Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 14 Jan 2019.
So really it has nothing to do with protecting treasured childhood memories, and everything to do with a money-grabbing bunch of patent trolls...
Not that I ever played the CYOA books - although I did have most of the early Fighting Fantasy books
Not patent trolls this time, thankfully. It's their colleagues in trade marks!
You've chosen to launch a lawsuit against a much larger company! Go to:
Page 23 If you'd like to end up in court and discover that your trademark has been invalidated by extensive colloquial usage
Page 42 If you're hoping to bluff your way to a token out-of-court settlement
Chapter 11 if you'd like to fritter away your cash on a series of dodgier lawyers as each in turn drops your clearly frivolous case until you run out of funds
In fairness, this isn't even the same thing as patent trolls who genuinely created a patent, though it may be a dubious one.
This is someone who saw an expired trademark in common usage, then turned around and filed for that trademark so they could sue people.
It is kind of like if you ran in, xeroxed the Frauhoffer MPEG patents or Unisys GIF(pronounced "Gee-Eye-Eff") patents, and filed them under your own name so you could start a whole new round of lawsuits, and the patent office inexplicably GRANTED you those patents.
Hang on a second, I just came up with a great business idea!
Someone inventing a thing, patenting it, making it, and defending that patent isn't a patent troll. Someone inventing a thing, patenting it, then making no effort to actually make the thing 'cos waiting for someone else to make something similar and forcing 'em to license the patent is much easier is a kind of patent troll. Most patent trolls, though, don't create anything: they buy patents in bulk, either from inventors or more commonly when a company with a patent portfolio goes bust, then hire an army of lawyers to go through every product announcement ever to see if there's a chance one of the patents in their portfolio could arguably apply. That's a patent troll.
So, arguably, Chooseco began life as a "trademark troll" in the same vein, although in its defence it does actually publish Choose Your Own Adventure games so it's not entirely fair to tar it with the same brush as a patent assertion entity (PAE).
That's a fair point, and I did oversimplify things excessively.
But Chooseco didn't even buy the trademark off someone else. They waited until it fell into disuse, then snatched it up secure in the knowledge it was a widely-used public term. I think that makes them scummier than most patent trolls.
Of course, there's always the patents that keep getting amendments filed so that the author can eventually claim "I invented $NEWTHING ten years ago!", when ten years ago his patent said nothing about $NEWTHING. Or Rambus' "join JEDEC, then patent ideas we heard at the JEDEC meetings" scheme. THAT flavor of patent troll is sharing a table with Chooseco.
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