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01.11.08

Patents and Dirty Tricks Roundup: Qualcomm and Microsoft

Posted in Formats, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Videos at 12:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You might find the following stories interesting because they relate to some of the tricks that are used with (or against) Novell.

Qualcomm Again

There are some new interesting developments inside Qualcomm [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]. Here is one of the latest developments that are related to Qualcomm patent cases, which we frequently cite here.

Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder attorneys James Batchelder, Adam Bier, Kevin Leung, Christian Mammen and Lee Patch, and Heller Ehrman’s Stanley Young were sanctioned and harshly criticized by U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major in a 42-page order. The ruling follows a patent infringement trial Qualcomm had brought against Broadcom Corp.

The attorneys “assisted Qualcomm in committing this incredible discovery violation by intentionally hiding or recklessly ignoring relevant documents, ignoring or rejecting numerous warning signs that Qualcomm’s document search was inadequate, and blindly accepting Qualcomm’s unsupported assurances that its document search was adequate,” Major wrote. The judge also sanctioned Qualcomm for intentionally withholding “tens of thousands of e-mails.” Qualcomm will have to pay Broadcom’s $8.5 million attorney fees — though that award mirrors a sanction already imposed by another judge.

Here it is put more bluntly by The Inquirer: Qualcomm lawyers accused of ‘exceptional misconduct’

The judge exonerated 13 other attorneys who had represented Qualcomm and ordered the company to review its discovery practices and report back to her later this month.

Prior Art Must Not be Buried and Forgotten

Groklaw requests some assistance as it reaches out for examples of prior art. The site has been doing this a lot recently.

This time it comes from a company called InterSystems, which is a software company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They’ve been targeted by a patent infringement lawsuit, along with the world and its dog. In Texas, naturally, despite the plaintiff, JuxtaComm, being located in Canada.

This video explains why such lawsuits typically take place in Texas. Here is damning proof that too many patents are filed and accepted, which probably shows that prior art gets ignored.

There Are Patents in Your Format

Remember Blu-ray and the format siege it went under? It was allegedly fueled by Microsoft for its own selfish interests. And well, DRM aside, have you ever considered the role and impact of patents, as revealed in the following press release?

MPEG LA Expands Call for HD DVD Patents

[...]

In its continued response to marketplace interest in the creation
of a joint HD DVD patent license including as much essential
intellectual property as possible, MPEG LA, LLC today expanded its
call for patents essential to the implementation of the HD DVD
Standard to include the following specifications:

1) DVD Specifications for High Density Read-Only Disc (HD DVD-ROM)
Part 1 Optional Specifications: Triple Layer Twin Format Disc; and

2) DVD Specifications for High Density Read-Only Disc (HD DVD-ROM)
Part 1 Physical Specifications (51 Gbytes).

Mind the use of so-called ‘propaganda terms’ (see Richard Stallman's take on terminology like "intellectual property"). An important lesson to learn here is about the burden imposed by inclusion of patents in standards. For what it’s worth, this battle for Toshiba’s (and Microsoft’s) HD DVD seems to be approaching a loss, despite well-documented dumping (a la Intel) and manipulation.

HD DVD, which is backed by Microsoft and Toshiba, now has support from only Universal and Paramount among the big film studios.

More curious articles from the beginning of the week show us why the director of Transformers was apparently right. Microsoft has a lot to earn from the destruction of both formats, so it intervenes and invests in market confusion. Watch this:

USA Today points out that the the movie download market could be another killer. That industry is expected to double from $689 million in 2006 to $1.6 billion in 2008.

And who is the potential gainer? The same company which is said to be destructing the market of physical media. From CES 2008:

Microsoft to bypass High Def disc war with Mediaroom on Xbox 360

This is why Microsoft is not overly worried about Warner Bros jumping ship from the HD DVD that they back, to Blu-Ray high definition disc format. They know that in the long run, the physical media will be bypassed.

This is a bit off topic, but it is hopefully it is considered interesting nonetheless.

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