Troll models

By | 3rd April 2012

Scandinavian folklore is, to my mind, dark and rather menacing. I am sure that there are exceptions but most of the creatures described are unpleasant and possibly even terrifying; think Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and the myriad monstrous creatures depicted and you will understand what I mean.

It is, therefore, not altogether surprising that a troll is not a force for good! Often represented as large slow hairy and dim, it is not easy to like a troll. No Pippi Longstocking he, although trolls can occasionally turn themselves into beautiful creatures, if only to entice humans into their power.

In internet terms a troll has come to mean a person who posts messages on an online community with the primary purpose of disrupting normal discussion. In extreme cases a troll is a person who defaces online tribute sites with the aim of causing grief. Similarly, a  patent troll is a “nonpracticing entity” known in common parlance as a shell company, formed to acquire and enforce patents.

I follow an excellent blog called Ride the Lightning largely written by Sharon Nelson of Sensei Enterprises. One of her latest offerings is an article Patent Troll Clobbers e-Discovery Companies with Lawsuits [Ride the Lightning, March 26th, 2012] on an action which has been commenced by an alleged litigation troll against a number of well known e-discovery companies. The troll is named as Lone Star Document Management and this shell company has commenced proceedings against companies such as Catalyst, Digital Reef alleging patent infringement. The case centres on US patent 6,918,082, Electronic Document Proofing System.

It looks as if the patent troll may have a fight on its hands, judging by some of the comments made by Catalyst’s CEO, John Tredennick. We shall see and doubtless Sharon will keep us informed.

On a different tack entirely, and in a last hurrah before we hear from Judge Carter, Sharon has also pointed me helpfully to a repository of all the filings in the Da Silva saga. It is a useful resource to have all the documents in one place and this has been organised by Rob Robinson of Complex Discovery, under the banner of Update: Peck, Parties and Predictive Coding.  If Judge Carter can shed some light on the future use of predictive coding, he will do us all a service, lawyers, their clients and e-disclosure advisers.

Sadly for the defendants in the patent litigation I doubt if Judge Carter will be of much help even though it is said that, when exposed to sunlight, trolls will turn to stone!