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Oprah Sued For Infringing "Touch and Feel" Patent 249

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Oprah Winfrey, or to be more precise, Oprah's Book Club, is being sued by the inventor/patent attorney Scott C. Harris for infringing upon his patent for 'Enhancing Touch and Feel on the Internet.' So Oprah's Book Club is now one of many people and entities being sued over this patent because they allow people to view part, but not all, of a book online before purchasing it. Mr. Harris also sued Google Books for infringing upon this patent. He actually was fired from his position as partner at Fish & Richardson for that, because Google is a client of that law firm and they had conflict of interest rules to uphold." It would be entertaining to see Oprah give very wide and mainstream publicity to the abuses enabled by our current patent system.

Update: 01/07 22:03 GMT by KD : The blog author Joe Mullin wrote to point out that the lawsuit was not filed by the inventor, Scott C. Harris, but rather by the shell company Illinois Computer Research, which seems to exist for the purpose of filing lawsuits based on this particular patent.

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido