Southeast Texas Record May 19, 2015, 7:25am


Method and apparatus for storing information wherein a user defines labels which relate to the stored information and the user defines a data structure, for example, a hierarchical structure, comprised of such labels and method and apparatus for retrieving the stored information wherein the user randomly accesses the information utilizing the labels and the structure.

Sounds like an outline or list, doesn't it? Outlines and lists have been in use for millennia. Moses did one on tablets. Even kids know how to make a prioritized, outlined wish list for Santa when December rolls around.

It doesn’t seem like you could patent something as common as that, something everybody already knows about and uses.

If you could, you could sue just about everybody for using “your” system.

The excerpt above is the first sentence from the abstract of a patent application filed by Donald J. Hejna, Jr in 1992. Hejna received the patent for his “method and apparatus” in 2001, apparently did nothing with it over the course of the next decade, and then sold it to a company called eDekka, a non-practicing entity which proceeded to file patent infringement lawsuits against dozens of major American companies.

With an address in Plano, lawyers from Dallas, and the plaintiff-friendly jurors of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, eDekka made a name for itself as the most prolific patent troll of 2014, a distinction it's likely to retain in the current year with some 60 suits filed in just the last month.

For using our legal system on behalf of eDekka, attorneys Austin Hansley and Brandon LaPray could one day face becoming non-practicing entities, too.

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