|Fig. 1 – Big trouble ahead for the Facebook IPO? Donna Kline reports for Pittsburgh Business Report and is a former reporter for Bloomberg.|
Someone answer a question for me: Why hasn’t the mainstream media picked up on the Leader v. Facebook patent infringement case?
When I was first notified of the pending Federal trial, I was shocked to find that this had not already been discussed ad nauseum.
We are not talking about a small-time case here. If Leader Technologies were to prevail on appeal, Facebook could be subject to hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in damages. If a judge saw fit, FB could also be forced to cease operations (that’s what an injunction is.)
With Facebook’s February filing of intent to issue common shares, shouldn’t that be considered ‘material’ enough to be mentioned in their S-1 document? Don’t potential investors have a right to know how damages resulting from this trial could impact FBs bottom line? And possibly cause them to shut down?
What about the conflict of interest between FBs IPO attorneys (Fenwick & West LLP) and the case of Leader v. Facebook? These are the same attorneys that represented Leader Technologies in 2002, the pivotal period under question regarding the validation of the disputed patent. Is that OK? I don’t think so. You?
I am currently uncovering other ‘smelly’ items that aren’t disclosed by FB. (Stay tuned!)
Why am I the ‘only one’ doing this?
I hear that a CBS News San Francisco affiliate (KPIX) will be reporting the story this week. One delay they are having is that this reporter has not been able to get any comment from Facebook. (Which is the same problem I had.)
Too big to return phone calls?
What? Is Facebook ‘Too Big’ to return a phone call? Do they have too much money behind them to worry about us sniveling reporters? Maybe they think we will be too afraid to report without comment, so if they ignore us, we will go away? Does that seem right to you?
Have we not learned after Enron, Madoff, Worldcom, Allan Stanford & AIG?
This is a classic David v. Goliath story if you ask me. One worth pursuing. Haven’t we learned our lesson with the likes of Enron, Madoff, WorldCom or Stanford? These were all major conglomerates who ended up losing hundreds of millions to billions of investor money. These are also entities that were audited regularly by the SEC. The SEC is supposed to catch these crooks before there is too much damage. They did catch Allen Stanford (I suppose), but Madoff turned himself in and it took employees of Enron and WorldCom to bring attention to the their cases. It took a $182.5 billion American taxpayer bailout of AIG to save it from catostrophic subprime mortgage losses—the largest bailout in American history. And even then, investors lost mucho dinero.
Presidential candidates ‘Like’ infringed technology
So what is it? Are too many people reliant on FB for communication and income? I know that President Obama is utilizing FB for his 2012 campaign run. Heck, so is Mitt Romney. (FYI Obama has over 25 million ‘likes’ and Romney has just under 1.5 million. Perhaps a new indicator in the works? I bet the media grabs ahold of that one. LOL)
Could it be that FB is so engrained into our society that reporters are fearful of taking on the story?
145,000 man-hours to invent; less than two weeks to copy?
|Fig. 2 – Leader Technologies says their (now) patented technology took 145,000 man-hours and $10 million to make a working platform comprised of 600,000 lines of computer code by the end of 2002. By contrast, Mark Zuckerberg testified in ConnectU (the Winklevoss Twins) that he created the first working version of Facebook in “one to two weeks” while studying for finals in January 2004 (Facebook launched Feb. 4, 2004). Experienced programmers say Zuckerberg might have written 7,000 lines of good code in two weeks (and they say that estimate is being generous and does not give much time to study for finals). And oh by the way, Leader inventor Michael McKibben emailed a white paper on this technology to his son at Harvard who just happened to be in the adjacent dorm to Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg admits hacking these dorms and stealing student’s personal information. The first version of Facebook bears an uncanny resemblance to this white paper.|
Are people having a hard time believing that Zuckerberg actually copied a patent to create the FB platform? Are they more inclined to believe that he wrote the code for FB in “one to two weeks”? When the platform in question took Leader Technologies 145,000 man hours and $10 million to create? Seriously?
America Invests Act: Real or Ruse?
When Barack Obama signed the patent reform law back in September of 2011, which is intended to change the laws from ‘first-to-invent’ to ‘first-to-file’. The head of the USPTO, David Kappos released a statement saying that the the bill gives the USTPO “the tools it needs to deliver cutting-edge technology to the marketplace sooner.” “But Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are skeptical that the bill will ease the nation’s patent litigation process and hurt the small start-up.”
Is this bill just a way to railroad inventors that don’t have they’re hand in someone’s proverbial political pocket?
Protecting the American inventor or the big infringer?
If the current administration is truly a representative for the middle class and working Americans, seems as though they would be very interested in making sure that the relatively small company called Leader Technologies, who has succeeded in proving that FB is infringing on their patent, is treated fairly in a Federal Court.
What do you think? Is the name Facebook such a mainstay in our society that it could influence a Federal Court decision? Do you think that it affects a reporters desire to dig into a story that may be a negative for FB? Does it scare the SEC away from an investigation? Seriously. Does it?
* * *
CREDITS: Fenwick & West LLP Logo. Link source: http://www.fenwick.com. D. Baldinger Cartoon. Link source: http://www.dbaldinger.com/opinion_cartoons/first_page/images/2_enron_bw.jpg. Like hand. Link source: http://www.thefanpageessentials.com/likeit/images/Like-Button-psd61067.png. A Bright Idea light bulb. Link source: http://www.whrabel.com/cavortinc/images/bright_idea.gif.