Patent Troll Sues eBay For Daring To Ask Patent Office For Patent Re-Exam

from the incredible dept

Over at Popehat, there’s a fascinating story about the depths to which patent trolls will go to “protect” their business models. The story involves Landmark Technologies, a troll we wrote about earlier this year for its rather aggressive take on patent trolling. Landmark holds patent 6,289,319: ‘Automatic Business and Financial Transaction Processing System.’ Or, as the EFF puts it more succinctly: paying with a credit card online. eBay recognized that Landmark’s trolling was bad news, and filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a re-exam of three patents. The USPTO initially recognized eBay’s request, noting that there were “substantial” questions about the patentability in those patents. While it eventually left two of the patents alone, it dumped many of the claims in a third patent.

In May, however, Landmark sued eBay and its lawyer individually for daring to challenge its patents. Landmark claimed abuse of process, malicious prosecution, tortious interference with prospective business relations, negligent interference with prospective business relations and negligence against eBay and its lawyers… all for using the process allowed by the USPTO to request a re-exam. Landmark (really one guy: Lawrence Lockwood) and his lawyers are asking for $5 million for eBay daring to ask the USPTO to review his patents.

This is all happening in (of course) East Texas, the favorite venue for patent trolls over the past decade. Of course, there’s one, new issue with filing such a lawsuit in East Texas, and that’s that Texas recently put in place one of the best anti-SLAPP laws around, letting people hit back at baseless lawsuits that try to stifle free speech (SLAPP = Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).

And that brings us to the latest, which is that eBay is claiming that Landmark’s lawsuit is a clear SLAPP case, in which Lockwood is trying to block eBay from petitioning the USPTO in a perfectly legal manner. This is not the first time that a bogus patent-related lawsuit has met with an anti-SLAPP, but it’s worth seeing how this one plays out. Ebay’s filing is worth reading. Here’s a snippet:


Each of Landmark?s claims against eBay is subject to dismissal under the anti-SLAPP
statute because it is clear on the face of the Complaint that each of those claims is based on,
relates to, and is in response to eBay?s exercise of its right to petition and right of free speech.
See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 27.003(a). Specifically, each claim is based entirely on
eBay?s petitioning of the PTO to review the validity of the Patents through the ex parte
reexamination procedure, and eBay?s statements to the PTO in connection with those petitions.
For example, Landmark?s abuse of process claim is based on the allegation that ?Defendants
made an illegal, improper, or perverted use of process before the USPTO in submitting erroneous
and misleading Requests for reexamination of Plaintiff?s Patents in violation of federal law[.]? ….

The filing of a request for reexamination with the PTO plainly constitutes an exercise of
eBay?s right to petition shielded by the anti-SLAPP statute. The statute defines the ?exercise of
the right to petition? to include ?a communication in or pertaining to an executive or other
proceeding before a department of the?federal government or a subdivision of the?federal
government.? …. The PTO is a federal agency in
the U.S. Department of Commerce that performs adjudicatory functions…. Patent reexamination proceedings before the
PTO are official proceedings established by federal law…. Thus, eBay?s
reexamination requests constitute communications made in or pertaining to an executive
proceeding before a department of the federal government, and fall within the protection of the
right to petition under the anti-SLAPP statute

Popehat notes that Larry Lockwood has actually tried this before, suing a different law firm using the same theories and was laughed out of court (and that was back before the Texas anti-SLAPP law was in place). Thanks to that anti-SLAPP law, Lockwood may be on the hook for eBay’s attorneys’ fees. Perhaps he’ll “pay them with a credit card online.”





Filed Under: , , , , , , , , ,
Companies: ebay, landmark technologies

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Patent Troll Sues eBay For Daring To Ask Patent Office For Patent Re-Exam”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
7 Comments
mcinsandsays:

'business models'

>the depths to which patent trolls will go to “protect” their
>>business models.

Maybe just a matter of preference, but I would have preferred the quotation marks to be around ‘business models.’ I believe that their intent to protect is accurate and clear, but what they are protecting is a matter of extortion as a ‘business model.’

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it