China, Europe express and show intent to ‘clean up’ the mess
Wise men once argued that a lot of inventions worth patenting had already been patented. They insisted that there is little room for more great ‘innovations’. This report from China appears to confirm this.
On November 27, 2007, the Innovative National Construction and Intellectual Property Symposium was held in Beijing. Representatives from a variety of industries spoke at the event; most of them expressed their worries and frustrations with China’s IPR protection framework. Mr. Fu Shaoming, head of the IPR unit from Foxconn, China’s largest electronics OEM firm, claimed in his speech that 90% of China’s new and practical patents are de facto garbage and should be discarded.
Amazon doesn’t appear to be learning a lesson in patent tactlessness. It carries on filing so-called ‘junk patents’, which are fortunately getting revoked, at least by the EPO. Check out this description of the following revoked patent.
The so-called “Gift Order Patent” has been revoked by the EPO in an opposition proceeding today after a hearing involving three opposing parties and the patent proprietor, Amazon Inc. The patent relates to a method for purchasing goods over the Internet to be sent as gifts.
Here is a little update on our favourite patent trolls, Ray Niro and Acacia. Of interest:
Assuming it files one per month for the next 39 months until the patent expires, then what Acacia is really seeking is $600M from US industry for the JPEG-on-a-website patent. My guess is they’ll sue many more companies than that, and seek up to a billion dollars – which, assuming a 33% contingency fee (which is low, probably), amounts to a cool $100 million per year for the Niro firm.
And people wonder why he’d like to shut down websites critical of Acacia and other patent trolls. The real question is what does he want from you and me, for our photo blogs, our personal websites. His statements to IP Law 360 only referred to companies.
The other real question is how many companies will spend millions in attorneys fees to fight rather than pay the $500K or $1M or $2M that Acacia is demanding. That’s the sad state of patent litigation these days.