Andy Sutcliffe’s Response to Patent Lawsuit

Tucson, Ariz. — September 29, 2004 — On Wednesday evening, Sept. 22, I was served with court papers informing me that my company, myself personally, and several of my AAN newspaper clients are being sued by Tele-Publishing, Inc. for patent infringement of four patents that are held by Tele-Publishing, Inc.

The lawsuit is totally without merit. I should know. I am one of the inventors of each of the four patents.

In brief, the four patents deal with call centers and multiple audiotext machines, two-way matching algorithms, and a feature called “personal journal” where users can make personal journal entries about other users.

We have no call centers. We have only one audiotext machine. We do not do two-way matching and we have no personal journal entry system.

I have been a part of the AAN community for 16 years as a vendor, as a consultant and as a publisher. I care very deeply about our community. I also understand the need for AAN papers to service their single readership and to provide a quality, local product. I worked hard to create such a product in SelectAlternatives and have been very gratified by its warm reception within our community.

I am especially heartened that so many in the AAN community have come to my defense. I am truly fortunate to have the Chicago Reader, Washington City Paper, The Stranger, Illinois Times and Rochester City Newspaper as clients and friends.

I will vigorously defend against this unwarranted lawsuit.

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