Tag Archives: Average Joe SCOTUS: Thryv

Average Joe SCOTUS: Facebook v. Duguid

We all hate robocalls, right? Well, this is about a robotext. You see, Facebook has been sending messages to Noah Duguid that someone was trying to access his account. But Noah doesn’t even have a fucking Facebook account. This poor bastard got texts for like ten months.

So finally, Noah was like, “I’m suing these motherfuckers to make them leave me alone.”

He sued using the Telephone and Consumer Protection Act of 1991, which forbids robocalls, even though he was getting texts, not calls.

Well, in the statute, it defines a robocaller as a device with the capacity “to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator.” But the Ninth circuit opted to ignore that last sentence, arguing it doesn’t care if they use a random number generator, if it stores and calls numbers automatically, it’s a violation.

So here we are at SCOTUS to decide whether it has to use a random number generator to be in violation of the law.

In a unanimous decision, written by Justice Sotomayor, Facebook gets the nod. Section 227(a)(1) defines an autodialer as “equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and to dial such numbers.” They argued that English works like this. Because the “using a random or sequential number generator” part of that text clearly modifies both “store” and “produce’ in the first part of the sentence, otherwise they’d have written it differently. Since Facebook’s software neither stores, nor produces numbers using a number generator, they’re in the clear.

On a side note, hold on to your hats, because this largely means that you’ll be getting a lot more calls of this nature, since it now limits the scope under the law, to only calls that were done randomly, and not specifically aimed at you.

Read about the case, and hear oral arguments at Oyez.com, or read about it at SCOTUSBlog or National Law Review.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Thryv, Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies

So these Click-to-Call assholes sued these Thryv assholes for a patent infringement. Any company that spells a normal word in a weird way (Thryv instead of Thrive) deserves to lose just because they’re probably annoying fucks who think they’re edgy, IMO. But I digress.

Anyway, there’s this procedure within patent law called Inter Parties Review (IPR). Basically, where someone with a complaint about the patent, can ask the patent office (PTO) to review that shit.

However, there’s a rule within this that says, if you’ve been sued as infringing the patent, you can’t ask for an IPR more than a year after you’ve been sued. If you’ve never been sued for infringement however, you can ask for IPR to your heart’s content.

Well, despite the fact that C2C sued Thrive 12 years earlier, the 1 year time-bar was ruled as not relevant, because the case was dropped. So they basically argued that since the case was dropped, the one year time limit didn’t apply—it’s as if the suit never even happened.

But now that Thryv is asking for an IPR, C2C is like, “Woah, you assholes. It’s 12 years since we sued you mother fuckers, way longer than a fucking year. Take your IPR request and shove it squarely up your ass sideways.”

So now SCOTUS has to decide if a suit that is dropped happened or not basically. They’re also looking into whether the judicial branch even has the right to opine on execute decisions. Meaning that the Patent Office is directed by the Executive branch, and they get to make their own rules. So can a judge investigating an IPR ruling even have the authority to do that. Separation of powers and all.

In a 7-2 decision, SCOTUS was more impressed with Thryv’s argument. That it is a separation of powers thing, and that SCOTUS can’t overrule the president’s procedures for the patent office.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case and the opinions here.