a patent troll would have to write a `whenceforth`, `do...thither`, or `oft` loop.

They can use dogescript. In dogescript it's a much loop.


I'm just waiting for one of these languages to catch on, gain traction, and become a real respected language used in business settings.

This is Javascript.

I am hoping for INTERCAL. "COME FROM" is very much needed now that GOTO is considered harmful.

Not respected maybe but lolcode is functional, complete, and extensible.

The next time I'm forced to write C code...

#define whenceforth for

#define supposing if

#define whereas else

I know nothing about C. You can alias keywords like that?

#define is part of the preprocessor, which does very basic string substitution on the code before compiling. Useful in small doses, but also regularly abused.

You can even do evil like

    #define true false

Along the same lines, for added (and undefined) fun:

    #define static thread_local
    #define if(X) if((X) ^ (rand() < 1000))
    #define private public
    #define while if

In C, #define basically does string substitution, so absolutely.

You can also do even more weird things with it, like X macros

Boost has macro header libs that allow pretty much anything within the macros system limits to be computed. Lookup Boost preproccessor and youll be even more impressed.

My dad used to tell idiots that he was very impressed with their ideas; one day, he pointed out to me that the impression was not always a positive one.

Edit: Not saying Boost is idiotic; just that you may not be positively impressed with their use of preprocessor magic.

Pretty funny. I have to use that "impressed" fib one day and silently chuckle. Ive actually used Boost preprocessor macros in C for huge benefits to compute variadic functions at compile time. You may not like boost templates or libs but the preproccessor stuff is merely just a turing complete arithmetic language that includes arrays, tuples, lists, and a whole slew of other great things. Its actually quite marvelous how its implemented all from standard macros. A treatise in limited functional programming. I would not want to produce those macros myself..they are insanely clever, just take a look at the source. They use something similar to Church encoding for representing numbers. You can use it without any of the other boost libs or headers. Repetitive code sucks and the BOOST_PP macros are godsend. Im pretty sure you are referring to other 'magic' most likely C++ template stuff. All boost PP does is give you data structures, loop, and arithmetic at compile time. [1]

[1] http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_61_0/libs/preprocessor/doc/i...

The same goes for "quality". It may be a quality product but a poor quality product. If 'quality' is the best word marketing can come up with, maybe marketing isn't of very high quality!

*copyrighted, not patented

Simple, you instead just write

    totalMoney = googlePlayAuthors.reduce((money, author) => money + abusePatentSystem(author), 0)

Google offers pretty handcuffs that developers mistake for bracelets.

Consider how Google is helping the OEMs get Android updates out. Consider how easy it is to call google customer care.

The real question should be: what the fuck developers? Why do you keep hitching yourself to such an unreliable partner? When is it enough?

Good question. What's the alternative for delivering software to a consumer market? Many people have Android phones.

It would be interesting to offer a curated App store with patent indemnification and malware scanning on Android. Do the whole thing, the APIs the eco-system. Without a particular vendor lock in (like amazon fire for example) you might be able to capture the Chinese OEM market which would be a lot of devices.

Very hard road to travel though.

Speaking of app stores for Android, there’s also F-Droid¹, although admittedly, it’s not much of a 'store' considering it only lists FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).


¹ — https://f-droid.org/

Amazon have their own app store for Fire devices and Androids. It requires installing Amazon's apk though, which also requires changing a security setting.


Web does not and will never have the same quality of experience as a native application.

Do you use slack? Is that a "web" app or "native"? I think the lines are blurring.

It is like using all web apps in native wrapper and the telling that all web apps looks like native apps.

Slack desktop is a webapp packed in native wrapper.

I use the Slack web app, but others heavily prefer the "native" aka "fat" client. The fat client isn't much more than a wrapper for the web, but both are more than just an interface for the API, which can be a bit laggy.

What is missing in your estimation?

WebAssembly and efficient arrays bounds checks.

That would almost assuredly force Google to get involved. I think it's more likely that they will continue to sue just a few small time developers here and there to try and keep things under the radar.

Absolutely. At least Apple pledged nominal, vocal support when their developers were being similarly threatened.

As the video mentions, people have been sued for App Store and Steam as well.

Google, and Apple and Valve, can send their own lawyers to defend these clients, but since there are dozens of cases, it will be quite expensive. They can maybe sue these trolls for tortous interference, but that may not stick.

So they can't do much.

A couple million dollars would bankrupt the average freelance developer, some many times over. A couple million dollars to any of those companies is negligible. I'm not saying that money is no object, but on the other hand, that Google or apple or whomever allows patrons of their store to be bullied like this is, in my opinion, an embarrassment. It not only shows a lack of concern, but it also loses them money because the apps in question probably have to be pulled from the store. I might be off base but I absolutely think that any of those companies could sue these trolls for their behavior. Instead they seem to be showing that they only care about number one.

If the same plaintiff is suing the a bunch of different developers over the same alleged infringement then I believe the defendants could request that the cases be combined?

If they systematically defended these clients it would not take long for the patent trolls to seek greener pastures. After all, patent trolls are in it to get a settlement or payout. If there's a class of lawsuits where they have no hope of seeing any money, they would steer clear.

Those three companies all have tonnes of cash on hand! Its the right thing for them to do, also!

Because Google has a great track record of caring about Android developers? They are basically monopoly (in western markets at least), they don't need to do anything to turn profit. They are happy to collect their 30% while spending almost nothing (directly that is - on support for example).

The Google Play Store didn't write it self.... Those developers cost real money.

Sure. But that cost isn't proportional to the revenue generated of every app sold and every in-app purchase done on Android. Picking up a million or two in legal costs is the least they should do. If this lawsuit succeeds and this would make 1% of of app developers shy away from the Play store then the lost revenue would easily outweigh any legal costs.

I would totally want this too, but legally, can Google do something here when they are not a party in this litigation?

Google could agree to indemnify app developers for legal fees. There are certain restrictions on other people paying for your legal defense but it's commonly done subject to those restrictions.

They could also take the first app developer to get sued under the patent and pay for them to file a CBM review. Or file an IPR or PGR in their own right seeking to invalidate the patent.

If Google just paid for the defense of the developers, without patent reform, wouldn't that just encourage more patent trolls to arise, knowing there is a massive pot of gold?

Only if the trolls won. On the other hand, if Google's lawyers gave them the smack down then all the patent trolls would go scurrying back under the rocks they crawled out from

Even when trolls lose, they're typically shell companies with no assets, so they can't pay for the legal fees of the winner (they just go bankrupt) and the winner still loses in terms of money.

Wouldn't they stand to loose their patents if they declare bankruptcy?

Spin off a shell corp for each individual patent that is litigated, if a loss ever occurs, the only thing "on the line" in a bankruptcy is the single patent that presumably just lost.

IANAL, but I suspect this is exceedingly rare.

I think trolls live under a bridge, in either case, it's not a horrible enough place for them.

There would be no massive pot of gold, because Google would not be a party potentially liable for damages.

I believe the defendants are able to hire any lawyer. In that case Google would be able to provide support without issue. I could be wrong.

Or Google can sue patent troll for false claims that they own patent on Google Play Store and seek compensation for their financial damages caused by those false claims. In this case "financial damages" may be interpreted as thousands of developers that presumably did not get involved with Google Play platform because of these false claims.

Plus Google can claim litigation costs.

Also clearly there is a damage to reputation of the Google, since we are discussing here that they need to get involved in this case. I am not sure if they can get compensated for that as well.

IIRC Apple has a history of stepping in to defend app developers from trolls. So there are at least some cases where it's possible.

They could file an amicus brief with the court.

He mentioned in the video that App Store apps were getting affected sometimes too, did Apple step in? (I'm legitimately asking, I thought I remembered something about them doing so, but it might have been in relation to a different patent thing unrelated to the store itself).

apples app developers were sued, apple tried to step in. The circumstances were a little different.

This is what I could find. I think the suits were dropped.


Honestly I just think 4chan should get involved in this. That would probably turn out awesome.

Agreed. They should fight this patent, especially since Be Inc. had an online app store back in 1999.

The first AppStore was even older, it was made for NeXTSTEP, Steve Jobs bought the whole thing.

"We want all the freedom Apple doesn't offer!"

"Why are we forced to fight for ourselves?!"


This is a platform that millions use, this isn't a simple freedom that developers don't have for not using Apple's platform. If Google doesn't support their developers, even if they've already made millions, Google will lose a decent amount of market after developers leave their platform because of these law suits. Imagine 2 or 3 of Googles major games dropping support for Android because law suits they lost in court.

So, no attempts to bring Davis in front of the Texas BAR association for unethical practices?

I'm also curious why numerous developers have not demanded an Insurance Protection Product / Plan that would take a premium in return for subrogation (defense) if a frivolous Patent Suit is filed. I'm rather certain the market exists and while it may be for larger businesses or players, developers forming a Mutual Company and writing on some big name AM Best A paper (or even going to Lloyds) could be helpful.

Anybody know of such an organization or idea?

I guess my line of thinking here is that "Yes, this is totally unfair and rigged" and then move on to "How do I work around the issues, at least to a limited extent, to avoid these pitfalls?" Sign me up for reform, sure, I'm all for it. Until then, I don't like banging my head against walls, I prefer to figure out ways around or over them.

Side note: "bar" as in bar association is not an acronym. It refers to the literal bar or barrier in courtrooms which divides participants from the public.


> I'm also curious why numerous developers have not demanded an Insurance Protection Product / Plan that would take a premium in return for subrogation (defense) if a frivolous Patent Suit is filed. I'm rather certain the market exists and while it may be for larger businesses or players, developers forming a Mutual Company and writing on some big name AM Best A paper (or even going to Lloyds) could be helpful.

It would be very cool if company such as NewEgg could offer this - they already have the in-house counsel/expertise; and since the number of people trolled is very small, I'm sure even a small premium would be enough to cover it (provided you have enough customers).

There are firms that offer patent infringement insurance services. The cost is astronomical (7 figures per year).

I have a fair amount of experience with patent trolls.

I've seen companies sued for using facebook, where the damages are X dollars times the number of facebook followers/posts/comments they have. (So the level of risk is very hard to estimate for an insurer, because interaction numbers on the internet can spike easily)

Also, the the troll will practically _always_ offers a settlement that is roughly equivalent (or a few percent cheaper) than the legal fees to defend and win the case. -So a company has two options: Spend Y dollars to make it go away; or Spend Y*0.99 dollars and a year of wasted time to _maybe_ win. The system is setup such that Patent Trolls can't lose and companies can't really win.

> I'm also curious why numerous developers have not demanded an Insurance Protection Product / Plan that would take a premium in return for subrogation (defense) if a frivolous Patent Suit is filed. I'm rather certain the market exists and while it may be for larger businesses or players, developers forming a Mutual Company and writing on some big name AM Best A paper (or even going to Lloyds) could be helpful.

I suspect part of the problem is that the monetary and time costs of litigation could not be easily measured. Every case would be, effectively, unique. Not insurmountable, but I have to imagine that the premiums would need to be very high.

On aggregate, the jurisdiction that patent trolls sue in can handle only so many cases, so it only takes a legal team of a certain size to defend every patent lawsuit in it.

And as a bonus, you can generate a Newegg-like reputation to convince people that you're not worth bothering.

The point raised you're responding to was a good one, and I thank you for adding context. I was under a similar impression, in that for this individual to be able to sustain a case for 4 years, then it has not, from my gathering, bankrupted him or been financially catastrophic. There is a nuisiance factor that, I think, Patent Troll firms like to employ - aka - cheaper to settle than to fight can apply to both time and money.

Pooling these cases, and the information gleaned from the tactics, might reveal patterns and/or pressure points for resistance that an Insurance Team would be willing to underwrite and hire defense for. The point is that if the Insurance Team is good at getting results, then in theory, fewer Patent Troll cases will arise, and the Insruance Company gets to pile up reserves for potential cases and make a profit concurrently.

Then, as you mention, just being a vetted participant and using the logo "Insured Against Patent Trolls By XYZ" can be a deterrent. Takes time, I understand, and it may be a very limited market. I'm just curious if the math and legal defense strategies can be combined in some ways. Thanks again for your postulations.

The insurance would cost more than the expected cost of the litigation which is of course how insurance works. They key with the patent system is that you have to pay millions to defend yourself, but it's exceptionally rare to be able to recover attorney's fees even if you win.

So in the end it's a choice between capitulating and paying some amount (and perhaps unleashing more trolls in the future) or wasting millions and many many hours of your time over years of your life defending yourself.

There's no way to win, which is why this is now a big industry.

> The insurance would cost more than the expected cost of the litigation which is of course how insurance works. The key with the patent system is that you have to pay millions to defend yourself, but it's exceptionally rare to be able to recover attorney's fees even if you win.

If enough people buy insurance to make sure that the patent trolls never win, then there's no money to be made and the lawyers stop suing. So the price of insurance goes down. It's not like insuring against tornados, which are going to happen regardless of whether the houses are insured. Furthermore, you can state up front "IP Lawsuit Coverage provided by XXX" as a disincentive for people to sue their members in the first place.

They don't even have to never win. It just has to cost them enough that their margin is smaller than that of some other venture.

Yes. Their business model relies on the fact most people will settle if the offer is about the same cost as a successful defense or less. If they actually had to litigate all these cases they could never make money.

My impression is they'd rather not go to court, since there's always a chance they could have their patent busted.

The insurance would cost more than the expected cost of litigation for the average member. The vast majority of developers will never be sued, but you don't know if you will be among the unlucky few.

See medical malpractice insurance for another example.

This is a bit of a simplistic view... Insurance trades a slightly higher expected cost for zero variance in cost.

For small companies, that's a great proposition because a small monthly fee can be planned for, while a patent suit is do or die find very expensive legal support.

Perhaps there are ways to defer the lawsuits for lengthy periods of time? (I don't actually know.)

There are companies which offer litigation insurance (someone I know recently got some for a potential lawsuit). But AFAIK, they generally require you to present your case along with expert legal analysis to them before they'll even set a price for the insurance. Which goes back to one of the problems with patents -- there are so many of them which are bogus, how could you ever do a truly exhaustive review of potential infringement?

It exists. Kind of. I know there's a company called LegalShield, and I'm sure LegalZoom has its own version of it.

How would the insurance policy differentiate between patent trolling and legitimate patent abuses? Because I could foresee a company purchasing this insurance and then willy-nilly violating patents to their hearts content.

Simple contract language. There's no compulsion for a legitimate Insurance Team to undewrite a fraudulent risk, and that language will be included in the contract/agreement. I do think it of akin to Auto Insurance Companies in the US being able to deny a claim if the Claimant was doing something against the policy, e.g. "You were street racing and therefore we are not covering your liability" is a seemingly proven out.

The insurance company could cover legal costs, but only until they lost X of your cases (for small X).

Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8XknFl1l_8

He visits East Texas and shows that the 'offices' of the 'companies' that hold each patent are empty shells.

To save someone 8 minutes:

Tl;dr: He visits the listed offices of several dozen patent trolls in East Texas, including one directly across from the court house. Each one is empty with no sign of human activity. One has a secretary who claims the address is the accounting firm for those businesses. Then one person comes out to say that he is "a representative" of the businesses, and that those businesses "are based in East Texas" though. He recites one sentence about patents being property and then the video creator is kicked out.

Ah yes. Former East Texan here. One company, Personal Web (http://www.personalweb.com/about.html), setup shop near the courthouse. They came to our school claiming they were going to be working on the next version of the web, web 3.0. They were recruiting for part-time only students. I asked why they chose east texas, and they said because they owned many patents wanted to be near the court that here's many technology patent cases.

1) The patent reason is a giveaway what they were really up to. 2) Why would you only hire part-time students? They were simply trying to build up a credible reputation in the community as a "small, local shop hiring locals" going against the big guys.

Any chance you know anyone who got a position with them? Really curious what kind of make work projects they had people doing.

Wouldn't it be great if someone got a job with these companies, as a mole? Then snoop through their activities, and write it up as an exposé?

Apparently the students are cheap and the work they do is menial thing that everybody can do.

How is this fundamentally different from our beloved SV startups organizing themselves as Delaware C-Corps?

One is a parasite on anyone who would dare innovate, and the other is trying to avoid overpaying taxes.

Less to do with taxes, more to do with having a well established and understood regulations and legal system.

It's really not. They're both forms of jurisdictional arbitrage.

It's a similar legal maneuver but with very different outcomes.

In one case you're jut trying to set your company up to avoid paying too much taxes, in the other you're forcing the people you're trolling to a) travel far from home to defend themselves against your likely unfair lawsuit, and b) be at a disadvantage in front of a judge who is known to tilt things in your favor.

That's really more for investors than the startups themselves.

For starters, most people incorporate in delware whether they are in SV or not. It's just a better place for taxes. This is available to anyone who wants to incorporate. Does not require you are in the know or have a relationship with a judge...

Not really true anymore. I believe Wyoming is better for taxes these days. It's more about there being a good body of relevant established case law in Delaware.

The patent in the video is US 6857067. Claims 1, 20, 22, 30, 31, 67, 107, and 108 were invalidated by the Patent Office in an administrative proceeding, but claims 21 and 22 survived that particular challenge. See IPR2013-00391, Final Decision. Cost for these challenges is around $300k (and often much less for troll suits), rather than the $2-5 million that is typically quoted for district court cases.

Couldn't Google offer defense in such cases for its users? Every case is the same so it shouldn't even be that expensive (I guess, IANAL), and it would discourage future cases because the troll would know he will have to fight against Google.

Yea they could in multiple ways. They could sue to the troll for a declaratory judgement of invalidity and non infringement. Or they just indemnify their app stor developers for any patent liability caused by using their product.

>Or they just indemnify their app stor developers for any patent liability caused by using their product.

What about actual patent violations?

IANAL, but I don't think there's a reason they couldn't indemnify against patent lawsuits regarding the distribution of applications through their services, while not indemnifying for patent violations in the applications themselves.

>their product

"Their" in this case being "Google Play" product and any liability arising from the use of thereof.

Good guy Google should definitely be stepping in here

I won't hold my breath

I guess I am stupid, why isn't Google the defendant, other than the fact they have too much money. This is like being sued for shopping at the wrong store.

The problem is that the "patent" (fucking loose term of the word for something that should never have been allowed to be filed) is about the use of the code in question. It's not the App Store that is supposedly infringing, it's the use of the App Store. What a joke.

Doesn't Google use the Play Store to distribute their own apps like Sheets, Docs, Drive etc.

Right. But the patent troll doesn't want to go after a large corporation with the resources to defend. Much easier to go after the thousands of individuals / small businesses that can't fund a 5 year court battle.

Yes but they are not going to sue Google, that is the problem

As I understand, patent liability doesn't stop at any point. So your customers can be sued for using your infringing ptoduct. This has the effect of letting patent owners choose who to go after.

Because it's easier to make money going after small business knowing these business can't afford a lawsuit.

One of these troll companies made $30 million a year doing this and they are even listed on the stock exchange!!

Which listed company is that though

He answers this in the FAQ at the end of the video: Because Google is big enough that it could defend itself.

Yes, that is part of the patent law. 35.271.a: ... whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention ... infringes the patent.

That is why that one copier patent troll (can't remember the specifics) files suit against businesses that purchase copier, but not the manufactures themselves.

I do feel like when a similar thing happened with the iOS App Store (app devs sued for using in-app purchases), Apple tried to insert itself into the case saying that all the technology used was theirs.

Or at least they could join with some other companies to pool money towards a software trade association with real teeth that we can rely on to represent our industry's interests when it's under attack like this.

It's appalling how limp this business is when it comes to demonstrating political muscle

Can these services just be disabled in East Texas to avoid their jurisdiction? At the very least, it would force the patent trolls into more neutral territory.

That's a very interesting idea. I wonder if it's a viable option.

edit: It'd actually be pretty effective if you stop to think about it, even if it doesn't technically prevent litigation.

Just think: "Sorry, this product isn't available in you're area due to patent litigation concerns". Part of me wonders if that happened with Netflix, Google Maps, etc. wouldn't the people start hating the patent litigation instead of being content with it?

That is kind of the nuclear option of the big internet companies. I'm sure they realize that they have this power, but they can only use it rarely, maybe once, before there is public outcry against this "abuse of power". They're probably saving this card it for a bigger issue.

Interesting thought. You should ask german Youtube users how they feel about GEMA. You certainly won't hear rave reviews.

I have been wondering the same thing. If not outright disabling the service, would it be sufficient to license one's software in a way that prohibits it being used in East Texas? Would that remove standing to sue in the district?

Wouldn't work. The plaintiff only needs to show a nexus to the venue; all they have to do is open an office there to achieve that.

Here's a vid from the same guy last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbyW_QS8Ef8

He had just won a three year litigation with the same group, after which they pointed out that even though he had won a battle, they had enough BS patents to keep him in court for several lifetimes. He is currently in year 4 out of a projected 450.

Jesus. I think a hitman is cheaper than the cost of all that.

Someone with money and lawyers needs to sue the state of Texas for allowing a father and son duo to practice in such a conflict of interest fashion. This is a clear cut case of corruption.

I'm not even sure where to begin with this :) First, you can't sue a state without their permission, they have sovereign immunity. Second, you would have no standing unless you were directly affected Third, outside of violating non-binding legal ethics rules, it's not clear what law you think this somehow violates.

The state can pretty much do whatever it wants here.

Plus, all of this is federal anyway, so suing the state of texas would accomplish nothing.

Outside of random statutes, your best bet would probably be due process violations, but ...

Correct, this situation is 100% a creature of Congress and several Administrations, the actual state of Texas has nothing to do with it.

A lawsuit might not be appropriate, but there is a separate 'right to petition the government' for that.

Sure. However, note the supreme court has not, AFAIK, held a right to sue in general:


They have essentially grounded these claims in due process violations, etc, and then found a right to file those lawsuits. Not a right to sue for anything.

When they have tried to find rights in the right to petition (and i will grant that historically, it included a right to sue), it has been cases where someone is directly trying to affect a constitutional right.

Also nobody has to give a damn about what you say:

"Nothing in the First Amendment or in this Court's case law interpreting it suggests that the rights to speak, associate, and petition require government policymakers to listen or respond to communications of members of the public on public issues."

States' rights, Fuck yeah!

I'm not sure where exactly this assertion stands - Judge Davis retires last year, and in 2011 when Lodsys was represented by his son's firm, their cases were always assigned to the other district judge (Gilsap I believe?) due to the conflict of interest.

It's sensational and scummy sounding, so it really fits the narrative of the evil patent trolls (a narrative I wholeheartedly support), I don't see any reason to believe it's true.

Ah! I didn't know that! I was going on what the guy in the video said.

Suing the state to stop patent lawsuits is not going to work. Hiring an army of lobbyists and giving campaign donations liberally might work though.

You're suggesting to use one systemic corruption to fight the other! That might solve the one problem in the short term (maybe), but legitimizing that sort of strategy for affecting change just means that in the end the most corruptest one with the biggest army of lobbyists and campaign donations is going to call the shots. Hey it's your country, but maybe just think about that for a second.

Isn't this the federal court system? Not sure: is Texas even able to do anything about this?

I happened to read this article about recusal recently and I don't understand how some of these allegations wouldn't be explicit grounds for recusal, specifically the son being a lawyer with a firm that tries cases in the father's court.

https://popehat.com/2016/06/06/lawsplainer-when-must-federal... Article is in the context of Trump, but you needn't let that turn you off.

i was the victim of a patent trolling company called acacia research. they sent me a bunch of legal threats but had my name spelled incorrectly, which happened to give away who had sold my info to them(in exchange for dropping the case a certain entity traded all of their affiliates info to acacia). i was 19 at the time and laughed it off. nothing ever came of it, but in hindsight it certainly wasn't a laughing matter. in the end i think someone staged a pretty good defense and crushed their patent.

Thank God, all of this should be coming to an end any day now.

Son appointed judge, family clan as associates in law-firm... The world does not work this way.

The president appoints federal judges. Not too likely that he's thinking about how to rig the patent court in East Texas.

It won't though. The supply of people willing to sell their soul to make easy money contains more than one person.


And what has such a man accomplished at the end of his life?

Probably made a ton of money by ruining people's lives.

Is there a unified place one can donate to that people think is the best way to put some money toward real change in the system? I'm happy to send some money to the EFF, but I'd up that 100 times if I knew it was going 100% toward killing patent trolls and I thought it was the best organization to fight that fight.

Agreed. I'd love to see Austin set up a gofundme with specific goals, milestones, a well defined team and strategy. We'd contribute if it's something that would bring about real change.

This was linked in a description of one of the videos:


I thought we already squashed this shit: http://www.engadget.com/2016/03/26/uniloc-patent-troll-defea...

Really seems like Google/Apple should make some kind of statement calling out how ridiculous these lawsuits are.

Could Google do more then a statement? It can't be good for their business if people are being sued for simply uploading an app to the Play Store.

When developers were sued by Lodsys Apple intervened with a motion due to the fact that the developers were covered under Apple's license. After 2 years, the judge refused to hear the motion and threw it out...

I agree, Google must step in here, pronto.

What these tech giants need to do is collude, but this time instead of colluding to screw over their employees by not "poaching" them, they need to collude to cut off all their services to this district of East Texas. Screw over the morons living in this area whose economy lives off this leaching, and also make it so many patent lawsuits can be easily dismissed because the internet services these patents supposedly cover won't be available there, so they can argue the venue is inappropriate.

Doesn't sound like Google. If it had affected Newegg on the other hand...

The only way you can deal with trolls is to slay them. Attribution of costs does not work. Most trolls consist of lawyers who create paper work and file it. They do not hire outside law firms at $500+ per hour - the ones their victims are forced to hire. The only tru costs they have are the file fees, which East Texas keeps low. That town is totally a parasitic town and they award wins to trolls to keep the town in cash that trickles down.

I say slay the trolls, slay the judges, slay them all - by legal means if possible. I would love to find an old Texas law that allows trial by combat with no substitutions...

I'm no advocate of violence but this makes you wonder about the ethics of beating such guys up. The legal system seems pointless.

You're wondering about the ethics of beating someone up to get what you want?

I hate to point it out, but history is littered with examples of cases where following the law and using non-violent diplomatic approaches failed, necessitating the use of violence (in the eyes of those who felt they had no recourse). It's the very reason just about every nation has a military, for instance.

In a nutshell, if you think beating someone up to get what you want is wrong, then you must necessarily think that military force is wrong, and maintaining a military force is also wrong.

You can also look at some pretty extreme examples: if you're a Jew in 1930-something Germany or one of the nations it occupied, and a bunch of soldiers are coming to take you to the camps, is it unethical for you to use violence against them? Of course, you might argue that's a bad example because the other side already initiated the use of (or threat of; they're carrying guns) violence so you had the right of self-defense. But that's no different than having a legal system that you feel is unjust: if you don't agree with the legal system's ruling and resist or ignore it, then they'll send men with guns to force you into submission using violence.

Now you can argue that there's a huge difference in magnitude between being taken to death camps and losing a patent case and having to give a large sum of money to a patent troll, but I think the principle is the same, it's just a difference in degree. All human conflict is like this: we have systems we try to use to avoid solving our differences with violence, but at times, these systems fail and at least one party feels the price/risk is worth it. Luckily, if you look at the entirety of human history, the amount of violence has been steadily falling, and we're probably at the least violent point in history, if you look at humanity as a whole.

My view is admittedly a bit on the extreme side (to put it mildly) but I'd see it as similar to hunting Somali pirates or Congolese poachers for sport. There are things a human can do to set themselves apart from the rest of humanity, and patent trolling is one of them.

Patent trolls don't rise (sink) to the level of child molesters, serial killers or ISIS terrorists, but still... I wouldn't shed any tears if something really bad happened to these people, whether by accident or design. They attack the best of us while contributing nothing. We don't need them.

I think it is important to acknowledge why people do things they do.

- Somali pirates and Congolese poachers: poor and miserable conditions with no perspective to get out of it

- patent trolls: greedy, moral-less legal positivists

- serial killers: psychopaths

- ISIS terrorists: brainwashed losers, who want easy answers, a mission, a group and a leader

- child molesters: I would say mentally ill

If you see it like this, you can fix the problems below. You will still have to protect society from serial killers, but all others seem to be solvable.

- African criminals: fix Africa

- legal positivists: fix the law

- ISIS terrorists: fix ghettos

- child molesters: fix paedophilia

Of course this will only fix the problem for future generations. Potential patent trolls will be assholes in a post-troll world, too, but you will always have to deal with those. There are paedophiles who are not human scum, but are aware what consequences their actions could have. That is also why the catholic church with its celibacy is so attractive to some of them.

I personally think that institutions must act perfectly morally, but personally affected individuals should be required ultima ratio to act against morals and be later judged and punished for it. So in this case, when you are a small developer and there is no way out …

I don't know how you can "fix" paedophilia, any more than you can "fix" psychopathy. AFAICT, they're both mental disorders that are very deep-seated and probably unfixable, at least until we have better biomedical technology and a better understanding of the human brain. There's probably ways we might be able to identify these people as high-risk and put them in programs to monitor them and help them avoid committing crimes, but that's more of a work-around than a fix.

Patent trolls aren't much different from serial killers, though: they're both socio/psychopaths (same thing really). Patent trolls aren't violent, and are greedy for money, that's the main difference. But the law itself you could say is a work-around for problems like this, but as we see here the law is broken and needs to be fixed because the sociopaths have figured out a way to abuse the law for their gain.

> but that's more of a work-around than a fix

Depends on your point of view. In the point of view of a paedophile, sterilisation might not seem like a fix, society itself thinks different.

>Patent trolls aren't much different from serial killers, though: they're both socio/psychopaths (same thing really)

I thought so, too, but then did decided to not call them that, because I imagine that many of them are just not "into market economy" (you get money in exchange for providing value). They see a gap in the law and try to take it from "the big guys", who have it anyway. There are many other groups of people, who think that they are somehow entitled to get money they did not provide value for.

>They see a gap in the law and try to take it from "the big guys", who have it anyway.

There's a difference between suing Google or MS for patent violations, and suing some small business that's just selling an app on Google Play store. These patent trolls are frequently going after small companies because they know they're more likely to settle. That's sociopathic, it's not like Robin Hood.

It might make the world a better place overall but likely cause problems for the beater.

One of those post-bucket list things to do, maybe, after you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness that still leaves you a month or two of personal autonomy.

The potential silver lining of my breast cancer! I volunteer!

This is where I follow up my earlier post to make it crystal clear that it was tongue-in-cheek, not meant to be taken as advice, encouragement or incitement to violence, and that I would personally consider it very, very wrong for someone to confront patent trolls by flattening them with uparmored construction equipment Killdozer-style, taking them out with a deer rifle Texas-style, or pulling up alongside their cars on the highway and attaching limpet mines, Mossad-style.

Under no circumstances should anyone do any of those things, because that would be wrong.

(And, more seriously, I hope you never have a good excuse to try.)

Don't worry, life is a terminal illness.

It's good to raise awareness, especially on the users of the play store (I mean, the developers).

For example I learned a lot from this video: in case I decided to sell an app on any store, I'd better contact my lawyer to get advised on where and how to incorporate my company.

I don't know if it can be easily resolved by incorporating in another country, but the difficulties of an international litigation should discourage trolls.

New Zealand. They banned software patents.

There's broad exclusion for software in Europe as well.

A while back, I did some research into patent trolls, and came across the history of NPE firms that do DPA (defensive patent aggregation), like RPX [0]. What surprised me from a game theoretical perspective was how murky things got. These situations can be tough on entrepreneurs and seem to create space for said entrepreneur to purchase protection in the form of patent aggregation to mitigate against potential devastation caused by this. On one hand, I can see how it can amount to a protection racket. On the other hand, the existence of patents and how they relate to property are pretty complex. This TechCrunch article about RPX does a good job of going into further detail about this, but truth be told, I am even more on the fence after reading this. I agree that patent reform would be necessary to rectify this situation, but in the meantime, I can't think of a better alternative. The cynic inside me can't help but think that business is always it's own kind of war, sadly.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPX_Corporation [1] http://techcrunch.com/2008/11/24/is-rpxs-defensive-patent-ag...

I came from an European country, and the root cause seems pretty clear to me: why defending yourself in court is so damn expensive? In my country, you don't often need an attorney (although for complex cases you certainly do), but even if you do hire an attorney, they cost way, way less. Like $20,000 for a complex case, and it's going to be a team of lawyers.

Also, companies just don't sue each other that often. I don't know why US is different.

I'm reading this thread with a similar wonder: they seem to be blaming everything but the broken legal system.

Google should fix it, East-Texas should fix it, Texas should fix it, donation to legal funds should fix it, insurance should fix it, more campaigning and lobbying should fix it, we should let them fight to the death that will fix it!

Hmhm. Quite :)

Didn't the guy already say it in the video? They tried various times but the system is so broken and rigged that it just won't work. The senate just outright denies any of the reform bills. It's really desperate that one will have to assume by default that there is no recourse other than trying to acquiesce the existence of such absurdity and try to find workarounds, but this is how America is. Don't be surprised.

> I'm reading this thread with a similar wonder: they seem to be blaming everything but the broken legal system.

Except they are blaming the legal system, as you yourself enumerate:

> more campaigning and lobbying should fix it

Campaigning and lobbying are ways of effecting change to the system of laws.

> Campaigning and lobbying are ways of effecting change to the system of laws.

Yes of course they are. But that way those with the biggest army of lobbyists and campaign donations are going to decide what your laws will be. This is part of your problem, not your solution!

Interesting, his case is in their search tool: https://search.rpxcorp.com/lit/txedce-138585-uniloc-v-lamina...

From what I recall, they acquire IP when its from companies in this situation. I'm not a betting person, but I would not be surprised if this situation was a good opportunity for RPX's PR.

What about making an "anti patent troll" website that will allow users to share their legal approaches and documents and the rest of the defense materials. Some of them may be reusable. I guess it should significantly limit the legal costs for everyone and improve their position against trolls, right?

I'm not sure how this works when it comes to a successful defense but it's my understanding that, in the case of a settlement, the defendant must sign an NDA - preventing just this and allowing the racket to continue.

I was toying with doing that. Even got a domain name. Might be a bit of a hassle though. Dunno. Thoughts anyone? Would it help? Would I get sued?

IANAL but I'd setup the corporate entity outside the US and hire a mail forwarding service of some kind to redirect all the mail to your home.

Another video linked here featuring the same guy links to http://www.trollfighter.com/ which seems to be an initiative of something called Application Developers Alliance.

America needs to follow New Zealand's example:

Ban software patents!

In the video, he says that the politicians stopped the issue from even being voted on. That's without Silicon Valley stepping in to really lobby against that kind of ban (NZ has no equivalent of SV)

Big companies in Silicon Valley can defend themselves, so they don't care. It's small businesses that are affected.

And big companies do not really want competition from small businesses.

Software is not patentable in Brazil either.

Honest question: have anyone seen any software innovation been really protected by a patent litigation? All articles I have seen are about trolls.

Well if you're going to ask that question, I'm going to ask a corollary:

Has anyone seen any innovation that has been really protected by patents, that couldn't have been protected merely with trade secrets and industrial capability (i.e., big companies are physically and organizationally able to make things that small companies cannot due to their resources, therefore they're really the last ones to need patent protection, but they're also the ones most able to afford spending huge sums of money on patent fees and enforcement)?

Medicine, for example, they have to tell what's inside the bottle.


"Ric Richardson is an Australian inventor. He is the holder of multiple granted patents including the Uniloc patent US5490216 and the Logarex patent 6400293. Although he spent twelve years in California to promote and develop products produced by Uniloc, Richardson grew up in Sydney and currently resides just outside Byron Bay.

He is the founder of Uniloc, a company based on the technology he first patented in 1992."

Here's his picture from the Uniloc web site: http://uniloc.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ricrichardson.p...

He's apparently insanely talented, having "invented" the panic button, the visual voice recorder, the 3G skype phone, the secure browser, the universal database, the carbon scrubber, the book dispensor, "media objects", the "Internet Computer", QR Codes, DRM, a password replacement system, TV muting, and several dozen other devices, just in the past 16 years alone.[1]

[1] https://sites.google.com/site/ricricho/ric-s-inventions

Full name: Frederick Bailier Richardson III

Am thinking these activities devalue the terms invention and inventor. Would prefer that to patent some process that you had invented you ought to have to come up with a device to implement said process. You may not even know how to realise your idea in practise which is kind of where all the hard work is. An not saying idea for processes are ten a penny but the bar needs to be raised.

Yet another example of the consumer software industry being completely impotent when it comes to defending itself.

Patent trolls file these frivolous lawsuits because they make millions and suffer zero consequences for their actions. Why? Because there is no industry trade group representing the software industry with any sort of teeth. They know software developers have money, and they know software developers are absurdly weak when it comes to defending themselves. Software developers are easy prey.

Other than the EFF who is out there to represent us with any measure of real leverage over the legal process? Who is out there with the muscle to make patent trolls and software unfriendly lawmakers have second thoughts when targeting developers?

With no lobbies or trade associations with any sort of power out there representing consumer software, anyone with even minor influence over government can simply walk all over software developers, again and again and again. The consumer software industry has enormous amounts of cash at it's disposal, surely a few cash rich companies can pool enough resources together to kick off a trade association worthy of punching back, hard

Somebody needs to create a FUPA for anti-patent trolling

What to do about this?

I'm told, you may be put to trial in East Texas, if you're selling your goods or services there. – So, why not stop selling to East Texas and let them settle the resulting collision of interests themselves?

(1) That would probably work under the existing rules.

(2) There is an active legal challenge to the existing rules (arguing that they misapply two separate provisions of law as if one controls a definition in the other, when that is not the case), which if successful would radically shake up patent venue and pretty much end the "drag everyone into ED Texas" thing we have going on right now. [0]

[0] http://patentlyo.com/patent/2016/04/circuit-continues-allowa...

Can a lawyer or something with legal background please weigh in on this?

Uniloc has this piece of Google Maps screenshot hosted at their web server. Isn't this not allowed? http://www.uniloc.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Screen-shot...

While I applaud what Austin Meyer is doing by raising awareness about patent trolls, does anyone here but me wish that the content had been made available in some sort of text medium instead? I can't think of any important parts of the video that couldn't have been reasonably conveyed through the use of text.

I agree, but maybe because he said he wants to raise the awareness of 'simple' people, such as jurors, etc. Video is probably better medium to go viral than some text about software parents regarding non techies.

Not as condensed as true text, but you can download the CC: http://downsub.com/index.php?title=I+am+being+sued%2C+in+Eas...

Interestingly, the login button doesn't even work at uniloc.com, and if you look in the source, there's a ton of commented-out paragraphs that say stuff like "<h2>The spirit of innovation is alive and well at Uniloc.</h2>".

Fun fact: their website has listings turned on and runs an ancient version of WordPress last touched in 2012.


It's like they're trying to be as obviously illiterate as they possibly can.

Including publicly accessible database backups. I haven't seen such disregard for security in a very long time.

For a "software security company" they sure are begging for their website to be hacked.

Or maybe it is a honeypot?

INSERT INTO `wpu_users` VALUES (2, 'bdavis', [...], 'bdavis', 'bdavis@uniloc.com', '', '2010-08-05 18:06:44', '', 0, 'bdavis');

What the hell? Could this be the lawyer the video talks about?

Apparently not:

> Bradley C. Davis, Brad serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Uniloc USA

They also have port 21 open: https://www.shodan.io/host/

How has East Texas not been shut down already?

Everybody in the chain of responsibility capable of doing so stands to financially benefit from this practice continuing.

For a business to claim it's "based in" East Texas it'll have to pay its taxes there. Local litigation law firms are bringing tons of money into the area, further increasing local revenue. Shutting it down would probably even knock a significant slice off of the state's income.

One practical thing one could do is to forward this to an influential tech journalist, ideally to a mainstream publication that has a technology section, like CNN or WSJ.

Someone really needs to create a patent that defines methods of patent trolling, so every time one of these scumbags starts a lawsuit you can sue them.

Someone (Halliburton!) already tried: http://www.google.com/patents/US20080270152

Edit: And IBM apparently got one granted: http://www.google.com/patents/US8386350

lol, after a quick glance at the IBM one it seems to be patenting software that manages patent portfolios (maybe). How utterly bizarre

Would incorporating your tech company in England instead of the USA protect your company from these patent troll lawsuits? It's extremely easy to start a company based in England, even as a US citizen living in the USA. With the patent trolling this out of control in the US at the moment, would basing your company abroad offer you any protection?

Yes, if your product or service is only available in England.

No, if you sell your product or service in the US (or at least East Texas). It doesn't matter where your company is incorporated, it only matters where you do business.


There's only so far a justice system can get dysfunctional before people say fukitall and it looses its legitimacy. It's not just patents, civil forfeiture is another thing that comes to mind and I'm sure there more.

I imagine if in future somebody gets such a patent lawsuit, they'd just rip up the letter and throw it away. Police comes to carry out court orders because they decided in absence? "Sorry officer, the reason you're here is just patent bullshit." - "Oh well, I won't lift a finger for these idiots. Sorry for bothering you, have a nice day!"

Or a more extreme reaction: already in this thread, a couple of people are fantasizing about violence, hiring a hitman and so on. I realize it is mostly meant jokingly, but self-justice is another effect of a justice system that's lost legitimacy.

Rule-of-law is a great thing to have, but it only works if these laws are somewhat reasonable and in accord with peoples moral values...

Here's written coverage of the situation in case you don't have time to watch the video: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2016/06/07/x-plane-flight-simul...

The American patent system is a dead weight drag on the American software economy. The quality of software patents is atrocious, and the value of the tiny fraction of good patents in this space does not make up for the Billions lost to trolls and the costs of administering the system.

Judge Leonard Davis presides over a large amount of these "Patent Troll" cases, and his son (!!) Bo Davis is a Lawyer who represents these very same Patent Trolls in court!

If that's not a racket, I don't know what is.

Question: Is a lot of the backend supposed to be available through going directly to the wp-content? If you go to uniloc.com/wp-content/, there's backups, images, plugins, and even a .sql file...

Hah nice. Probably not the kind of firm you want to be messing with, however...

Then again I'll just leave this here.


For all the entrepreneurs looking for a problem to solve, here it is: Create a company/product that automates legal services (start with the niche case for defending against Patent Trolls): then offer it as a service, say with a flat fee. If the cost of this service is on the order of hundreds of dollars, say less than 500$, it should solve the problem of frivolous law suits. This sub-niche is huge!

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