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EFF Cases: LimeWire, NeoMedia, Bilski

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 2008-10-13 Print this article Print

The Electronic Frontier Foundation fights tirelessly for free speech and privacy rights, but it is also a big proponent for free innovation. The following legal cases are some of the most important the EFF has participated in over the years.

3. Arista v. LimeWire

The Grokster case didn’t keep the recording industry from going for a reprise, though. Today, the case of Arista v. LimeWire seeks to do the same thing its predecessor did—hold Lime Wire accountable for the actions of its users. EFF believes this is one of the first to test the Grokster precedence and it has filed amicus briefs in favor of Lime Wire in this case, arguing along with a number of public interest groups that a ruling for Arista would stymie future innovation in the marketplace.

4. NeoMedia Patent Case

The EFF Patent Busting Project is targeting a handful of bogus patents being used solely for the profit of patent trolls. One such patent that EFF and its partner lawfirm Day Casebeer has attacked for reexamination through the patent office was granted to a company called NeoMedia giving it exclusive right to use “identification codes to access particular computers on a network, including the use of bar codes to lookup information about products via a network.”

Any database admin could tell you that no one should be granted such an obviously bad patent, and EFF made it its mission to tell US PTO officials the same. The PTO has already made it clear that it will be rejecting this patent, it is just a matter of slogging through the bureaucracy now.

5. In re Bilski

The U.S. PTO rejected a claim from Bilski to patent the “method of managing the risk of bad weather through commodities trading.” In re Bilski is the defendents appellate case challenging this rejection—one which EFF believes should stand as is. EFF and a number of other public interest groups have filed an amicus against Bilski with the belief that allowing people to patent workaday behaviors will do undue harm to future technological innovation. This one remains up in the air.

For a more in-depth look at the EFF, read The EFF Patrols Uncharted Online Territory.

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