This month, we feature another yet another patent that takes an ordinary business practice and does it on a computer. Our winner is US Patent No. 8,738,435, titled “Method and apparatus for presenting personalized content relating to offered products and services.” As you might guess from its title, the patent claims the idea of sending a personalized marketing message using a computer.
Back in 2011, This American Life toured an office building in Marshall, Texas, and found eerie hallways of empty offices that serve as the ‘headquarters’ of patent trolls. For many, that was the first introduction to the strange world of the Eastern District of Texas, its outsized role in patent litigation and especially its effective support of the patent troll business model.
US District Judge Leonard Davis said this week he’s going to leave the bench to join Fish & Richardson, a large law firm focused on intellectual property.
Davis, who has presided in the Eastern District of Texas since 2002, has one of the most active patent dockets in the nation and has presided over some of the biggest technology lawsuits of the past decade. Corporate Counsel magazine reported this week that he has handled more than 1,700 individual IP cases as a judge. Before becoming a judge, he worked for 23 years in private practice.
Statistics for 2013 showed 263 new patent cases being assigned to Davis, about one-sixth of the 1,700 patent cases that were filed in the district, the busiest in the nation. Only four other judges, three in Delaware and one in East Texas, had more patent cases assigned to them.