Saturday, January 15, 2011

Now, we have "patent trolling", too (FlightPrep v. Runway Finder)

Julie Samuels has an important story at Electronic Frontier Foundation today about “patent trolling.” A company called FlightPrep (link ) has been using a patent registered in 2001 to go after other small businesses that generate flight plans or give information about runways.  (I can imagine that the TSA would be concerned about this.)   In fact, Runway Finder was forced off line, according to its own blog, here.

The EFF article is here.

The FlightPrep at USPTO is here.

There is also a “Boycott Flight Prep” site here   (not yet checked by McAfee). 

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Trademark claims made against parody sites, or sites using common words for domain names ("Lamebook"?)

An article by Corynne McSherry on trademark law abuse is worth noting at EFF, “2010 Trend Watch Update: Fair Use of Trademark”, link here.
The main concerns are frivolous lawsuits claiming (prospective) “trademark dilution” on sites involving parody (such as action against “Lamebook” (site ) from Facebook”) and suits blocking the use of common English words in domain or business names, such as “Entrepreneur” or “Face”.   Lamebook does “look” like a parody of Facebook and contains a plea for funds for salvation.