Microsoft’s “go-for-broke” gambit to avoid a $290 Million damage award failed. Or did it? Microsoft has spent the past few decades building up key assets in software products, and IP governing rights to use a number of key technologies that are prevalent today. Its patent licensing program is getting more aggressive, not to mention more productive. Besides maintaining a world-wide patent campaign to license Android-based devices, Microsoft already makes more money from its license with HTC than it does from selling its own mobile software. But, while patent owners across the board gained value, does that mean Microsoft was a net winner yesterday? In other words, did their patent value increase enough to cancel out the $290 M it now has to pay i4i? Continue reading
A recurring issue the past few years in patent litigation is the amount of detail that patent owners are required to provide when they initiate a lawsuit. The truth is, most judges will tolerate a very scant amount of information, essentially amounting to identification of the patent at issue along with a description of the … Continue reading
As previously reported, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB, involving whether Pentalpha Enterprises induced infringement of SEB’s patent (4,995,312). The CAFC affirmed a verdict holding Pentalpha liable because it agreed the facts supported a showing that Pentalpha deliberately ignored the risk that its deep fryer infringed SEB’s … Continue reading
Obviously, things that are obvious shouldn’t be patentable. Obvious improvements aren’t worthy of patents, instead being reserved for inventors who possess extra-ordinary skill, not merely every Tom, Dick and Harry to come up with something new … Unfortunately, figuring out how to actually prove something obvious has plagued the patent system for centuries. Engineering is … Continue reading
I’ve taken to becoming quite frustrated lately with the propagation of the falsity that filing patents can protect your products. Either this statement is incredibly misleading, or patent attorneys have a different interpretation of “protection” than the rest of us. (Actually, there is a third possibility that we’ll get to later) After all, if this … Continue reading
First the CAFC refused to invalidate RCT’s patent on halftoning greyscale images. Next, they broadly applied Bilski to uphold a medical diagnostic patent. While the rest of us wait to see if the Supreme Court will revisit the Bilski issue in 2011 (and while I’m apparently accused of “cheering” the earlier diagnostic opinion), it’s business … Continue reading
My latest edition of Patent Connections published this week, after a much-needed week off with the family. This week’s column deals with university research and patent litigation. The timing is appropriate, given the upcoming Supreme Court argument between Stanford University and Roche over the rights to federally-funded research.
Joff Wild has directed us to an interesting comment in the context of the Novell/Microsoft patent sale. Remarking on the differences between private transactions and public auctions, Joff’s source notes: This [private sale] is how MOST high value patent portfolios are sold. That’s why the ICAP OT auction process only deals with low end portfolios. … Continue reading