It started with a renowned Patent Troll, GEMSA, suing the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for using its name in its ‘Stupid Patent of the Month’ blog, but today the EFF has countersued the NPE.
Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA) is incorporated in Australia and exists only to bring patent litigation, making it “a classic patent troll,” the EFF claims. GEMSA appeared on the EFF’s radar last year when it sued Ericsson and Amazon for allegedly infringing a 1999-era patent: specifically, US patent 6,690,400, which describes a user interface that organizes files and operating systems into “virtual cabinets.”
In June, the EFF branded it the ‘Stupid Patent of the Month’, arguing that “complaints with such sparse, and implausible, infringement allegations should be thrown out immediately for failure to state a claim,” and notes that GEMSA has filed in the Eastern District of Texas – every patent troll’s favorite jurisdiction.
The non-practising entity has so far sued no fewer than 37 other companies, including big-name tech companies Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, Spotify, and eBay. In each case, GEMSA accused the company’s website design of somehow trampling on the GUI patent.
GEMSA requested that injuction was granted to prohibit the EFF from publishing anything about them and their patents, as well as asking for the ‘Stupid Patent of the Month’ blog to be removed. Against the odds, a judge in Australia agreed with the claims and granted the injunction. The EFF simply refused to remove its article, prompting GEMSA’s lawyers to send a snotagram in January insisting the foundation delete the blog post and cough up roughly $750,000. The legal threat also instructed the EFF to rewrite other parts of the web.
Reaching the end of their patience, the EFF kicked off its own lawsuit – in California – asking a US district court to rule that the Australian injunction was unenforceable.
“This order, which purports to silence expression of an opinion, would never survive scrutiny under the First Amendment in the United States,” the EFF noted on Friday, referring to the 2010 Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage Act (SPEECH Act), which states foreign orders are not enforceable in the United States unless consistent with free speech protections.
Story cited from theregister