In times of crisis, it's restorative to see the better angels of our nature win out over our baser instincts of fear and panic. It doesn't happen in every case — indeed, it probably doesn't happen as much as we'd like or hope — but there are those who choose acts of kindness and a consideration for the common good ahead of the other incentives that otherwise drive American society in particular, for good and ill.
We need those kind souls to balance out the awfulness that we see from too many when presented the opportunity to help themselves at the expense of others. I am of course referring obliquely to the COVID-19 pandemic that sits squarely at the center of human consciousness and the myriad responses we've seen from governments, businesses, and individuals in the face of this global health disaster that has left no part of our lives untouched. It would seem that human greed remains untouched and undeterred, at least in some corners of our now-isolated globe.
In what reads like a Mad Lib in an almost literal sense, a patent troll owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is suing a company working to create COVID-19 tests using patents purchased from, of all companies, Theranos. As chronicled in TechDirt, the SoftBank-owned entity Fortress created a shell company, Labrador Diagnostics, seemingly with the sole purpose of suing BioFire, which has created three tests for the disease that Fortress/Labrador Diagnostics claim violates patents they own. Not just any patents, though — the patents in question were purchased from Theranos when the company went belly-up, largely due to the fact that nothing they made worked as intended and the entire enterprise was a shell game. Were that not bad enough, Labrador is demanding that the courts block BioFire from continuing to manufacture the tests — in the midst of a pandemic where tests are already in perilously short supply.
As the cherry on top of this sundae of avarice, Labrador is being represented by the same law firm that represented PETA and a monkey (a crested macaque, to be precise) in its fight to have the copyright of the famous "monkey selfie" awarded to the monkey, which, while not strictly exploitative, was a waste of a court's time and resources that could have been spent on legitimate cases.
In summation, everything about this case is beyond awful, and everyone associated in bringing this case should feel shame, if they're capable of such emotions.