A Texas company called InNova is suing 36 companies – including Google, Yahoo, Apple, Dell, AOL, Bank of America and RIM. The reason: InNova claims the 36 companies have violated InNova's patent for spam filtering. I doubt small managed services providers need to worry. But here are the details -- just in case the curiosity is getting the best of you.
I spotted the story out on The Next Web. According to the story:
The suit claims that InNova’s founder, Robert Uomini was awarded a patent 15 years ago that “covers technology used to differentiate between spam email messages and those that users actually want to receive,“ i.e. spam filtering. The attorney representing InNova says that “Unfortunately, the defendants appear to be profiting from this invention without any consideration for InNova’s legal patent rights.”On the one hand, I realize companies need to protect their intellectual property. But on the other hand, I'm curious to know why InNova took so darn long to file a spam filtering lawsuit? Spam filtering went mainstream years ago. Why wait until now to file suit?
We've all seen high-tech lawsuits that amounted to little. A prime example: The infamous Roger Billings vs. Novell lawsuit, in which Billings claimed Novell violated his patent for client-server computing. Novell ultimately won the case, though Novell customer Bank of America allegedly paid Billings $125,000 to go away.
Shifting back to the InNova spam filtering lawsuit: MSPmentor will be watching to see if anything ever comes of it. And we'll poke around to see if MSPs that offer spam filtering services should be concerned. I'm no legal expert, but it's pretty clear InNova's top priority involves targeting big, publicly held companies.
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