Pubpat has filed requests with the USPTO to review two patents held by epicRealm Licensing Inc. The re-exam was initated by Pubpat in the hopes of invalidating two patents held by epicRealm, as it was found that IBM held an extremely similar patent that was granted 16 months prior to epicRealm’s. Thus, it is hoped that this newly uncovered prior art will remove two weapons from the arsenal of epicRealm’s horde of patents. Pubpat targeted epicRealm due to their status as a patent troll. For those who may not know, patent trolls are companies that merely hold patents and sue people for infringement of those patents without actually using the patents themselves. The patents in question are regarding the technology that allows websites to recognize and respond to unique visitors. Earlier this year, epicRealm sued several smaller companies for infringement of the patented technology, and were able to procure lucrative licenses as a result. This type of activity is one of the reasons that Dan Ravicher started Pubpat, as he sees patent trolls as it stifles the activity of truely innovative companies who are seeking to place new products on the market. An excellent video of Dan speaking about patent reform, along with commentary on patent trolls can be found here. Mr. Ravicher, who is Pubpat’s executive director, is confident that the USPTO will invalidate both patents, and told vnunet.com that the IBM patent is “exactly the same” as epicRealm’s patents. For more information, you can check out Pubpat’s website and the press release regarding the epicRealm issue here.

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