Germany grants injunctions, US debates inducing patent infringement, and patent reform is fast tracked:
- This morning, IAM Magazine’s Joff Wild is reporting that a German court issued an injunction against Nokia. (Excerpt below the jump)
- Oral arguments are scheduled for this morning in Global-Tech v. SEB, which will ultimately decide whether inducing infringement means having a “deliberate indifference” or “purposeful, culpable expression and conduct to encourage infringement.”
- Greg Aharonian is reporting that Sen. Leahy plans to rush S.23 to the floor, although the bill is still opposed by some significant groups, including the IEEE.
- Meanwhile, patent reform threatens to limit rights of inventors.
Nokia’s distribution of UTMS handsets is being prohibited by a German court to prevent further infringement of patents belonging to a non-practicing patent owner. This is a significant development since US courts are not nearly so friendly to so-called NPEs. From the article:
IPCom sought an injunction banning the sale and distribution of Nokia’s UMTS handsets in Germany, since Nokia refuses to pay IPCom fair license fees. The court today granted IPCom the right to enforce that injunction.
“We are pleased that the courts have finally ruled in our favour in this matter after three years,” said Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom’s Managing Director. “We hope that Nokia will return to the negotiating table, so that we can together find a mutually acceptable solution.”
Nokia may well appeal, but as things stand, IPCom now has the ability to enforce an injunction that could prevent Nokia’s sale and distribution of mobile phones containing the technology the relevant patent underpins. And if IPCom can get such an injunction, other NPEs can get them too. Such a possibility must now be entertained by all operating companies in the German market should they receive a commmunication from an NPE alleging patent infringement along with an invitation to discuss a licensing deal. As I say, that seems like a pretty big deal given Germany’s size, wealth and importance in Europe. It’s not somewhere you would want to be excluded from, that’s for sure.
- Two Minute Drill – Patent Reform Edition (gametimeip.com)
- Patent Connections: A Patent Does Not Protect Your Products (gametimeip.com)
- Patent Reform Supported By Small Entities? (gametimeip.com)