Patent–Owner Force–Feeding Facebooking Presidential Candidates Its Patent Medicine
We couldn’t help but notice a patent complaint filed by an outfit called EveryMD in a Los Angeles court naming Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum as defendants.
According to the complaint, it appears that Newt, Mitt, and Rick are Facebook business account holders (along with 4,000,000 others). And by using Facebook to advance their candidacies, EveryMD alleges that these candidates have infringed a couple of patents, both called “Method, Apparatus and Business System for Online Communications with Online and Offline Recipients,” which EveryMD claims to own. It further appears, again according to the complaint, that EveryMD offered to sell the older of its patents to Facebook, which said, no, to that offer. EveryMD then asserts that it announced a “limited time reduced–price patent licensing program” under which Facebook business account holders could purchase a license for $500. Newt, Mitt, and Rick did not take EveryMD up on its offer.
So after battling for the hearts and minds of Arizona and Michigan voters today, the candidates (or at least their lawyers) will have to turn their attention to defending their use of Facebook from EveryMD’s infringement claims. Or perhaps they will turn to Facebook for clarification, if not indemnification.