Lawsuit accusing entire computer industry of patent infringement fails on missed deadline

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
A $350 billion lawsuit that accused effectively the entire computer industry of patent infringement has been dismissed because an opening brief wasn't filed by a July 2 deadline.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


In September 2019, plaintiff Mers Kutt filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. It alleged $350 billion in damages against more than 40 technology companies, telecom providers, and financial firms, among others. Apple was included at the top of the list.

After a majority of those companies filed opposing orders, a judge in March 2020 dismissed the case with prejudice. Kutt appealed that decision, but apparently failed to file an opening brief by a July 2 deadline. The lawsuit was tossed on September 1.

Kutt is a Canadian inventor who developed the world's first keyboard-based microcomputer through his company, Micro Computer Machines.

The original lawsuit concerned alleged infringement of two patents, U.S. Patent No. 5,506,981 and U.S. Patent No. 5,450,574. Both are titled "apparatus and method for enhancing the performance of personal computers, and concern microprocessors and clock speeds.

Kutt claimed that computers manufactured by some of the defendants -- about 8 billion total products -- included his patented technology to run faster. He contended that the damages committed in the case "far exceed typical patent infringement damages partly because it also addresses violation of antitrust laws, breach of agreements, obstruction, and theft."

Along with tech giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Amazon and Intel, the lawsuit also accused smaller computer makers such as ARM Holdings, Acer and Nokia of patent infringement. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, JP Morgan & Chase, and Best Buy are also named as defendants, alongside "United States of America governments."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    We may be your friendly northern neighbour, but we have a few crackpots of our own. C'est la vie.
    DogpersonGG1killroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 17
    As a Canadian, I’m not sure if I’m more embarrassed by his moon-shot lawsuit, or his filing blunder. 
    Oui, c’est la vie. 
    CuJoYYCmuthuk_vanalingamGG1razorpitkillroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 17
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,469member
    I guess it is a case of go big or go home.  Unfortunately for him he did both.  
    djames4242pscooter63muthuk_vanalingamrazorpitkillroystompywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Just wonder, had anyone file patent for wheel yet?
    killroyStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Well, the man clearly needs professional help.

    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Article summary:
    • Patent troll sues the universe for a quarter of a trillion dollars
    • The universe tells the troll to get bent.  The judge agrees
    • Troll tries to save face by threatening an appeal, but quietly slinks off to his cave taking no further action
    This is the only way to deal with a troll.  Don't settle out of court.  Make him prove his nonsense to a judge (assuming the suit really is just trolling, of course).

    He can't afford to spend more than the combined might of the entire global technology industry and he knows it.  Trolls are looking for a quick settlement, not an actual legal battle.
    muthuk_vanalingamDAalsethGG1razorpitkillroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 17
    As a Canadian, I’m not sure if I’m more embarrassed by his moon-shot lawsuit, or his filing blunder. 
    Oui, c’est la vie. 
    The filing blunder!

    I'm not sure what he's alleging was infringed. His patents are for accelerator boards (like we used to see in the PPC days?). Maybe something to do with his clock signal management?

    Rayz2016 said:
    Well, the man clearly needs professional help.

    You mean, like a lawyer?  :D
    chasmspock1234razorpitkillroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 17
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Well, the man clearly needs professional help.

    He needed legal help and now he's thrown away his shot, but as the article notes he has in fact been recognized as having created a working microcomputer roughly four years before the Apple I came out.

    You might want to read the article linked from the AI article about him: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/canadian-hailed-as-father-of-pc/article1167114/
    mdriftmeyerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    chasm said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Well, the man clearly needs professional help.

    He needed legal help and now he's thrown away his shot, but as the article notes he has in fact been recognized as having created a working microcomputer roughly four years before the Apple I came out.

    You might want to read the article linked from the AI article about him: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/canadian-hailed-as-father-of-pc/article1167114/
    Exactly. Someone that actually created something and then patented it. Not someone that simply filed a patent for thin air, no actual physical product (which is what most industry do to block or slow competition). Patents don't really help protect real inventors like this chap - as is clear - despite the fact he actually got patents.

    Gotta have the big bucks first - he clearly is not able to continue the case without the funds.

    Anyway, surprised no one picked up on "failed to file an opening brief by a July 2 deadline. The lawsuit was tossed on Sept. 1" so it took the courts / lawyers two months to 'process' this? I guess they have a big backlog.
    spock1234auxiokillroymdriftmeyerwatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 10 of 17
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,034member
    A few decades ago a guy filed a patent for adjustable handles for a wheelbarrow. The wording implied that the patent was for both the handles and the wheelbarrow, even though it wasn’t. But he received a patent for “adjustable handles and wheelbarrow.” He tried to take advantage of that, but you can imagine what happened.
    edited September 2020 DAalsethkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    If the patents are of the same vintage as his computer, they expired over two decades ago.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Well, the man clearly needs professional help.

    He needs a calendar!  
    GG1killroyrandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Looking at Google, Mers Kurt has been involved in several unsuccessful lawsuits over the years. He’s now 87 years old and filed this particular lawsuit without the benefit of counsel so its no surprise it got bounced. It’s also no real surprise that he missed the appellate filing deadline. 
    killroyGG1PShimiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    Yea Nice going Bozo! If those Patents are so much "yours" why did you wait until after 2010+ to pursue your suit? Not only did you miss the deadline for the brief, but you missed the boat entirely! This has to be the lamest patent extortion I've ever seen. You should be embarrassed for your reputation as it makes your whole legacy look ridiculous.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    The same guy filed a lawsuit against Intel in 2004 and it got thrown out in 2005.

    That lawsuit was more focused on what his patent was on, but obviously didn't warrant any merit. This latest lawsuit he is going after everybody in the hope that if you splash enough mud around, it might stick.

    Must be desperate.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    chasm said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Well, the man clearly needs professional help.

    He needed legal help and now he's thrown away his shot, but as the article notes he has in fact been recognized as having created a working microcomputer roughly four years before the Apple I came out.

    You might want to read the article linked from the AI article about him: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/canadian-hailed-as-father-of-pc/article1167114/
    Interesting link.  Thanks for calling that out.

    Here's the Wikipedia entry for his first product, a PC that predated the Apple II by a few years.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCM/70

    Having said that, the thing couldn't power a monitor and only had a single-line LCD screen.  It was more like a programmable calculator (with a full keyboard and external storage) than a PC in modern terms.

    I think he exaggerates the capabilities of his path breaking invention:  ""We had a complete working system - the operating system and the language were all in the hardware in a computer," he said in an interview yesterday. "We not only had spreadsheet capability, we had the mother-of-all-spreadsheets right in the computer."
    edited September 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 17
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    Interesting link.  Thanks for calling that out. Having said that, the thing couldn't power a monitor and only had a single-line LCD screen.


    You're welcome.

    Now you're claiming he invented the Touch Bar! :lol:
    I smell a new lawsuit coming soon! :wink: 
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