06.12.09

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Evidence of Defunct Patent System: Daily Links

Posted in Patents at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New stories that highlight problems with intellectual monopolies

Death/Morality

Another Example Of Patents Putting Lives At Risk

Given that Shafer refused to live up to the terms of the deal that he had never agreed to in the first place, ABL moved forward and sued Shafer directly, and that case is now ongoing — even as Shafer hopes to invalidate the patent through the Patent Office itself. The whole thing is yet another story of how patents are being used to stifle innovation — and sometimes put lives at risk. It’s tragic that we’ve been seeing so many such stories lately.

“INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY”: A LIBERTARIAN CRITIQUE [PDF]

Fashion

Fashion Industry Repeats Software’s Mistakes

Software patents are stupid on both theoretical and practical grounds. Since software is just algorithms – that is, maths – software patents are intellectual monopolies on pure knowledge. Practically, they make coding almost impossible, since software patents have been given for so many trivial and common programming techniques.

New fashion copyright bill will let big companies own public domain designs and bury young, indie designers in legal costs

Business Methods

Canadian Patent Appeal Board Rules Against Business Method Patents

Canadian Patent Office Rejects Software And Business Model Patents

Photo-Sharing

Patent-Litigation Weekly: The Photo-Sharing Files

Creating and sharing images—drawings, paintings, photographs—are among the most ancient of human activities, and throughout history, technology that makes that sharing possible has been embraced as rapidly as it appears. Today, that technology takes the form of software applications for computers and cell phones.

That all helps explain why the collection of scrappy entrepreneurs who run small and medium-sized photo-sharing companies didn’t always think about patents as they built up their businesses.

Web Sites

Do Patents On Your Website Make You Liable For False Marking?

One of the things that tends to keep patent lawsuits in check between two larger competing companies is the “patent nuclear war” scenario — which is that if one company sues the other for patent infringement, the latter company often can hit back with an equal number of infringement charges. Thus, the incentives are for companies to stockpile lots of patents, but not necessarily use them… though it does happen occasionally.

Hardware

Flash memory patent litigation impacts bottom lines

The recent cross-license agreement with Samsung, noted in the article of interest, includes four-bit-per cell technology, which is a critical element for building enterprise servers using high density solid state disk drives and will keep SanDisk profitable over the next 7 years.

Rambus drops (some) Nvidia allegations

Rambus is dropping allegations against Nvidia relating to four of nine patents the IP chip firm claims are being infringed by GeForce graphics processors and nForce chipsets.

China

China plans for 50% increase in number of patent agents

China’s State Intellectual Property Office has formulated a Plan for the Development of the Patent Agency Industry (2009-2015). Although I cannot find a copy of the plan – which I guess is published only in Chinese – one of its central planks is that by 2015 there should be 10,000 practising patent agents in China, up from the 6,000 that currently operate.

Supreme People’s Court of China: “Current Economic Situation Makes Granting IPR Injunctions More Difficult”

This this not contravene China’s obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs): Articles 7 and 8 TRIPs, taken together may provide, “a basis for seeking waivers to meet unforeseen conditions of hardship,” J.H. Reichman, The TRIPs Agreement Comes of Age: Conflict or Cooperation with the Developing Countries, 32 Case W. Res. J. International Law, 2000, pp. 441 and 461.

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