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04.08.10

Patents Roundup: Apple, Creative Commons, Domino’s, FedEx, China, and Pacid Group (Patent Troll)

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pizza
“Patent pending” pizza fraud from Domino’s (no kidding!)

Summary: The latest batch of evidence showing that the patent system is simply not working (with the exception of monopolies, conglomerates, and trolls)

Apple Wins Patents for iChat, iDVD, Virtual Keyboard & Multi-Touch

Stop Wasting Money On Patents

Patent law is currently broken. Especially software patent law. A pending Supreme Court case (Google Bilski for more info) may fix it or make further break it. In short, you can expect to pay more for, wait longer for, and get less from your patents than you would have 5 or 10 years ago.

Patent Litigation Weekly: DataTreasury Wins First Patent Trial, Against U.S. Bank

Infamous Check Scanning Patents, That Senators Tried To Bury, Wins First Lawsuit

A couple years ago, there was a really sleazy move by some Senators to try to exempt banks from lawsuits brought by a company called DataTreasury, who held a patent on a method for scanning checks. The only purpose for this legal change was so that banks could avoid having to deal with patent infringement threats and lawsuits for doing something as basic as automatically scanning their checks. What we couldn’t understand is why the Senators would single out two specific patents to be ignored, rather than trying to actually fix the patent system. Well, actually, it wasn’t hard to figure out: the Senators were trying to do the banks (the same ones they were about to bail out) a big favor — and doing real patent reform is difficult. Anyway, that story got some publicity and it forced the Senators to back down, so that specific “exemption” never made it through to being law.

Launching Public Discussion of CC Patent Tools (Simon Phipps adds: “Creative Commons starts to address patents. This should be interesting, they have pointedly avoided patent issues until now.”)

We’re happy to announce that we’re launching the public comment and discussion period for our new patent tools: the Research Non-Assertion Pledge and the Public Patent License. We invite you to join the discussion at our public wiki. There you can read about these tools, catch up on hot topics of interest to the community, or join our public discussion list to contribute your thoughts and suggestions.

An uncompromising look at the Domino’s Pizza Tracker

“The Tracker is a fraud,” claimed one pizza eater who requested anonymity. In a rambling online post, the man insisted that, despite the tracker’s insistence that his pizza had been successfully baked and cooked to perfection, Domino’s had left numerous messages on his voicemail explaining that his order could not be filled because the store had run out of dough.

Can You Patent Pretending To Let Customers Know Their Online Ordered Pizza Is In The Oven?

Jeff Nolan points us to an amusing article trying to dig into some questions over whether or not Domino’s “patent pending” pizza tracker is real. Launched a little over two years ago, apparently, if you order a pizza from Domino’s online, it takes you to a website where it alerts you in real-time to the status of your pizza: is it in the oven, has it been put in a box, is it on its way, etc. Domino’s was quite proud of the fact it had filed a patent for the technology, but there have been some concerns about whether the technology is real, or if it’s just a pretty flash animation connected to nothing in reality.

Pat Lit Weekly: FedEx Sends Scott Harris Patent Packing [via]

Over the years, Harris’s patents have been used to sue a wide range of companies, including Dell, FedEx, Motorola, and Google. The Harris patent that had progressed furthest towards trial, No. 6,666,377, is controlled by BarTex Research LLC, a patent-holding company that filed an infringement suit against FedEx in the Eastern District of Texas two weeks after it was formed there. In the company’s complaint, BarTex lawyers at the Chicago patent boutique Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro claim that the existence of the ’377 patent, which covers bar code-scanning technology, means FedEx should make the holding company a royalty payment on every package it ships.

Careful What You Wish For: Greater IP Enforcement In China Being Used Against Foreign Companies…

It turns out that was just the beginning. Joe Mullin points us to a story about how there have been a series of recent patent and trademark rulings in Chinese courts all of which appear to be going against large multinational companies and in favor of Chinese companies.

The world and its dog get sued over encryption [via; It’s clearly a patent troll]

The Pacid Group alleged that Asus, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Fujitsu, LG, Gigabyte, GBT, MSI, Motorola, Research in Motion, Nikon, Microsoft, Nintendo, HTC and Palm breached US patent number 5,963,646 and another patent 6,049,612.

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