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Oprah Seeks To Compel Testimony Of Former Patent Prosecutor
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According to the Boston Herald, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions filed a motion last week, asking that a Federal Court judge compel former Fish & Richardson attorney, Scott Harris, to produce documents and testify on certain matters relating to a suit against Harpo currently pending in Federal Court in the state of Illinois.

Harpo is being sued by Illinois Computer Research, LLC a company that purchased the rights to patented software from Harris that allows readers to preview excerpts of books electronically.  ILS was also involved in a similar suit against Google.  Harpo, on behalf of Oprah’s Book Club, claims that the patent is unenforceable and that it prevents the free dissemination of information to would be readers.

In 2008, Harris was involved in a suit with Fish that settled in which Fish alleged Harris used Fish’s customer list to solicit the sale of his own patents.  Harpo states in its motion that Harris had knowledge that companies, such as Barnes & Nobles, were already applying similar technology to post book excerpts before Harris’ patent application and that the Fish firm can provide evidence in support of that theory.

  
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Fish would rather put the unseemly incident behind them and has fought to keep whatever evidence it has in its possession out of the lawsuit.



 

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