There’s been a lot of news recently on patent trolls but being threatened with a lawsuit for using one’s own copy machine just seems ludicrous. Essentially – if a business is using the “one touch scan to email” feature that certain printers and copiers offer, they can be a potential target for this latest patent infringement lawsuit threat.
NBC Connecticut’s video coverage gives a pretty good overview:
Or, if you prefer reading, Ars Technica has been following this particular story for a while now:
It is our opinion that the system should require patent holders enforce against the manufacturers that enable various alleged patented technologies, not the endusers who may unwittingly be using a infringing technology that has been so provided. We believe it’s effectively extortion and financial terrorism/exploitation to go after endusers that purchase a product to use a featured advertised as provided by said product. If it infringes, it’s the manufacturer who is enabling and the infringer, not the innocent enduser.
However, it’s a lot harder for patent trolls to go up against a manufacturer as opposed to harrassing a payout from someone who would have to pay more to defend themselves than the cost being extorted.
We hope this matter gets resolved – but in the meantime, here is a solution to avoid becoming a target in the first place:
Simply scan directly to your computer and then email the file from your own computer if you need to share a scan. It’s easy.
Here’s how to do it…
Under System Preferences > Print & Fax choose the all-in-one printer that you’re wanting to scan from and click Open Scanner.
In the lower left corner choose the settings for how you want to scan. In our example we’re using the flatbed scanner and going to scan directly to an email, but you can choose to scan to preview, iPhoto, or to save to a folder in finder.
Then just click the Scan button.
As we chose to scan to email, a new mail document automatically opens with our scan as an attachment. You can now fill out the recipient’s email address, title your email, and write a note to accompany your scan if you like.
It’s super easy, and a nice feature to say the least – built in support from the OS for printers with a scanner.
Note that most devices offer this feature – not all will… for those that do it is great solution. Other workarounds include using a USB thumb drive to take the file from the device to the computer ,as this is also a feature often found on systems that scan and email, but may not have the direct to computer support.