There is clearly prior art. When you make this big a nuisance of yourself, clearly exploiting the system at society's expense, you should be permanently disbarred. You are a clear and present danger to the continued operation of the justice system.
Edit: Might a flood of complaints to the bar association do some good here?
You really need to read the specific claims in the patents themselves to figure out how to invalidate or avoid the patents.
(I could close with that bald assertion, but I won't.) Its basic thrust is that the patent system is "broken" to the extent that it does what it's designed to do: grant to an inventor a time-limited privilege to restrict his competitors so that he can earn monopoly profits that will reward him for his invention.
The book opens with the story of James Watt. Watt made a series of improvements to the design of a steam engine and obtained a patent, which he used to interfere with his competition. In particular, he used the legal system to crush Jonathan Hornblower and his superior engine design; the rest of his competitors had made further improvements, but simply waited for Watt's patent to expire (which had been extended to a 32-year period) before putting them into production. Watt himself was forced to use a technically inferior design element in his engines for some years to avoid infringing on someone else's patent. When Watt's patents finally expired and his competitors could freely enter the market, the number of steam engines being produced and the rate at which their efficiency improved both exploded; furthermore, Watt's company continued to increase production and make a profit for years despite the disappearance of the patent protection.
It seems clear that the overall effect of Watt's patent protection was to greatly slow down both the development and the wide-scale adoption of improved steam engines--and, as a footnote, that it may not even have been necessary to ensure that Watt made a profit. Note that Watt was using the patent system exactly as it had been intended. In the book, we see this happening over and over in detail and across a wide range of industries.
Even if our courts were up to it, and we see time and hand again that they are not, you simply cannot consistently enforce incoherent laws.
All IP laws other than trademark are harmful to society and the economy and need to be abolished.
How do you think the ultra-mega-corp is going to get unreasonably huge without monopoly control of creation or distribution though? And with tiny profit margins because their competitors can just copy them.
I also don't think you should get government help in keeping secret the method you use to do anything. It's possible to look at you and see what you're doing - if you do it where people can see you they'll just naturally be able to copy you. We'd have to lobotomize them or set up some ridiculous bureau of ideas to check everything for originality. Both nonsensical. A society can't afford to handicap its creators.
If they wanted it to be painless, they'd just throw in more of the barbiturate, which they're using already anyway. There is a reason we kill animals like that. Or, as another of your respondents pointed out, nitrogen asphyxiation. That one is so impossible to mess up it's absurd.
At some point a patent troll is going to fly too high and set fire to the entire business model.
Politicians will only solve a problem after it becomes a calamity. If the problem gets bad enough, they might start paying attention.
Watch for campaign contributions to start flowing before these companies start suing regular people.
If we were to get rid of "institutionalized use of force", what would we replace it with? Can you give me a single example of a large-scale society without effective government that hasn't devolved into a nightmare scenario?
As for examples, America was founded in liberty. Unfortunately the nightmare scenario is playing out in real time as the US evolves from the tiny government of two centuries ago into the police state of tomorrow (today?). All libertarian societies I'm aware of eventually give way to the nightmare of the state. So, nope, I can't give you any examples of a libertarian society that lasted indefinitely. But brief liberty is better than none.
The only way I can see liberty playing out in a sustainable way is if the entire planet becomes libertarian so that there are no giant concentrations of force capable of taking it over and turning it back into a state. And I think this will eventually happen since it would continue the slow but steady moral advance of humanity.
Does this mean anything?
Of course, I'm an anarchist, so I might be projecting... I think they also failed miserably though, because they forgot about human nature. Noble attempt, worthy of some praise, but ultimately it failed. Neat parallel to those who say communism failed because it forgot to consider human nature I think ;)
So founded in liberty? Basically just describes the mindset of the designers. What they were going for.
You're totally projecting. The constitution is pro-liberty and anti-tyranny, but it isn't really anti-government. One example: Patent protection is in the constitution, not exactly an anti-government stance.
Of course not. Any time it has been tried (e.g. Spain, some of those under Lenin), other governments have recognized the danger and responded immediately to destroy the movement before it can take off.
I honestly feel that this current patent perversion is a temporary thing. It just can't be sustainable in its current state.
Patents are the only thing that are specifically addressed in the US Constitution besides the form and function of the Federal government. It was and is a pretty big deal.
I hope that more and more opportunistic lawyers join the "patent troll" bandwagon. Eventually, some of them will not say "wont sue individuals" because they will understand that changes in IP laws are going to happen soon: make money now or never (very similar to what was happening just before the housing crash of 2008).
Then the politicians will act. Hopefully, giving bailouts and not doing reforms will not work for this issue.
Is there anything we can do to speed up this process?
1. Pay - where all proceeds will be used to acquire more frivolous patents and lawyers to sue them again
2. Change the law to ban all software patents
Isn't this precisely the sort of thing that can be forwarded to corporate? Someone who owns a Motel 6 would surely expect the corporation to help them with this, no?
Your insights into the actionability of patent applications would be highly informative to the majority of legal scholars and practicing lawyers.
tl;dr; Yes, they can sue you for buying a router. And win, if your high-priced lawyer doesn't show up in court on the appointed day.
1. If you get sued and don't show up, the judge might or might not enter a default judgment. Think of a lawsuit as a road rally. The plaintiff has to hit a number of checkpoints. In federal court, one of the first checkpoints is that the complaint---that is, the plaintiff's formal statement of its claim---must allege enough facts to set out a plausible case entitling the plaintiff to relief. (This is the Twombly/Iqbal standard established by the Supreme Court a couple of years ago.) Even if the defendant doesn't show up, usually the judge and his or her law clerk will still read the complaint, to see if it passes the smell test, before granting a default judgment.
2. They can sue you for buying a router, but under section 2-312(2) and (3) of the Uniform Commercial Code , absent a proper warranty disclaimer you would normally be able to pass the buck to the seller, by filing a cross-claim for breach of the implied warranty of noninfringement. Of course, that too would require paying a lawyer, unless the seller stepped up and voluntarily assumed the defense of the infringement suit (which is not uncommon; vendors want to stay on customers' good side).
I don't know enough about the details of wifi to say whether the patents in question actually apply, but it seems plausible. Here are all the patents listed in the suit:
[Edit] Or are they going to be chasing anyone that uses light in some fashion?
Then start trolling politicians.
I hope their greed gets the best of them. Here's a poll I created to get general feedback on this subject. It's so infuriating to me, but a lot of people seem to be indifferent on the subject of patents: http://www.wepolls.com/p/3363896/
Considering WiFi is almost 20 years old, and has practically surpassed 'ubiquity', I'd say that ship sailed.
The only threat to the scheme is having your lawyers be sanctioned for unprofessional conduct. If there was NOTHING behind the threat, this would be a real possibility (like, say, if you tried this scheme when you didn't even HAVE a patent). But as long as it's a plausible case, the threat works and it's highly profitable.
Or you are confused about the damages - you can't collect damages on anything that happened before you told the victim "you are infringing, now stop or pay me $XXX". But you definitely can collect from that point on (triple damages, if willful infringement is established)