J2 Global usually sues anyone who creates and/or profits from any technology that “infringes” on their patent which to sum up briefly, is the idea of sending an email that in turn generates a fax. Regardless of how it is designed, using php, .net,using smtp gateway, your LAN or WAN and so forth. Nobody that was sued has made it to court either, most settle, one of the lawsuits with Protus (MyFax.com) actually ended in a settlement that while “undisclosed” was fairly obvious the settlement involved the eventual takeover of Protus by J2.
What is interesting is that J2 Global isn’t a “Patent Troll” but rather they are a practicing entity, usually Patent Trolls just buy patents and sue everyone without actually having any other business but defending the patents they purchase.
J2 Global has the email to fax business under a monopoly, fortunately some of these lawsuits they filed might actually go to court and (hopefully) the patent will be declared invalid. There is also legislation in Vermont to protect people from J2 Global and the like, hopefully the rest of the country follows their lead.
If lawmakers do nothing (usually assumed), I’m going to patent posting comments to blogs from a computer that is within a network that has a connection to the internet. So think twice before posting, my licensing fee for the soon to be patented technology will be $1,000 per user. I will have to set up a Paypal account, but before I do I will need to go ahead and patent the idea of using my computer to connect to the internet to setup an account to accept money for paying patent licensing fees. I’m also willing to take on an investor to patent the idea I just thought of, which is paying the patent license fee by getting on a computer and transmitting the payment electronically.?However, I’ve been thinking that all this work could probably be automated and I should probably also patent the idea of using a computer to prepare and submit my patents. So in summary, if you are reading this, please log on to Paypal and send me a couple thousand dollars every now and then or I might just log on to the internet and search for an attorney and then hire a patent lawyer via email. Oh crap, now I’ve got to patent that too.