24 August 2002
Patent nonsense (1)
So apparently British Telecom was combing through its archives and found something bearing U.S. patent number 4,873,662 which, BT thought, was the basis for the hyperlink. Visions of dollar signs (what with sterling giving way to the euro, doncha know) danced in their heads, and they hit up more than a dozen ISPs for licensing fees. When said ISPs told BT to go pound sand, BT decided to make a test case out of one of them: the soon-to-be-transmogrified Prodigy.
Prodigy, asserting that BT was full of it, petitioned for summary judgment to have the case thrown out, and now Judge Colleen McMahon, saying that "as a matter of law, no jury could find that Prodigy infringes the [BT] patent," has ordered exactly that.Posted at 7:49 PM to PEBKAC