California startup fighting patent troll Lumen View - Pushing RICO against trolls

11/25/2013 - 00:00

Six months ago, a shell company called Lumen View Technology told Santa Barbara startupFindTheBest that it should pay $50,000 for infringing its patent on "multilateral decision making." Instead of getting a quick payout, it ran into FindTheBest founder Kevin O'Connor and a RICO lawsuit.

The story got wilder after that, when Lumen View sought an extraordinary "gag order" to stop FindTheBest from talking to the press, which the judge rejected. Now, the judge has shut down the whole infringement case, finding that Lumen View is trying to patent an abstract idea, and it's invalid.

It's a pretty fast win for FindTheBest. Asking for the gag order probably wasn't a good move. "It never helps to teach the judge early in a case that you utterly lack credibility," said EFF lawyer Daniel Nazer, who has been watching the case.