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Righthaven struggles in court and at home

Rumours of death 'exaggerated'

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The notorious patent copyright troll Righthaven, founded on a premise that newspapers could assign their rights to sue for copyright infringement without actually assigning copyright, is suffering on multiple fronts.

In US District Court in Denver, Colorado the US firm's latest setback is following a now-familiar pattern: a judge has been asked to dismiss a case over infringement of copyrights held by the Denver Post because Righthaven is not the copyright holder. If the current judge follows a Nevada decision made against Righthaven, the case is likely to be given the flick.

According to Vegas Inc, opponents of a case being heard by US District Judge John Kane in Denver have asked that the Denver Post case be terminated. The judge has put more than 30 other cases on hold while he considers the future of this case.

The Colorado case provides another wrinkle, with Wired publishing a filing in which the company’s counsel Steven Ganim has withdrawn from representing Righthaven on the grounds that he has been laid off. Paid Content has quoted an email received from CEO Steven Gibson denying that the company is in financial trouble.

Las Vegas-based Righthaven is appealing the Nevada decision, and in the Denver Post case is complaining that EFF, the prominent US digital rights group that is fighting it in the courts, should not have standing to ask for dismissal. EFF responded with both procedural and contractual reasons that Righthaven should not have the right to sue.

Last week, more Righthaven cases were terminated in Nevada when the company failed to serve documents on the defendants in time. These cases were dismissed “without prejudice”, meaning that if it can replace its legal counsel, and if its standing to bring lawsuits survives the current stoush, it could take the defibrillator to those cases. ®

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