Interview With A Patent Troll

earlier this week Arstechnica posted an excellent summary and review of the practices of MPHJ Technologies, their associated shell companies and the law companies around the USA that represent them them in their trolling.

In the call, the confused Mr. Smith starts out by telling Rust he can scarcely believe what is happening. “Just to reiterate, my home printer—if I scan to e-mail, it’s an option on my Hewlett-Packard printer—I do that, I owe you money?” asks Smith.

“If you said you hooked it up to the Internet, and in one button, you can scan and e-mail directly out—yes, you have violated the patent that we own,” says Rust.

That means millions of Americans owe Rust’s anonymous client money

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USPTO Relents A Little On Apple’s ‘mini’

The USPTO has recently given Apple a little breathing space on it’s application for trademark on it’s popular iPad Mini tablet, withdrawing previous refusals with a small caveat:

Applicant should submit a disclaimer in the following standardized format:

No claim is made to the exclusive right to use “MINI” apart from the mark as shown

With many existing products bearing the Mini title including numerous that could be considered direct competitors to Apple’s smaller format tablet the the USPTO has been treading carefully around it. The mandated disclaimer however makes it pretty clear the Cupertino company does not have carte blanche trademark on the descriptive small-size moniker

Sources, Further Reading:

Macrumors.com Coverage

USPTO Office Action Letter