March 16th, 2012
Of course, Bridgetown would attract trolls: Portland TriMet TransitTracker under patent troll attack
Apparently, it’s patent week on Silicon Florist.
Just caught wind of this one. Patent trolls are bad enough. But what about when they’re patent trolls that are going after taxpayer dollars? Well, it’s happening. Right here in Portland.
Patent holders will file a lawsuit about anything under the sun these days, but a man named Martin Jones has embraced an alarming new strategy—suing cash-strapped American cities over their bus-tracking systems.
The most recent suit was filed last week, claiming that Portland’s TransitTracker system infringes a patent owned by ArrivalStar, the patent-holding company that enforces Jones’ patents. Two more, filed in February, claim that transit systems in Cleveland, Ohio and Monterey, California infringe three ArrivalStar patents.
If you’re not familiar with TriMet TransitTracker, it’s technology designed to help you keep track of your next TriMet bus or train.
TriMet’s TransitTracker™ gives you real-time arrival information for buses and trains1, so you have a better idea of when your ride is coming. You can access it by phone, on the web or on a mobile device.
Are the other transit apps in the TriMet store, next?
I’m not a terribly big fan of the current state of the patent industry, as is. This makes me even less of one. A fan that is. Not a patent. I don’t think I’m patentable.
For more information, read the Ars Technica post.
(Hat tip @jkuramot)