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seasonaldude

That Asshole in OPU
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Oct 3, 2018
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I checked the vintage light bulbs at my store tonight, and they're made by GE, so not exactly a small indie operation. I'm not a lawyer, but in other patent cases the people sued are the ones actually making the thing that infringes on the patent (eg all of the lawsuits against Apple over the years have been against Apple...not Best Buy or Walmart or Amazon for selling iPhones or whatever). I don't get why retailers would be the infringers for the light bulbs.
This isn't necessarily true. A patent holder has many options over who to sue including retailers and even end-users. It's been quite controversial over the years and there have been many recent attempts to change the law to make it more difficult to sue on bogus patents, which is often called patent trolling. One example of the behavior is that someone claimed to hold a patent on using a copier/printer to send an email. Instead of suing manufacturers, they sued individual small businesses that used the devices.

It's not about suing who has the deepest pockets. It's about suing whoever has the least ability/willingness to fight and thus will settle quickly for something instead of challenging the patent which is a long, expensive process for both sides. If you are going to claim that the Iphone violates one of your patents, you better be damn certain that your patent will hold up to a challenge before suing Apple because Apple has the money and need to fight that claim all out.

Translate that to the light bulbs. If GE is selling a billion dollars worth of them a year all over the world, they're going to fight to the bitter end. However, a retailer such as Target has a lot more incentive to say, "Eh, these light bulbs are a small fraction of our business. How much do you want to make this case go away?"
 

Black Sheep 214

Kiss no butts, give no fox
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
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1,700
According to Nolo, retailers can be sued for secondary copyright infringement for benefiting from the infringement. If you google “can I sue an entity that helped others infringe my copyright “, Nolo gives all the details. Interesting reading.😊
 

Tessa120

I escaped the asylum!
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Mar 17, 2017
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At a guess, hitting the major resellers would not only make them just take the easy way settled by not carrying it as @seasonaldude says, but it will likely hurt GE a lot more to lose resellers than it would to be directly sued.
 

qmosqueen

Perishable Assistant Wizard
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Aug 20, 2013
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another break in




 

IWishIKnew

This was supposed to be a seasonal job...
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Dec 9, 2017
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According to Nolo, retailers can be sued for secondary copyright infringement for benefiting from the infringement. If you google “can I sue an entity that helped others infringe my copyright “, Nolo gives all the details. Interesting reading.😊
Copyright != patent. Different rules apply.

As of 12/20/19, UCSB is suing GE, too.
This makes more sense, then.
 

Tessa120

I escaped the asylum!
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Mar 17, 2017
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Ought to be interesting. All of the defendants have very deep pockets. But the university also has deep pockets, and it's a state school, not private.
 
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Tessa120

I escaped the asylum!
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Mar 17, 2017
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While this article had a blurb about fraud, which no other article about checking out I've seen do, it wasn't enough of a blurb. Without a watchdog - cashier - checking to make sure all items have come out of the cart, what's going to keep a thief from shielding one item with another to fool the cameras or opening boxes to fool RFID sensors? It seems it will make it even easier to steal.

Are the people who are designing ways that make it easier for honest folks to purchase even thinking about how easy it would be to fool cameras or bypass sensors? All the articles seem pie in the sky, everyone who shops will be honest and helpful with this technology. No one addresses theft. This article addressed fraud, though undefined, but it was more feel good words than an analysis of how facial recognition will keep someone from slipping the unboxed condoms and pregnancy test into the little hole punched into the toilet paper package directly over the tube center. A cashier would see the hole. The rapitag or cart camera won't.

I would think these technologies more feasible if they addressed the unlawful customers and means that they are countering the methods. As it is, I just see dollar bills flying skyward.
 
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
620
While this article had a blurb about fraud, which no other article about checking out I've seen do, it wasn't enough of a blurb. Without a watchdog - cashier - checking to make sure all items have come out of the cart, what's going to keep a thief from shielding one item with another to fool the cameras or opening boxes to fool RFID sensors? It seems it will make it even easier to steal.

Are the people who are designing ways that make it easier for honest folks to purchase even thinking about how easy it would be to fool cameras or bypass sensors? All the articles seem pie in the sky, everyone who shops will be honest and helpful with this technology. No one addresses theft. This article addressed fraud, though undefined, but it was more feel good words than an analysis of how facial recognition will keep someone from slipping the unboxed condoms and pregnancy test into the little hole punched into the toilet paper package directly over the tube center. A cashier would see the hole. The rapitag or cart camera won't.

I would think these technologies more feasible if they addressed the unlawful customers and means that they are countering the methods. As it is, I just see dollar bills flying skyward.
I think the amount of money you get for selling the data of customers makes up for the fraud. Amazon Go literally lets you say from an app you did not take an item and it will give you your money back.
 
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