Written by Brandon Shalton
August 19, 2003 4:55pm

updated September 18, 2003
Prior Art - No Brainer?

Acacia has reportedly around $40M in their warchest to fuel this patent lawsuit approach. They have no technology of their own, and they purchased this patent from a prior company. Given further research and observations, it would seem more realistic to believe that Acacia has about $4M in cash reserved rather than the $40M reported by some articles. In talking to people who have been reviewing their stock, this number seems more likely.

Their attorneys have been building up their case, and anticipating all possible defenses for a couple years, until in 2002, they started sending out C&D type packages that included "licensing fees".

They stepped up their campaign in 2003 by targeting adult content websites (which has more news than attention to colleges and universities that also have received these packets).

Their attorneys are completely (and arrogantly) convinced that their patent covers the downloading and streaming of audio/video. I am sure with such a broad claim and the epic proportions that their patent could cover, is why investors and financeers put in the $40M, because the ROI could be BILLIONS for them.

I believe that these attorney's experiences only go back to their own first use of the web, and not knowing the history of the internet and the developing technologies behind it PRIOR Tim Berners-Lee coming up with the World Wide Web. They just see their date stamp as being 1991, and WWW being around 1992ish, so they can dance in their seats with excitement that they hold the Ace card.

I can only assume they had SOME kind of technical person onboard to help educate them of the technicalities. It is in their belief that no one can come up with prior art, because of their 1991 timestamp.

So while people like you and I may think this should be a "no brainer", i look beyond that opinion and look at their tactics and their positioning, and give them the benefit of the doubt, that they did their homework.

Maybe in their "threat assessment analysis", they did identify that "old school" internet people might be able to come up with prior art to 1991, but the chances of those people caring, or coming forward would be minimal, and they can just steamroll one website/company at a time.

With each new "license", they try to add more credibility to the patent, build up their revenues, and give more flex to the muscle.

To some extent, i would say that if they thought that people wouldn't rally and come forward to aid in the prior art fight, they are right... i have seen alot of apathy over this issue, where due to ignorance,unawareness, or too busy to care.

But, there are alot of people who do care, and take this assault very personally.

For the early pioneers that created the technologies and innovations that provided their creative efforts to all of us to use and learn, it is like stealing away their efforts and calling it their own.

The Truth is out there.....

copyright 2003, FightThePatent.com