Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oprah Winfrey's Harpo sued for patent infringement

CBS2 reports Illinois Computer Research [ICR], LLC is suing the Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions Inc. for patent infringement for using software related to the Oprah Book Club. The case is before Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in ND Ill, and is docket 1:08-cv-07322. Yes, Raymond P. Niro represents plaintiff-patent assignee.

If ICR sounds vaguely familiar, it should. ICR owns the rights to United States Patent No. 7,111,252 (“the ’252 Patent”). This patent was involved in the case ILLINOIS COMPUTER RESEARCH, LLC, Plaintiff and Counterclaim Defendant v. GOOGLE, INC., Defendant, and FISH & RICHARDSON P.C., Defendant, Counterclaimant and Third-Party Plaintiff, v. SCOTT C. HARRIS, Third-Party Defendant in in the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS in 2007. The inventor of the '252 patent is patent attorney Scott C. Harris, a defendant in the noted case. Observe discussion in The Prior Art blog of Joe Mullin:

Over the weekend, I made a timeline of the Scott Harris – Fish & Richardson dispute as I reported it over the course of last year. Scott Harris, Daily Journal readers will recall, was a top-billing Fish lawyer who was given the boot after his recently sold patents were asserted in lawsuits against firm clients, including Google.

I'm going to keep an occasionally updated timeline and information page on the conflict between Harris and his former employer. It is also linked on the left hand column of my blog, under “L’Affaire Harris: Timeline.” I will expand and add to it as time goes along. The Illinois Computer Research v. Google litigation and related cases have been written about elsewhere, including extensive coverage from the anonymous Troll Tracker blog. In any case, I hope to be helpful by putting most of the key information together in one place.

As noted above, the inventor for US 7,111,252 is Scott C. Harris. The first claim of the '252 patent is

A method, comprising: in a server of a network, storing a plurality of images representing pages of a book, said images stored with a resolution effective to enable said book to be read; responsive to a request over the network, sending one of said images to a remote node; and determining if the request for pages exceeds a certain threshold, and sending said information only if said threshold is not exceeded.

The abstract states:

A system for enabling touch and feel over the internet provides a three-dimensional representation of a good being sold, that three-dimensional representation being viewable from a number of different directions. The good being sold is in a package and the package is displayed from the number of different directions. The present invention has the good being a book, and the inside and outside covers of the book are displayed and specified pages of the book can be displayed. The user can read from either the label or the covers just like as if the were actually handling the good.

***Recall Scott Harris subpoenaed formerly anonymous patent troll tracker Rick Frenkel. See

"Patent troll tracker" Frenkel subpoenaed

***How creative do you want your patent lawyer to be? Ask Google, or maybe ask Oprah.

Should creative patent attorneys be fired?

Fish & Richardson did get rid of Harris.

**Oprah duped**

TimesOnLine writes:

A heartwarming Holocaust memoir that is to become a big-budget film has been exposed as a hoax by a Jewish survivor in Britain only weeks before it was due to be published.

Herman Rosenblat's Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love that Survived, tells how he met his future wife as a girl when she threw apples to him over the barbed wire fence of the concentration camp where he was held.

Oprah Winfrey, who twice invited Mr Rosenblat on to her talk show, hailed the book as “the single greatest love story ... we've ever told on air”. The still-unpublished memoir became the basis for a children's book and $25 million (£17 million) feature film, The Flower of the Fence, which is due to start shooting in March.


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