CLBR Segment 1: Is The Clock Ticking on essociate’s Patent Lawsuits


5086_95515334542_102454_n In 2004 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to essociate for method, system and computer program for “a method, system and computer program for affording Virtual Affiliates access to an existing affiliate system.  Since 2009, essociate has filed over 20 patent suits, including four this year against Clickbooth, CTD Network, NDemand Affiliates and Rex Direct Net. In 2011, Pace Lattin, one of the top affiliate marketing authorities as publisher of  Performance Marketing Insider, wrote quite dismissively of the essociate claim stating that

essociate has one purpose: to destroy as many companies, rake as much cash right now before the laws change that make these type of claims bull****.

That day may be coming soon, as the U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act which would give courts greater ability to rein in patent trolls and require that judges  award attorneys fees to victims of frivolous lawsuits (see summary below).  The Electronic Frontier Foundation  (“EFF”) called the bill the best “troll-killing legislation yet”.     Patent experts claim that while the Innovation Act addresses certain “bottom feeder” practices, there remains the problem of  very broad low-quality patents used by patent trolls.  The Supreme Court, however, has announced that it will review Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments to consider the Patent Act’s requirement that patent claims must be clear and distinct, as the Federal Circuit court has “tolerated vague patent claims.” for years according to the EFF.

ben davidson2

Ben Davidson – Davidson Law Group

Ben Davidson of the Davidson Law Group will be our guest to talk about the recent associate cases, patent reform legislation and what to expect from the Supreme Court.  Ben was recently interviewed by the Los Angeles Daily Journal about how 2011 America Invents Act has reshaped patent challenges.

Ben is a former colleague of mine from Howrey & Simon who specializes in litigation and trials involving patent infringement disputes. Among his achievements:

  • He has successfully represented Fortune 500 corporations in cases involving a wide variety of patented technologies, including software, hardware, communications, control circuitry, compact disc technology. Mr. Davidson has also successfully litigated cases involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, idea submissions, dilution, unfair competition, breach of contract, securities, antitrust and insurance coverage issues.
  • Mr. Davidson has been recognized by Law & Politics magazine as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” in the field of intellectual property litigation.
  • On November 5, 2012, Mr. Davidson, as co-lead trial counsel, in a trademark infringement case, obtained a verdict of $8.6 million in compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of Spin Master, Ltd.
  • Before completing law school, Mr. Davidson served as a patent examiner with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, where he examined applications involving power regulation and power conversion technology.
  • Mr. Davidson has prepared and prosecuted patent and trademark applications and continues to advise clients in Patent Office proceedings involving reexaminations of patents that are the subject of concurrent district court litigation.

Mr. Davidson is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association editorial board for Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, where he contributes on issues involving intellectual property litigation. He graduated with highest honors in 1995 from the George Washington University Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review.

Mr. Davidson’s details:

Davidson Law Group 11377 West Olympic Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90064


Telephone: 310.473.2300 Facsimile: 310.473.2941

Ben M. Davidson


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