The Electronic Frontier Foundation has advocated against problematic technology patents for years, but it wasn’t until February that the organization directly represented someone who had been sued in a patent lawsuit. A little-known video website called Garfum.com owns US Patent No. 8,209,618, which it says covers online photo contests. It sued four small photo websites seeking royalties, including BytePhoto.com, a website run by Pennsylvania photographer Ruth Taylor.
EFF labeled Garfum a “patent bully,” but it was a bully that couldn’t take a punch. After EFF filed a motion to dismiss the patent, Garfum replied with a brief explaining how its patent was special and eschewed “traditional databases.”
That 19-page brief was all the fight Garfum’s lawyers had. Once a hearing to consider the validity of their patent was scheduled, they dropped the case. Now EFF is seeking to make Garfum pay attorneys’ fees.
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