The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a self moderated publishing entity advocating the First Amendment of The Constitution, unfortunately sometimes writers like Joe Mullin hide behind the veil of Freedom of Speech thinking that it gives them the right to lie to their readers. EFF writer Joe Mullin repeatedly misleads the public on whatever subject serves his purpose in order to ask for donations from those who read his article, giving them a false feeling of satisfaction on what ever they read with out regard on the effect the fake article may have on others.

It is hard to believe that EFF directors allow writers like Mullin to write articles that put EFF’s reputation and that of its founders in jeopardy.

On Oct 28, 2019 EFF’s science fiction writer Joe Mullin wrote an article on their blog misleading the public about Price Setter LLC and it’s founder Jorge Maass. The article is nothing but a collection of lies accompanied by nebulous statements that only prove Mullin’s misconception and faulty thinking in understanding the conduct of patent prosecution.

Below is a fact check list of Mullin’s false statements to set the record straight.

Mullin: “… developers are facing another onslaught of letters “DEMANDING” money they shouldn’t have to pay.”

FALSE: The letters do not make use of the word “DEMAND” nor imply the meaning of the word. Perhaps Mullin misinterpreted Price Setter’s statement that reads: ” At this point, we do not suspect you have willfully infringed the patent, and accordingly, we wish to offer what we feel is a very reasonable and modest license fee.”

Mullin: ” The letters tell developers that the apps they built infringe his patent- and they owe him money “

FALSE: Same a above. Perhaps Mullin misinterpreted Price Setter’s statement that reads: ” At this point, we do not suspect you have willfully infringed the patent, and accordingly, we wish to offer what we feel is a very reasonable and modest license fee.”

Mullin: “The Price Setter letters……..”DEMAND” that developers pay an annual license fee ranging from $400 to $2,000″

FALSE: Same as above. It should be noted that Price Setter LLC’s letter clearly states that apps. with less than 100,000 downloads (which is the the vast majority of apps.) do not require a license. It should also be noted that EFF displays a donation button on their website asking for donations up to $2,500 in exchange for a beanie, a t-shirt or a hoodie. What a deal!!!

Mullin: “…….Claim 15 of U.S. Patent No. 9,892,445. This claim doesn’t come close to showing that Maass is some kind of a pioneering creator of ad technology. In fact, it’s not evidence of much at all, beyond the fact that Maass could paste together BUZZWORDS. We’re declaring the ‘445 patent the winner of our Stupid Patent of the Month award.”

FALSE: The so called “BUZZWORDS” Mullin is referring to such as “Real-Time Bidding” did not exist until 2005. Patent No. 9,892,445 specification published in 2005 was the first patent specification using the term “Real-Time Bidding”. Hey Mullin If you can find a patent application covering mobile Real-Time Bidding prior to 05/16/2005 I will like to see it.

Mullin: “ A “Real-Time” History of Ad Bidding The dominant form of online advertising today uses a technique known as real-time bidding, or RTB. This is what takes place when you load a web-page, and algorithms figure out who you are, then auction off the online ad space in a fraction of a second. Today, most online ads use RTB technology. There’s some debate over who is most responsible for the creation of RTB. One name that doesn’t pop up in trade press articles about the creation of RTB is Jorge Maass—the man who’s sending out demand letters to inventors.

FALSE: One more time, they are not demand letters and developers are not Inventors as you call them as they do not hold patents to their apps. No matter how many times that false claim is made the facts will always prevail. Mullin’s statement about “There’s some debate over who is the most responsible for the creation of RTB” is not understood, “one name that does not pop up in trade press articles about the creation of RTB is Jorge Maass…..”. What is the point that you are trying to make Mullin? If Jorge Maass’ name does not pop up what name does pop up? and if a name does pop up is there a patent behind that name?

Mullin: “We invented Real Time Bidding back in the year 2005!” he claims on the Price Setter LLC website.  “Maass does have a “parent” patent that was filed back in 2005. But the claims describe a “transaction arbiter system” that’s basically an auction system, but tied to a mobile phone and with extra data, like location. The patent application uses the term “real-time” as a buzzword, in the sense of “very fast.” Then—much later, in 2014—Maass was able to file the ‘445 patent, which again describes “real-time bids” but has one claim focused on advertisingBecause the ‘445 patent is a “continuation” of the original parent patent, he’s able to claim priority back to 2005, and “DEMAND” money from today’s app developers (hey Mullin, that sounds like a confession that defeats the very same point that you are trying to make). Maass’ patents are examples of the continuation abuse plaguing the patent system. Determined applicants are able to game the system by filing broad applications early and then filling in the blanks in later applications that describe in more specific and concrete terms work that others had already achieved—and even made ubiquitous—in the real world. The developers being threatened by Maass are just using display advertising software and services that were created by others, such as AdMob, the Google-owned service that Maass cites in one of his letters. (hey Mullin can you spell contributory infringement or induced infringement?)

FALSE: Contrary to your belief, patent applicants can not claim “blanks”. All claims made in a patent application need to be supported by what is written in the specification. No blanks Mullin, no blanks.

TRUE: I, Jorge Maass, do have a patent that was filed back in 2005. It took 8 years for the USPTO to approve the original Patent. After receiving the patent in 2013 I filed a law suit against the Director of the USPTO and ultimately I was awarded a total patent term adjustment of 934 days to compensate for delays caused by the USPTO. In 2014 the courts  and the USPTO started to use as reference a precedential court case referred to as “Alice” as a guideline to evaluate future and past patent applications, “Alice” rendered thousands of patent applications invalid or unenforceable. In my case since patent prosecution was still open at the time, I was able to file continuation applications to overcome the new “Alice” requirements. The subject continuation application was able to overcome “Alice” and was approved in 2018. No matter how the patent was named the core subject of Real-time bidding is the same, more over the said term is not limited to advertising as it doesn’t even include the word advertising in it. My patents cover a plethora of applications one of them being advertising. So Mullin, it is not important what do you know or what do you copy and paste from other blogs or technical publications, what is important is what you understand about the subject.

CONCLUSION: Price Setter LLC and Jorge Maass declare Joe Mullin’s false story “The stupidest Story of the year”

Great minds discuss ideas;

average minds discuss events;

small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I would like to add a forth category to say:

stupid minds distort events related to people that have great ideas.


EFF Trolls the Patent Office with “Save Alice Campaign”

TAGS: Price Setter LLC, EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation