Santorum, Romney & Gingrich Sued for Patent Infringement Over Candidates’ Facebook Pages

Three GOP presidential candidates got slapped with a patent infringement suit yesterday (read it below) by a California partnership that holds a patent with social media implications for the candidates’ Facebook pages.

EveryMD, a California partnership, contends that one of its patents that enables individual Facebook members like Defendants Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich “to create individual home pages (‘Facebook Pages’).” Instead of suing Facebook, however, EveryMD opted to sue the GOP presidential candidates.

What makes this lawsuit particularly fascinating is that it comes on the heels of plaintiff’s unsuccessful attempts to get Facebook to buy its patent. (view the patent below).

EveryMD holds three U.S. patents for a “Method, Apparatus and Business System for Online Communications with Online and Offline Recipients.”

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,661,714
  • U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 09/447,755, and
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,644,122

It is this last patent, the ’122 patent, that brings Santorum, Romney, Gingrich and their campaigns to court. EveryMD alleges that the three GOP candidates “have taken advantage of EveryMD’s voluntary [patent] licensing program” offer last year, and offer that expired. The now-rescinded program would have let the candidates pay $500 a piece “to avoid liability for infringement of the ‘122 patent.”

You can read the lawsuit below, and follow the case docket here:

EveryMD v. Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Does

You can read the patent in controversy (U.S. Patent NO. 7,644,122) here:

EveryMD v. Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Does

8 Responses to Santorum, Romney & Gingrich Sued for Patent Infringement Over Candidates’ Facebook Pages

  1. Really? Really? Suing three candidate for 500.0o0 a piece. Why bother?

  2. avatar Concerned Product Attorney says:

    Could this be more ridiculous? And we need tort deform to keep actually injured people from receiving justice, but this is OK? Or am I missing something?

  3. avatar Devin N says:

    AWESOME,if they want to be backed by all the powers that be bullshit laws they need to follow the laws they impose on us ,SOAP,ACTA,PIPA need to be stoped ,this is a great lawsuit to prove to the powers that be if we are held to these laws so are they

  4. avatar Courtney says:

    Brenda, the suit is for more than $500. The attorney fees would outweigh that, alone, but I think they’re doing it more for the publicity. _I_ had never heard of them before.

  5. avatar Courtney says:

    Brenda, the suit is for more than $500. The attorney fees would outweigh that, alone, but I think they’re doing it more for the publicity. _I_ had never heard of them before. AND I noticed spelling and grammatical errors in the article. Also, the suit listed John Doe as living in CA, but it gave a NY zip code.

  6. avatar Andre Schmeichel says:

    No… they’re not being sued for 500 bucks, there was a clause in the use of the software that would have allowed them to pay $500.00 in order to license the software and avoid the infringement.

    Because they didn’t DO that, instead of $500.00, they’re being hit with a much larger suit. And tort reform wouldn’t help. Patent infringement is a big deal, and a suit of this kind would still move forward.

  7. Certainly this is a very cheap way to get publicity about their IP rights out … I wonder why the Obama campaign avoided litigation – I assume they didn’t use the product.

  8. Pingback: Justia’s Top 10 Lists for March 2012 | Justia Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

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