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07.16.17

Weakening of Patents Assigned to Google and Another New Patent Lawsuit Against Uber

Posted in America, Google, Patents at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Uber reader

Summary: Project Loon patent canceled, Google’s lawsuit against Uber gets ‘diluted’ by 75%, and Uber faces a new lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas (capital of patent trolls)

THE USPTO remains full of bogus patents. In other words, many of its patents — once properly scrutinised — would be found/deemed invalid. PTAB, which we’ll write about later, is only one data point showing so.

Several days ago we stumbled upon this report titled “Space Data strikes win in getting key Project Loon patent canceled” and it said the following: “The legal war between tiny company Space Data and Alphabet’s moonshot X subsidiary, previously Google X, continues as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reportedly agreed to cancel most of one of Project Loon’s foundational patents.”

Very good.

As usual, patent maximalists continue to hate Google and blame it for devaluations of patents (see yesterday’s post from Dennis Crouch and the comments on it, not to mention all the abuse against Michelle Lee because she worked for Google for a few years).

The matter of fact is, whenever bogus patents get invalidated we should be happy. It brings more to the Commons.

Suffice to say, patent lawyers see it differently. They’re greedy (at risk of over-generalising) and patent maximalism is their ‘religion’. Some dubbed it “patentism” — for it defies logic and reason.

Several months ago, Google/Alphabet sued a company using patents, but things have cooled down since then. Google ought to drop the lawsuit altogether. If Google does decide to take it a step further by dropping the lawsuit altogether, how would the patent maximalists react? Would they again get angry and blame Google for all the supposed ‘ills’ (actually blessings, such as AIA and PTAB)?

There’s this newer report on this case which says “WAYMO, Google’s self-driving car division, has dropped three of its four patent claims against Uber.

“The crux of Waymo’s original lawsuit revolved around Uber’s use of LiDAR (light radar, the means by which self-driving cars ‘see’ their surroundings), which it claimed was stolen by ex-Googler Anthony Levandowski. Uber fired Levandowski in May.”

“Alphabet CEO Larry Page will be deposed,” according to another report, so one might expect the outcome to take months to arrive (unless there’s a settlement).

Speaking of Uber and patents, there is this new lawsuit, again in the Eastern District of Texas and again involving a software patent:

Transportation company Uber has been sued over its use of location-based technologies in its app.

The complaint was filed by Fall Line Patents at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division on Monday, July 10.

It relates to US patent number 9,454,748, which covers software that collects location-specific data and is compatible with all devices, eliminating the need to create new software for every device.

It will be interesting to see if 1) the lawsuit can be shifted to another jurisdiction (i.e. out of Texas) and 2) Uber can invalidate the patent using Alice (or similar). We’ll keep an eye on it.

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