Feeds

Patent troll sues Oprah, Sony over online book viewing

'We own the touchy, feely internet'

High performance access to file storage

An IP-squatting firm is suing Oprah Winfrey's production company and Sony Electronics over patent infringement for using and promoting software that displays books on the internet.

Illinois Computer Research claims Oprah's Bookclub violates its US Patent 7,11,252 - a method of "Enhancing touch and feel on the internet."

The lawsuit summarizes the patent as "an apparatus and method for obtaining and reviewing excerpts from a digital book for preview prior to purchase, but prevents the reader from obtaining and reviewing the entire book prior to purchase."

That covers, well, just about anyone selling or discussing books online.

ICR claims Oprah's Book Club website uses, sells, and encourages others to use an online book-reading product. While the lawsuit doesn't specify where the site allegedly infringes on the IP, the book club does offer short excerpts online and pitches Amazon's Kindle as "Oprah's favorite new gadget."

(Note: the book excerpts featured on the website doesn't appear to be a fancy, advanced mechanism for reading a preview. They're just basic HTML).

The lawsuit also fingers Sony as a defendant, claiming the electronics giant violates the '252 patent through its Sony Bookreader.

ICR is a holding company that obtained the patent from the "inventor" Scott Harris — a former top-billing IP lawyer for who The Prior Art blog has diligently chronicled a long and sordid past of suing companies over questionable IP. Harris was ousted from the law firm Fish & Richardson for targeting Google, a client of the firm, over the '252 patent.

ICR is currently owned by Florida lawyer James Beauregard Parker. The firm seeks an undisclosed amount of damages.

A copy of the lawsuit is available here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.