Twitter owes a lot of its popularity to notable celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Fry, P Diddy, Ellen Degeneres, 50 Cent and plenty of others using and promoting the service.

Now, some company called VS Technologies is suing Twitter, alleging that it infringes on a patent of theirs, entitled “Method and system for creating an interactive virtual community of famous people”. For real? For real.

In the complaint, filed earlier this week (and embedded below), VS Technologies alleges that Twitter has purposefully infringed the above-mentioned patent, US patent no. 6,408,309.




  1. KMFIX says:

    Time to move to New Zealand.

  2. Just another example of how ludicrous the idea of IP really is. There is no such thing. Like a cute chick who cooks and cleans…

  3. msbpodcast says:

    That’s the final straw; proof that the patent system is broken beyond repair; its fallen down and can’t get up; its a fuckin’ waste of space in and of the nation’s filing cabinets…

    In a glorious example of how bankrupt the patent system became after Reagan made it into a profit center, its finally come to this.

    I would simply ignore it, but of course, you can’t.

    I might request that the loser pay damages, including the lawyers fees, to the winner, suffer physical damage, perhaps losing a hand like under Shara law, and, in extreme cases, DIE!

  4. Holdfast says:

    #2 I was recently asked by someone to explaine what IP is.

    “Imaginary Property” – I read somewhere.

    I see it as the modern equivalent of that supposed medieval debating point about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    They have never been seen by anyone I know, are hypothetical, barely described and some people consider all around us and will make us happy and wealthy. That is the description of angels. How is that different from IP?

  5. deowll says:

    The person that issued the patent should have their citizenship papers revoked and be run out of the US.

    On the other hand most of the people on Facebook are a long way from being truly famous so I wouldn’t even think Facebook meets the standard. The patent please note is for a site for famous people to associate with each other. People who aren’t famous would on the face of it need to be excluded.

    That is while some famous people are on Facebook it wasn’t created for that purpose and most of the people on Facebook aren’t. The only qualification for getting on Facebook is access to a computer and being able to provide the required personal information.

    The same is true for Twitter and most other social networking sites with any degree of success.

    I’m not aware of any site that is designed for famous people to associate with each other excluding others but then if such exists I wouldn’t have access to it anyway.

  6. No fly zone says:

    So are we all ‘famous celebrities’?

    I knew it!

    NOT…

  7. msbpodcast says:

    Well, as a famous person, one who is constantly on call for paid endorsements and other ways for people to throw currency at my feet, I acknowledge a certain responsibility to the little people out there.

    Ha, who am I kidding?

    You’re all scum not fit to lick my boot straps.

    As I was saying to Paris Hilton the other night, because I sleep with her, and my other mistress, uh, the Young Sophia Loren, and, uh, oh, whasshernameagain?, you know, the one with the really big bazongas…

    Well, we’re too fuckin’ fabulous for the likes of you, or the CEO of VS Technologies.

    So piss off.

  8. chris says:

    Has anyone patented virtual celebrities?

    There have been people who are only famous for being famous for a long time.

    I wonder if people would sign up if you only paid them in booze, drugs, plastic surgery and a mansion rental?

  9. Jess Hurchist says:

    Is the unit of fame the Julliard?
    How many Julliards do you suppose are needed before an individual counts as ‘famous’?
    How many Juilliards accrue from each posting on Dvorak for instance?

  10. #9 I think once your face shows up on the cover of National Inq or US, you are officially famous. B.O. is a mainstay now. (B.O., snicker, snicker)

    #4 Imaginary Property…pretty much sums it up!

  11. DrHunterSThompson says:

    Great patent since everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.

    This is just an example of how lazy the US Patent Office has become. They’ve accepted a patent model which allows anything and everything to be patented with the expectation that the courts will sort it out validity in the end (let the parties disputing the patents to sort it out themselves).

    This approach allows patent examiners to continue to get their bonus for getting out patents quickly. Relevance never enters the equation with this model.

  12. deowll says:

    I like the idea of a patent office. People who come up with new and innovative ideas and have some ability to implement them should have at least a few years to earn something off them but Congress sold out the public and now the law grants patents for what amounts to perpetuity which is evil. The patent office commonly grants patents for things which are self evident and not implemented by the person getting the patent and as far as I can see the entire system has become evil and even malignant. It now stifles creativity and causes stagnation.

  13. Greg Allen says:

    I patented the concept of “Patent Trolling” and I’m going after VS Technologies.

    Seriously, this is a sore point for me. Patent and copyright laws have insanely gone in favor of big corporations making as much money for as long as they can.

    Both too many and too few safeguards of intellectual property rights hurts innovation.

    Copyrights should go back to 35 years. That’s enough time for people to profit from their ideas. Then let the public at ’em.

  14. Glenn E. says:

    Well nobody seems to have ever heard of “VS Technologies” before now. Google only comes up with links about the law suit. And since they’re mainly concerned with the instant communications of famous people. I suspect that this company is another front for Travola’s Hubbertology cult.


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