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08.12.07

Patent Trolls Watch: Harassment Continues, Wheels Reinvented

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Patents at 12:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Increasingly we find that abuse of the patent system is followed by malicious action. Such action, however, exposes the weaknesses of the system and gives reasons for the system to be mocked until it t is reformed.

Perhaps we should occasionally highlight the issues and remind ourselves that no danger exists until a case is actually proven and defended in court. Last week, Microsoft escaped the wrath involving a $1.5-billion penalty. The takeway is that this case was weak or altogether baseless, as are the claims Microsoft makes against GNU/Linux. Here are some other highlights:

Insanity Awards

The past week introduced some tough choices with many patent trolls and people who seek to bend rules and even own creativity. Here is one amusing story that The Inquirer covered:

Steve Jobs ‘nicked my battery design’

He apparently contacted Apple with a request for the California firm to change its product or else to license the patent.

Here is the law doing a backward routine. Companies are attacked due to their potential, so no longer is it a ‘cold war’. It is a lawyer’s paradise though.

Veoh files pre-emptive copyright lawsuit

Online video sharing site Veoh has pre-emptively sued Universal Music Group, asking a federal judge to prevent the giant music label from filing its own copyright infringement action.

Winner of the week comes from a column rather than an actual news story:

If you thought software patents were bad…

Instead, he’s talking about what amounts to the instructions for making a specific movie: a script.

A script defines the appearance of sets, lines for actors to read, camera angles and lighting to be used during the production, and a specific sequence of scenes that express a story. By any reasonable standard, a script is a description of a process. It seems to meet the requirements of 35 USC 101: it’s new (in the sense of being original or novel), and it’s useful because it tells us how to make a movie.

Are patents on sit-coms coming any time soon? Or is it just copyrights?

More Patent Stories

Week in review: Patent woes

After getting through funding, research and development, marketing strategies, and getting your product to consumers, here comes the hard part: navigating the patent storm.

Vonage “working around” Verizon patents”

Vonage was sued by Verizon on five counts of nicking technology in its Voice-over-IP operations. A jury found the company guilty of breaching three Verizon patents and fined the company $58 million.

Markman Decision Announced

The importance of any Markman decision is twofold. First, it provides the definitions for terms that are in dispute between the parties. The definitions provided by the Court must be used at trial – the parties typcially cannot re-litigate the definitions before trial. Second, it reviews the claims of the patent in light of certain challenges from the opposing party, and the result of that review may be fatal to certain patent claims.

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