EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.07.18

Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Precedents Might Make District Courts (Outside Texas) More Sceptical of Patents

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: US Patent Trolls Are Leaving and the Eastern District of Texas Sees Patent Cases Falling by More Than Half

Some poker cards

Summary: As patent lawsuits scatter around the United States (not as concentrated around Texas anymore) there’s a real chance of turnaround in terms of outcomes; we look at some recent cases

IN our previous post about the Federal Circuit (CAFC) we said that it had come under attacks from patent maximalists — similar to attacks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and inter partes reviews (IPRs). Basically, everything which leads to higher patent quality is seen as “evil”. The USPTO certainly doesn’t mind granting as many patents as possible (the same is true for EPO management, which judges itself based on the wrong yardsticks as though it’s a factory).

“Litigation should always be the last resort and if the underlying patents are found to be invalid (or the lawsuit lacking merit), then it is frivolous. “What we didn’t notice before was the involvement of Chief Judge Sharon Prost in the aforementioned CAFC case, which was covered a week prior by Steve Brachmann. Boston University becomes precedence. To quote: “On Wednesday, July 25th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential opinion in Trustees of Boston University v. Everlight Electronics Co., reversing a lower court’s denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that challenged the validity of the asserted patent. The Federal Circuit panel of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Kimberly Moore and Jimmie Reyna found that the asserted claim targeted in the JMOL motion wasn’t enabled as a matter of law.”

Boston University has a tradition of patent aggression. What about Boston Scientific Corporation, which was brought up last week in relation to Nevro Corp. v Boston Scientific Corporation et al?

As Docket Navigator put it: “The court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment that it did not infringe plaintiff’s chronic pain treatment patents because the post-trial use of the accused systems fell within the safe harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e).”

There have been quite a few patent trolls and complaints about them in Massachusetts lately (Boston is in Massachusetts); a giant law firm focused on the District of Massachusetts some days ago, having chosen to push out its wrap-up into lawyers’ sites [1, 2].

Litigation should always be the last resort and if the underlying patents are found to be invalid (or the lawsuit lacking merit), then it is frivolous. Such is the danger of patent maximalism. Generally speaking, do they need patents on everything? How about this new article about a “US patent on 3D printing mashed potato” (still under examination)? To quote:

A team of Chinese researchers has recently applied for a US patent on 3D printing mashed potato. This application builds on an earlier Chinese patent for 3D printing mashed potatoes. The Jiangnan University team has a wide array of patients between them from the improvement of vegetable paper, to improve the flavor of mushroom paste, to unlocking systems for screen doors, backlight displays, and software testing systems. These three inventors Min Zhang Zhenbin Liu and Chaohui Yang have indeed been very busy one has nine patents for 2018 alone. The 3D printing potato patent goes on to reference a number of other patents that 3D print candy or face masks. Specifically, this patent notes that one adds pectin or xanthan gum to a mashed potato mixture and then you add chocolate.

Notice that China — being China (SIPO) — already granted such a ridiculous patent. A win for patent maximalism, that’s for sure.

Managing IP, a patent maximalism platform, is meanwhile amplifying patent trolls, speaking to the plaintiff in the Apple case (same for IBM) rather than the defendant. Because this is what this site stands for…

From the summary:

WiLAN got “every penny we asked for,” WiLAN counsel Mike McKool tells Managing IP, “because we were reasonable.” By estimating damages too low, Apple may have poisoned its case

A Southern District of California jury awarded Canadian IP licensing company WiLAN $145.1 million in damages for Apple’s infringement of two of its patents relating to voice-over LTE wireless communication technology on August 1.

The real danger here is that WiLAN, a patent troll, will use the money (if received) to pursue companies less wealthy and aggressive than Apple. Apple’s patent on virtual keyboards, as mentioned the other day (it’s still being promoted as recently as yesterday, e.g. in “Apple won’t make a touchscreen MacBook, but a virtual keyboard might be coming”), is likely a software/abstract patent.

Docket Navigator also covered Global Tubing LLC v Tenaris Coiled Tubes LLC et al last week. To quote the summary:

The court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s declaratory judgment claim for lack of an actual case or controversy.

There are signs of litigation in the District of Kansas, but Texas isn’t dominant anymore. TC Heartland has changed a lot of things.

Suing in improper districts over patents, knowing that most courts would reject patents on software, isn’t unusual. Now in Nevada, for example, there’s this dispute (Voip-Pal.com, Inc. v Twitter, Inc.):

The court granted defendant’s motion to transfer for improper venue and rejected plaintiff’s argument that In re Cray’s three-part definition for “regular and established place of business” should not apply to web-based businesses.

And the ruling said (quoted by Docket Navigator): “These facts demonstrate that Defendant [Twitter] maintains no place of business in Nevada, much less one that is both regular and established.”

Over the weekend we showed how Google’s reliance on a third party with operations in Texas made it incapable of leaving Texas, in spite of TC Heartland.

Last but not least, Docket Navigator wrote about Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. v Biogen Idec Inc.

The new ‘daddy’ of Monsanto (Bayer) is suing rivals, using patents of questionable validity, not too shockingly in the home state of Monsanto where many chemicals are being made, causing infamous pollution levels. “The court denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment,” it said, “that defendant was not entitled to lost profits damages for infringement of its interferon therapy patent on the ground that only defendant’s subsidiary sold treatments in the U.S.”

This case — like many others — isn’t about patent scope, but it’s worth noting that district court cases are all over the place, more so after TC Heartland. Will that make district courts statistically similar to CAFC? Time will tell…

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Techrights Can Figure Out Source Protection/Anonymisation Whilst Operating Very Transparently

    We're still quite radically transparent whilst at the same time enjoying 100% source protection record; we're also improving the software we use to publish more quickly and efficiently



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, June 01, 2020



  3. This is How GNU Finally Dies

    "Brace for when GNU falls the way that OSI, FSF, FSFE, Mozilla, and the Linux Foundation did."



  4. Latest Microsoft Layoffs Spun as 'Innovation' (There's Always a Positive PR Angle)

    The public is expected to simply ignore the fact that Microsoft is laying off employees (again); instead we're expected to think it's all about Microsoft being very brilliant and innovative



  5. Microsoft Playing the Victim, Irrationally 'Hated' by Victims of Its Abuse

    We're meant to believe that those whom Microsoft bribes against are the opinionated 'haters' and Microsoft is a victim of 'hate'



  6. Links 1/6/2020: Linux 5.7, FOSSlife Born, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1, Linux Mint 20 Making Early Promises

    Links for the day



  7. Linux Without Linus

    The Linux Foundation seems to be acting like Linus (Linux founder) is somewhat of a liability (forcing him to take a ‘break’ from his own project) while taking even the most notorious proposals from corporations, including those that called Linux a “cancer”



  8. What It Would Take for Linus Torvalds to Leave Linux Foundation Without the Linux Trademark and Without Linux

    It's nice to think that the founder of Linux can just take his project and walk away, moving elsewhere, i.e. away from the Microsoft-employed executives who now "boss" him; but it's not that simple anymore



  9. The Past Does Not Go Away, Except From Short-Term Memories

    People who are drunk on power and money (sometimes not even their own money) like to portray themselves as the very opposite of what they are; but in the age of the Internet it's difficult to make the general public simply forget the past and "move on..."



  10. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 31, 2020



  11. Links 1/6/2020: OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05, Linux Lite 5.0 Release, FreeBSD 11.4 RC2

    Links for the day



  12. It's a Common Mistake and Common Misconception/Error to Treat Microsoft as Just Another 'Large Company' (or 'Big Tech')

    What's wrong about Microsoft isn't its size; what's wrong with Microsoft is its behaviour, which isn't just illegal (crimes are the norm) but also hugely unethical



  13. Lessons of Michael Arrington (About Microsoft)

    Microsoft and Bill Gates have a long history bullying their critics; the quote above (or below) shows how even people who advertise with Microsoft are becoming the target of abuse



  14. 'Best' of Both Worlds: GNU/Linux Freedom + Malware With Keyloggers and DRM

    Running a Microsoft-controlled GNU/Linux instance under Vista 10 ("Windows Subsystem for Linux") in the age of virtual machines, dual boot and containers makes as much sense as chopping some carrots to go with the veal meal to appease vegetarian diners



  15. First They Bribe the Employer, Media Lynch Mobs May Follow

    The 'cancel culture' lynch mobs, which leverage social causes (or marginalised groups), remain a convenient means by which to oust one's political/business opposition; but money too is a massive contributing factor and the more one has of it, the easier it is to control media narrative and subversive focus



  16. Upcoming Series Teaser: The Bribery Operation of William Henry Gates III

    Bribery goes a very long way when it comes to the megalomaniac who pays the media to portray him as the world's most generous person



  17. Windows Ransomware Must Not be Unspeakable When People Die in Large Numbers Due to That (and Windows Has Intentional Back Doors)

    Loss of electronic patient records, ransom and downtime among the severe consequences of deploying Microsoft inside hospitals; yet the media rarely names the real culprit (manslaughter charges theoretically possible) and nobody gets punished except those who offer real solutions



  18. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 30, 2020



  19. Burning the House That Richard Stallman (RMS) Built: An Open Letter to GNU Maintainers Who Opposed RMS

    An open letter to people who petitioned RMS to step down and who outsource GNU projects to Microsoft (GitHub)



  20. Links 30/5/2020: Godot Editor Under Web Browsers, Alpine Linux 3.12.0 and EasyOS 2.3

    Links for the day



  21. EPO's Illegal Patents and Massive Corruption Go Unnoticed by Corporate Media and Sites That Cover Patent News

    Very major corruption scandals still emerge in Europe's second-largest institution and illegal patents get granted as well as promoted; somehow, perhaps miraculously, this no longer seems to bother anybody in the media (corruption and radical policies have been gradually 'normalised')



  22. Never Mind If GNU/Linux Works Better Inside Hospitals and Free Software Not Only Safer But Vastly More Efficient...

    With lives on the line one might expect hospitals to choose what's most secure and generally works best; but in practice there seems to be a leaning towards what bribes best



  23. Sick Alexander Ramsey is Using a Public Health Crisis to Lie About the Unitary Patent, Whose Fall Made Him Redundant and/or Obsolete

    Weaponised media continues to manufacture utterly ridiculous puff pieces for Team UPC, containing intentional lies from beginning to end



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, May 29, 2020



  25. They Came, They Saw, He Died

    Microsoft is an inherently sociopathic company; today's story of AppGet is an important reminder that Microsoft has not changed and isn't changing (Maui is another week-old example of trademark-hijacking tactics by Microsoft)



  26. Microsoft-Connected CloudGuru Doesn't Care About GNU/Linux and Now It's Gradually Killing the BSD/Linux-Centric Jupiter Broadcasting (Bought by Linux Academy)

    Assuming Docker is being 'killed' by Microsoft (or at least hijacked to push Windows, Azure and so on) while the GitHub-hosted (Microsoft) CloudGuru, whose co-founder comes from Microsoft, ‘finishes the job’ with Linux Academy and its assets, it’s time to take stock of a pattern/trend that ruins the media too



  27. What Happened to Docker is a Cautionary Tale About the Not-So-New Microsoft

    It’s hardly shocking that Docker collapsed (mass-scale layoffs) after the company had gotten close to Microsoft and got rid of its very own founder (a Red Hat veteran) while the software is being killed off/co-opted by Microsoft (all over the news this week; we’ve omitted links by intention as it’s only puff pieces, no investigative journalism anywhere); we only ask one thing: is anyone paying attention and, if so, what are the lessons learned?



  28. If You Want to Support and Follow Us 'Properly', Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is Most Reliable and Robust to Censorship

    Our longstanding position on social control media (we reject it and don't participate in it) is only proven ever more justified now that the mere idea of fact-checking is seen as controversial if not illegal



  29. Links 29/5/2020: Genode OS 20.05 and FSF Video Conferencing Service

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 28, 2020


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts