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Saved by Alice: How a Key Supreme Court Decision Protects Businesses from Bad Patents

As Seen in EFF

In 2014’s Alice v. CLS Bank, the Supreme Court ruled that an abstract idea does not become eligible for a patent simply by being implemented on a generic computer. Since then, Alice has provided a lifeline for real businesses threatened or sued with bogus patents.

This week, on the third anniversary of Alice, EFF is launching a new series called Saved by Alice where we’ll collect these stories of times when Alice came to the rescue. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories of business owners large and small.

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The Patent Troll and the Scavenger Hunt

As Seen in EFF

Ken Cooper runs a small business out of his home. Unfortunately Ken’s business was not so small that it avoided the notice of a patent troll.

Ken has been writing code since 1973. His life in programming has ranged from small personal projects to founding a software company that was acquired by Microsoft. Today he runs a company called Coopercode. The company’s main project is a mobile scavenger hunt app for the iPhone and iPad called Klikaklu. Ken created the app to do scavenger hunts with his kids. It ended up being featured by Apple as a ‘New and Notable’ app and became popular with teachers. The app has been used at conferences, college orientations, and institutions like the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art. What began as a hobby project turned into a real business.

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Past News

HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Tackled an Issue That’s All Too Familiar to Startups: The Threat of Frivolous Patent Litigation

As Seen in Recode

The latest episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” took on an issue that is all too familiar to startups across the country — the threat of frivolous patent litigation.

In the show, the startup, Pied Piper, breaks into the Top 500 on the App Store, and almost immediately, the company receives a demand letter stating that it is violating an existing patent. Pied Piper soon discovers that it is being sued not by another well-intentioned startup, but an unscrupulous attorney, or a patent troll.

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HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Dedicates Episode To Patent Trolls

As Seen in Law360

 

HBO’s geek culture sitcom “Silicon Valley” offered America a new kind of villain in Sunday night’s episode, but intellectual property attorneys already know them well: nonpracticing entities, or what some call patent trolls.

In what may be the first pop culture reference to the phenomenon, the show’s episode titled “The Patent Troll” spares them no disdain in a portrayal that some intellectual property attorneys disputed Monday.

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