a Clockwork Orange

How about if you check with Ms. Allen's peeps and let me know what's best for her. That way I can figure out whose schedule will work best.
Thanks for doing this.-Matt


Editor's note: Stay tuned.


PATENT GAMES
A story in the October Corporate Legal Times (sorry, it's subscription only) details how a Newport Beach patent company has incurred the wrath of a religious website entrepreneur. Brandon Shalton created a company in 1999 that developed audio-to-web technology that could instantly digitize phone messages and post them on a website. The dot-com disaster sidetracked those plans until 2003, when Shalton's company spun into SpokenMessages.com, a website serving the online-ministry needs of churches.

"The site would allow pastors to call and make messages available on the church Web site," Shalton tells Corporate Legal Times' Michael T. Burr. "We were marketing the service with two nuns on the sales team. We were in beta testing with about 20 churches, and ready to go live, when I heard about Acacia."

That would be Newport Beach-based Acacia Research Corp., which is politely referred to as a company that acquires and licenses technology patents in a variety of industries, but which Burr's article notes is among "a group of companies that have earned the ignoble moniker of 'patent trolls,' because they use broad interpretations of patent language and threats of lawsuits to convince alleged infringers to pay licensing fees."

Look at the positive side: Acacia is helping Newport Beach rid itself as being the telemarketing scam capital of the country. But we digress: The article continues:

Shalton learned that Acacia held a patent to the process of transferring audio or video content from a remote network server -- effectively claiming exclusive rights to one of the most basic functions of the Internet. "I knew this was a bogus patent claim," Shalton says. But this fact wouldn't prevent Acacia from suing Shalton and his resource-starved clients.

The story goes on to say Shalton was faced with filing an expensive patent-infringement claim against Acacia, continuing to develop SpokenMessages.com and praying that Acacia wouldn't have the temerity to sue churches, or he could contact the Newport Beach company or troll or whatever it is and arrange to pay licensing fees for a business method he knew pre-dated the company's patent. But Corporate Legal Times reports that Shalton opted for Option D: he killed SpokenMessages.com and launched a one-man crusade against patent abuse. "I felt a calling to take a stand," he reportedly says. That's now rolling itself into legislation that will either help companies like SpokenMessages.com or just futher muddy the legal waters (which is the overall angle of the Corporate Legal Times piece). It's big business; the story begins with this quote from Bart Eppenauer, chief patent counsel for Microsoft Corp.: "Microsoft spends more than $100 million annually defending patent-infringement lawsuits."

Some companies obviously prefer to cut their losses and run, although that may merely be our interpretation when we read on the business wires, coincidentally, that Acacia and Japanese electronics giant Samsung have reached a licensing agreement on interactive television patents.


QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I had a bicycle and a red wagon and bumper stickers. I was blanketing the world (with stickers) for my dad. I couldn't go more than three blocks because I wasn't allowed to cross a major street."
--John Campbell, a California state senator and Newport Beach's unofficial new congressman, on campaigning for his father, in Roll Call. David M. Drucker's piece reports that Republican Campbell may (Clockwork: WILL!) land in the same Congress as Peter Beilenson, a Maryland Democrat, which is ironic because in that state Senate campaign that had little Johnny pulling his red wagon, his dad was running against Beilenson's dad, Anthony. The elder's slogan -- like the famous soup -- was "Campbell is good for you," which brings to mind Clockwork's slogans while running for higher office in high school: "Coker: The Real Thing" and "Things Go Better With Coker." Only thing is, we won our race; Papa Campbell lost to Beilenson.


NO, NO, THIS IS THE QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I swear on my grandmother's grave, I will never go back out with Jason, ever. Well, maybe not ever. But I will never go back out with him ever again." -- Jessica, on MTV's most recent Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.

Can we elect Jessica to Congress instead of Soupy Campbell?
Zito: pussy?
LAGUNA BEACH SIDEBAR
One more reason to hate Oakland A's pitcher Barry Zito, besides the fact that he wears girls clothes, talks to his arm and has an 11-6 career record against your Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles (and faces Bart Colon this Thursday night in a game that will hopefully be meaningless by then should the Halos already have clinched the West: the Sept. 30 The Sporting News will report that Zito's favorite TV show is Laguna Beach.

Pussy*


AND STILL MORE LAGUNA BEACH
Only this one is about the real place, not the fake real place depicted on Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County: a $6.4 million home AmeriDebt Inc. founder Andris Pukke purchased in Laguna Beach in July is at the center of legal claim alleging that Pukke deliberately hid millions of dollars in assets from federal and state agencies.

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