Publicado en America, Apple, Courtroom, Patents, Samsung at 12:43 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Sumario: Casos de patentes en Texas, prospecto de reforma de patentes, casos de Delaware, y algunas actualizaciones acerca de casos de gran importancia
Eastern District of Texas
BASADO en los últimos números de Lex Machina, cuyas figuras son típicamente usadas para oponerse a ligigación excesiva y apoyo por una reforma de patentes (simplemente miren quien está detrás de Lex Machina), indica que hay una reducción/decline en prospectos para litigación de patentes. Los máximalistas de patentes interpretan esto como sigue: ¨sabemos que los caso en los US estuvieron de nuevo arriba, no alcanzándo los niveles del 2013 pero todavía fue el segundo record. Sabemos que la actividad en Noviembre fue unprecedente gracias a nuevos, estrictos estandares de pelea a ponerse en efecto en Diciembre. Y también ha sido ampliamente reportado que incluso por sus propios estándares sobresalió en el Distrito Este de Texas, donde 44% de casos nuevos fueron traídos, y el Juez de ese Distrito Rodne Gilstrap quien se anotó un increíble 1686 nuevas demandas”.
“Alguos creen que una reforma en las juridicciones simplemente ayudaría a mitigar/limitar el problema.”El Distrito Este de Texas, la capital de los trolles de patentes, es absolutamente un pozo negro. Incluso se anuncia a sí misma como tal (barra baja de patentes en los tribunales).
Basado en este nuevo artículo from Heather Greenfield (de CCIA): “Senadores Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., y Mike Lee, R-Utah, han introducido a bill cuyo objetivo son los trolles de patentes llevando a cabo abusivos casos de patentes en el Distrito Este de Texas, considerado territorio amigable para aquellos cuyo negocio principal son los juicios de patentes en vez de hacer productos. El Distrito Este de Texas tomó 44 por ciento de todos los casos de patentes el 2015. Juez Gilstrap del Distrito Este esta basado en Marshall, Texas, que tiene una población de 24,000 people, sin embargo el esta a cargo de un quinto de todos los casos de patentes en los Estados Unidos.”
Ambos usan las mismas estadísticas y puntos de vista: “El Distrito Este de Texas tomó 44 por ciento de todos los casos de patentes el 2015.”
Algunos creen que una reforma basada en juridicción de patentes simplemente ayudaría a mitigar el problema.
Juicios en Texas Trials y Preguntas de Jurisdicción
Escribimos previamente acerca del caso Metaswitch/Genband y esta de regreso en los titulares de nuevo [1, 2, 3, 4]. Compañías reales (practicantes) de Europe estan siendo afectadas, nos deja preguntándonos por que le toma tanto tiempo al Congreso hacer algo. Uno sugirió una clase de reformas basadas en la vena de juridiscción/cambio, o sanciones en el. Una mejor solución identificaría em modelo de patentes mismas (patentes de software) y trabajan para aplastarlas.
“Un tipo sugerido de reforma se refiere a la jurisdicción/cambio de lugar, o sanciones en él.”Vean este nuevo artículo titulado “Venue and Personal Jurisdiction Updates” y tambien “ANDA llenado crea una Juridiscción Personal a nivel Nacional”, que la precede. Es acerca de génericos, envuelve a la CAFC, y dice: “Los echos aquí envuelven a Mylan buscando a la FDA aprobar su mercadeo de drogas genéricas que eventualmente serán vendidas en Delaware (como también en todos los estados de la Union). Al considerar esa acción, la courte encontró que tiene suficiente juridicción personal para casos irradiando de una aplicación de aprovación de ANDA.”
Aquí esta la parte acerca de jurisdicción: ¨En este caso de jurisdicción personal, el Circuito Federal ha afirmado el juicio emitido por al Corte de Delaware, que la corte tiene específica jurisdicción sobre dos casos paralelos de Mylan. En un super amplia tenencia la corte encuentra que cuando una compañía de genéricos llena una nueva aplicación por genéricos (ANDA) con la FDA, y que su llenamiento abre la puerta a la jurisdicción personal de cualquier estado donde la Compañía Genérica venderá la droga si es aprovada. Esto efectivamente significa que la compañía genérica puede ser enjuiciada en cualquier estado de la Unión.¨
“Una mejor solución identificaría em modelo de patentes mismas (patentes de software) y trabajan para aplastarlas.”Hablando de Delaware, vemos esta nueva actualización acerca de otro caso allí (detrás de la pared de pago). La parte accesible al público dice: “La compañíá de tecnología Wireless Novatel y una compañíá dueña de patentes que la acusó de infringir dos de sus patentes de communicaciones han acordado deshacerce de su caso, una semana después que un juez Federal de Delaware estrechó las pretensiones de la demanda y la tiró a cabo expertos de ambos lados.”
Delaware, a diferencia de Texas, esta al noete, y no es tan amigable como Texas en cuanto se trata de los demandantes.
Un artículo por Timothy Geigner cubre una materia que hemos tratado aquí dos veces antes. “Es frecuentemente reclamado,” Geigner escribe, “litigaciones de que patente y marcas es empleada frecuentemente como medida de simplemente alejar/bloquear competición libre.” Eso es exáctamente lo que tenemos aquí. Para citar su artículo:
El fundador de Global Archery, John Jackson, en el otro lado, aparece perfectamente voluntario de salir y describir su motivación por llenar un juicio de infringimiento de patentes y marcas contra a LARPing entusiásta que vende flechas no-letales al lado.
Pero primero veamos el marco. LARP representa juego de acción vivo, para aquellos que no lo saben todavía. Para ayudar en el rol de reescenificar batallas, LARPers usarán ¨armas¨ no letales, como espadas y flechas de espuma, y parecidos. Larping.org es un sitio de pasatiempos de fabricantes de tercera parte. Ahora, Global Archer tiene patentes en específicos diseños de flechas, que principalmente se refieren en la manera en que la cabeza de la flecha se asegura al mango. Una mitad del reclamo de la compañíá contra Larping.org es por infringimiento de esas patentes.
¿Porqué fueron tales patentes otorgadas en primer lugar? ¿Cuánto costaría al acusado probar que ellas son falsas?
Apple ha confíado en embargos, o amenazas de embargos, en order de forzar a compañías a pagarles por aparatos Android y/o remover funciones básicas (como un slider que abre la pantalla). La ITC ha sido usada por apple para ello, y Microsoft lo ha hecho también. Ambos están atacando a Linux (especialmente e aparatos) usando patentes de software. Este nuevo artículo sirve para reforzar estimados de tiempo dice que será el Lunes cuando conocerá si Apple [ref 89542 puede llevar Android (actualmente Samsung) a la Corte Suprema). Para citar:
Decisiones en el caso Apple versus Samsung de infringimiento de patentes ha oscilado ampliamente para ambos lados, sugiriendo que las cortes son incapazes de emitir juicios justos para el rápidamente-cambiate sector de alta tecnologíá. Pero dos expertos aconsejan tomar una perspectiva más amplia acerca cambios históricos en la ley de propiedad intelectual, uno de ellos probablemente todavía adelante.
La Corte Suprema de los US podría decider este Lunes (Mar. 21) si escuchará o no una apelación en diseño de patentes envuelta en el caso. ¨No muchos casos han percolado a la cumbre…[pero] hemos visto le perfil de derechos de diseño salir de las aguas al candelero,¨ dijo Christopher V. Carani, un socio e McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd. (Chicago) quien se especializa en patentes de diseño.
Apple todavía esta tratándo duramente de extraer billones de dolares de Samsung, bajo una intensa presión de embargos y que no. Apple usó HTC como precedente contra Samsung. Si Samsung cae, ¿quién será le próximo en el camino de destrucción de Apple? También consideren el siguiente nuevo artículo:
ZTE se apresta a apelar un ban de exportaciones de los US
ZTE Corp de CHINA apelará unas duras restricciónes de exportaciones en los US impuestos la semana pasada, de acuerdo a una persona familiar con la materia, después de que el esfuerzo de cabildeo del fabricante de equipo de telecomunicaciónes falle de evitar las preocupaciones acerca de sus negocios.
El Departamento de Comercio de los US impuso restricciones a los proveedores de los US proveyendo cruciales componentes a ZTE por supuestas violaciones contra las sanciones contra Iran, un movimiento que disruptirá su cadena de provisión global.
“El Departmento de Comercio de los US y ZTE Corp están en continuas discusiones,” dijo un oficial mayor del Departamento de Comercio. “Estas discusiones han sido constructivas, y continuaremos buscando una resolucion.”
¿Quién se beneficia de tales embargos políticos? Seguramente Apple debe estar a favor, Este caso fue mencionado temprano este mes por IAM, que cree que se relaciona indirectamente a los embargos inducidos por patentes. ¿Cuán lejos irá el sistema de los Estados Unidos? Los embargos o sanciones no ayudan a los consumidores; ¿cuándo se darán cuenta de ello? y ¿cuándo el público se dará cuenta que el exceso de patentes perjudican a todos? █
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Summary: Texas patent cases, patent reform prospects, Delaware cases, and some updates on high-profile patent cases
Eastern District of Texas
BASED on the latest numbers from Lex Machina, whose figures are typically used to oppose excessive litigation and support patent reform (just look who’s behind Lex Machina), indicate that there’s a reduction/decline in prospects for patent litigation. The patent maximalists interpreted this as follows: “We know that new cases in the US were back up again last year, not hitting the heights of 2013 but still the second busiest on record. We also know that activity in November was unprecedented thanks to new, tougher pleading standards coming into effect in December. And it has also been widely reported that even by its standards it was a standout year for the Eastern District of Texas, where almost 44% of new cases were filed, and East Texas judge Rodney Gilstrap, who chalked up an incredible 1686 new lawsuits.”
“Some believe that jurisdiction-based patent reform alone would help mitigate/limit the problem.”The Eastern District of Texas, the capital of patent trolls, is quite a cesspool. It even advertises itself as such (low patent bar in the courts).
Based on this new article from Heather Greenfield (at CCIA): “Senators Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have introduced a bill aimed at patent trolls filing abusive patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas, considered friendly territory for those whose main business is patent lawsuits rather than making products. The Eastern District of Texas took 44 percent of all patent cases filed in 2015. Judge Gilstrap of the Eastern District is based in Marshall, Texas, which has a population of 24,000 people, yet he hears about one-fifth of all patent cases in the United States.”
They both use the same statistics and talking points: “The Eastern District of Texas took 44 percent of all patent cases filed in 2015.”
Some believe that jurisdiction-based patent reform alone would help mitigate/limit the problem.
Texas Trials and Jurisdiction Questions
We previously wrote about the Metaswitch/Genband case and it is back in the headlines again [1, 2, 3, 4]. Real (practicing) companies from Europe are being hurt, so we’re left wondering what takes US Congress so long to take action. One suggested kind of reform pertains to jurisdiction/venue shifting, or sanctions on it. A better solution would identify the pattern in the patents themselves (software patents) and work towards squashing them.
“One suggested kind of reform pertains to jurisdiction/venue shifting, or sanctions on it.”See the new article titled “Venue and Personal Jurisdiction Updates” and also “ANDA filing creates Nationwide Personal Jurisdiction”, which precedes it. It’s about generics, it involves CAFC, and it says: “The facts here involve Mylan seeking FDA approval to market its generic drugs that will eventually be sold in Delaware (as well as every other state in the Union). In considering that action, the court found it sufficient for personal jurisdiction for cases steming from the ANDA approval application.”
Here is the part about jurisdiction: “In this personal jurisdiction case, the Federal Circuit has affirmed the Delaware Court’s ruling that the court has specific jurisdiction over Mylan in two parallel cases. In a super-broad holding, the court here finds that when a generic company files a new drug application (ANDA) with the FDA, that the filing opens the door to personal jurisdiction in any state where the Generic Company will market the drug if approved. This effectively means that the generic company could be sued in any state in the Union.”
“A better solution would identify the pattern in the patents themselves (software patents) and work towards squashing them.”Speaking of Delaware, see this new update about another Delaware case (it’s behind a paywall). The publicly-accessible part says: “Wireless technology company Novatel and a patent holding company that accused it of infringing two communications patents have agreed to dismiss their case, one week after a Delaware federal judge narrowed the claims in the suit and threw out experts from both sides.”
Delaware, unlike Texas, is up north, and it is not as friendly as Texas when it comes to plaintiffs.
An article by Timothy Geigner covers a topic which we touched here twice before. “It’s often claimed,” Geigner writes, “that patent and trademark litigation is chiefly employed as a measure to simply lock out otherwise fair competition.” That’s exactly what we have here. To quote his article:
The founder of Global Archery, John Jackson, on the other hand, appears perfectly willing to come out and describe his motivation for filing a patent and trademark infringement suit against a LARPing hobbyist that sells some non-lethal foam arrows on the side.
But first some background. LARP stands for live action role play, for those of you who didn’t know that already. To aid in the roleplaying of battles, LARPers will use non-lethal “weapons”, such as foam swords and arrows, and the like. Larping.org is a hobby site for LARPers, featuring interviews, how-to videos, etc. In their shop, they also sell LARPing gear, all of which I believe is resold from third party manufacturers. Now, Global Archery has patents on specific foam-arrow designs, which chiefly revolve around the way the foam arrowhead is secured to the shaft. One half of the company’s claim against Larping.org is for infringement on those patents.
Why were such patents granted in the first place? How much would it cost the defendant to prove them to be bogus?
Apple has relied on embargoes, or threats of embargoes, in order to get companies to pay Apple for Android devices and/or remove basic features (like a slider that unlocks a screen). The ITC has been used by Apple for this and Microsoft has done so too. They’re both attacking Linux (especially on devices) using software patents. This new article serves reinforce time estimates that say it will be Monday when we finally know if Apple [cref 89542 can take Android (Samsung actually) to the Supreme Court). To quote:
Decisions in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement cases have swung widely to both sides, suggesting the courts are unable to make clear rulings for the fast-moving high tech sector. But two experts advise taking a broader perspective about historic shifts in intellectual property law, some of them probably still ahead.
The U.S. Supreme Court could decide as early as Monday (Mar. 21) whether or not to hear an appeal on design patents involved in the case. “Not a lot of design cases have percolated to the top…[but] we have seen the profile of design rights come out of the backwaters and into the limelight,” said Christopher V. Carani, a partner at McAndrews Held & Malloy Ltd. (Chicago) who specializes in design patents.
Apple is still trying hard to extract billions of dollars out of Samsung, under intense pressure of embargoes and whatnot. Apple used HTC as precedence against Samsung. If Samsung falls, who’s next in Apple’s path of destruction? Also consider the following new article:
ZTE set to appeal US export ban
CHINA’S ZTE Corp will appeal tough US export restrictions imposed last week, according to a person familiar with the matter, after the telecom equipment maker’s costly lobbying effort failed to allay concerns about its business.
The US Commerce Department imposed restrictions on US suppliers providing crucial components to ZTE for alleged Iran sanctions violations, a move likely to disrupt its global supply chain.
“The US Department of Commerce and ZTE Corp are in ongoing discussions,” a senior Commerce Department official said. “These discussions have been constructive, and we will continue to seek a resolution.”
Who benefits from such political embargoes? Surely Apple must be in favour. This case was mentioned earlier this month by IAM, which believes it indirectly relates to patents-induced embargoes. How far will the US system go? Embargo or sanctions cannot help costumers; when will this be realised and when will the public realise that patents excess generally harms everyone? █
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Publicado en Apple, Courtroom, Patentes, Samsung at 3:25 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
El arrogante de Apple esta seguro que invento todo
Sumario: La imparable guerra de patentes contra Android no muestra signos de para, incluso después de varios años de la muerte de Steve Jobs, quién empezo esta guerra de patentes
Hace media década, después de vergonzósamente enjuiciar a HTC, Apple comenzo a enjuiciar Samsung, quien ya era un lider Android OEM, usando patentes y diseños de patentes las que frecuentement son indistinguibles de las primeras. Recuerden quien comenzó esta guerra. Siempre recuerde que no estaba hablando con Samsung para que licenciar patentes. Fue Apple bajo la megalomanía de Steve Jobs. Este caso pronto alcanzo a la Corte Suprema, SCOTUS, pero no hay confirmación todavía.
“La section final de la petición de Samsung [a SCOTUS],” Florian Müller escribió el otro día, ¨resalta la ¨enorme importancia nacional¨ de la petición. Esto suena a mic como ¨esto debería ser revisado, pero por lo menos debería haber una llamada por la opinión del Solicitor General (CVSG).” O tal vez tiendo a leer mucho entre las líneas.
¨Aprecio que ambos Samsung y Apple estan con voluntad de pelear esto hasta las últimas consequencias,¨ escribió esta persona. ¨El proceso es importante como el resultado¨ (y hasta ahora muy oneroso).
Apple ha sido atraído pesadamente a PTBA últimamente; escribimos acerca de PTAB a principios de mes en numerosas ocasiones. De acuerdo a este nuevo post de un blog, una patente biotecnológica esta cerca de ser revisada. Recuerden que muchas patentes, incluso algunas en Europa, fueron invalidadas en el proceso. ¨Un quinto de todas las peticiones a IPR fueron rechazadas de acuerdo a este reporte de PTAB del año 2015,¨ dice IP Watchdog. Para citar el post anterior, la dicha familia de patentes son las más famosas patentes de biotecnologíá. Con reclamos que cubren pasos básicos en generar antibióticos therapeúticos, estas patentes son porteras en la industria que han mostrado inprecedente crecimiento, más de la mitad de las 10 drogas más vendidas en el mundo son antibióticos terapeúticos. A traves de licensiatura a fabricantes de antibióticos, Genentech-one uno de los dueños de Cabilly patentes espera ganar un billón de dollares en regalías por ellas para el 2018.
Bueno, seguramente parece que Apple esta esperando ganar billones, no sólo un billon de dólares simplemente por regalías de patentes. Apple esta esperando en convertirse en una firma de patentes, mientras Android sigue creciendo, y es díficil de detenerlo sin inflar los precios de Android devices artificialmente. █
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The arrogant Apple is so certain that it invented everything
Summary: Apple’s relentless patent war on Android shows no signs of stopping, even several years after Steve Jobs, who had started this mess, died
Half a decade ago, after shamelessly suing HTC, Apple started suing Samsung, which was already a leading Android OEM, using software patents and design patents that are often indistinguishable from software patents. Remember who started this war. Always remember that it wasn’t Samsung reaching out to patents. It was Apple under Steve Jobs' megalomania. This case might soon reach the Supreme Court, SCOTUS, but there’s no confirmation yet.
“The final section of Samsung’s petition [to SCOTUS],” Florian Müller wrote the other day, “stresses the “enormous national importance” of the petition. This sounds to me like “this should be reviewed, but at the very, very, very least there should be a call for views of the Solicitor General (CVSG).” Or maybe I tend to read too much between the lines.”
“I appreciate that both Samsung and Apple are willing to fight this to the bitter end,” wrote this one person. “The process is as important as the result” (and very expensive thus far).
Apple has been drawn rather heavily into PTAB as of late; we wrote about PTAB earlier this month on numerous occasions. According to this new blog post, a biotechnology patent is about to be reviewed. Remember that quite a few Apple patents, including some in Europe, got invalidated in the process. “One-fifth of all IPR petitions denied institution according to 2015 PTAB report,” says IP Watchdog. To quote the former post, the said patent family “is likely the most famous patent family in biotechnology. With claims that cover basic steps in generating therapeutic antibodies, these patents are gatekeepers in an industry that has shown unprecedented growth—currently, half of the 10 top-selling drugs in the world by sales are therapeutic antibodies. Through licensing to antibody manufacturers, Genentech—one of the owners of the Cabilly patents—is expected to reach a billion dollars in royalties from this patent family by 2018.”
Well, it sure seems like Apple is hoping to make billions, not just a billion dollars, out of patent royalties alone. Apple is hoping to become a patents firm, as Android keeps growing and it’s hard to stop it without artificially elevating prices of Android devices. █
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State of litigation
Summary: New evidence, based on two stories where large victims of patent trolls fought back (rather than cough out settlement money), show that software patents increasingly get tossed out by judges, even in trolls-friendly courts
WHEN a software patent that’s owned by a troll (the classic scenario) is reported on by the corporate media it’s rather easy to spot based on “LLC” in the title, or sometimes just the word “Texas”. The targets of litigation by these trolls needn’t be just US companies, especially if (or when) the UPC becomes a reality.
A German company (maybe the most famous German company, Mercedes-Benz) has become a victim of some US patent troll called “Vehicle Intelligence”. There is nothing about it in Wikipedia and their (his?) Web site is just a handful of pages with all the hallmarks of a patent troll, where “products” are just “licensing” (i.e. patent tax). Reading this article about the troll, we find that “the inventor, Kevin Roe, is also the patent attorney” (again, classic troll). To quote the opening paragraph from Patently-O: “Vehicle Intelligence and Safety LLC is the owner of United States Patent Number 7,394,392 vehicle safety improvements. In particular, the patent claims systems and methods for testing vehicle operators and then taking control of the vehicle if the operator is deemed impaired. Senior Judge Hart of the Northern District of Illinois ruled on the pleadings (12(c)) that the asserted claims were invalid as being drawn to patent-ineligible subject matter under Section 101 of the Patent Act. On appeal, the Federal Circuit here affirms – holding that “the disputed claims cover only abstract ideas coupled with routine data-gathering steps and conventional computer activity.” An early potential strike against the patent that the inventor, Kevin Roe, is also the patent attorney who prosecuted the case and the litigator who filed the appellate briefs.”
“Are we seeing software patents on the retreat in the home of software patents? And if so, why on Earth is the EPO‘s management ushering in more of them?”Got that? “Section 101 of the Patent Act.” This is a relief as it contributes to the belief or the correct perception that software patents are on the run in the Unites States.
There is another bit of good news, akin to the above. Remember that Patent TrollTracker had worked for Cisco before he got himself and/or his employer sued by a troll for defamation or whatever? Well, Cisco, based on this new report, has just beaten a patent troll that had struck in Texas, which attracted a lot of attention this month [1, 2, 3, 4], 5]. “In 2013,” wrote the trolls expert, “a two-judge majority on the panel found that Cisco should have been allowed to tell the jury they had a “good faith belief” that the patent was invalid. The jury instructions were thus improper, and the appeals judges kicked the case back down to the trial court in the Eastern District of Texas.”
Well, the $64,000,000 verdict has just been overturned.
Are we seeing software patents on the retreat in the home of software patents? And if so, why on Earth is the EPO‘s management ushering in more of them? Beggars belief! █
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The ‘new’ Microsoft…
Satya Ballmer: different face, same strategy/policy
Summary: Microsoft continues its vicious patent war on anything resembling competition (however small), even the competition against which Microsoft previously committed competition abuses/crimes (subject of court cases) in order to attain total monopoly
MICROSOFT, which is connected to many patent trolls (including Intellectual Ventures, the world’s biggest), is still busy suing companies. Microsoft has a long history of patent aggression, including patent litigation against Linux (not just threats thereof). As longtime readers of this site may know, this and only this was the raison d’être of this Web site.
“…since winning a case for infringement of design patents can lead to a damage analysis based on “lost profits,” which can theoretically lead to a patent owner getting all of a defendant’s profits.”
–Joe MullinAs we noted the other day, referring to the original from the EFF, Microsoft is now attacking a company that once dominated word processing. Microsoft allegedly engaged in competition crimes against this company, leading to decades of expensive litigation. This company also pioneered some important GNU/Linux efforts until Microsoft shut these down with a mysterious deal (which we wrote about on several occasions around 2007). Well, Microsoft is now trying to drive this company into bankruptcy, using patents.
What’s the name of this company? Corel. We have a whole category about Corel (with 51 articles, as well as leaked court documents). History is important here and it’s imperative that people properly study Corel to truly grasp how severe this situation really is.
Microsoft is now attacking Corel with what the EFF calls “Stupid Patent of the Month”. As noted by one good journalist (Joe Mullin), “it’s serious ammo, since winning a case for infringement of design patents can lead to a damage analysis based on “lost profits,” which can theoretically lead to a patent owner getting all of a defendant’s profits.”
“Remember the company called Novell? Yes, that company that pretty much vanished half a decade ago and whose patent/special deal with Microsoft (SUSE) will expire tomorrow (there are no signs of renewal or continuation).”In other words, expect layoffs, liquidation, bankruptcy, etc. Legal fees aren’t low, either. Remember the company called Novell? Yes, that company that pretty much vanished half a decade ago and whose patent/special deal with Microsoft (SUSE) will expire tomorrow (there are no signs of renewal or continuation). Other than the name being similar, Novell and Corel have a lot in common because both competed against Microsoft until signing some infamous deals with Microsoft, leading to their demise, as well as the demise of their ongoing court cases against Microsoft (for competition abuses/crimes). When Novell imploded Microsoft grabbed its patents. Sweet deal for Microsoft. Novell is virtually gone (devoured by another company) and its patents are in CPTN, which is a ‘conglomerate’ pool of Linux and Android foes such as Oracle and Apple.
“Microsoft is now using patents primarily against Android, which the company is at war against (don’t believe the pretenses and the “loves Linux” baloney).”We quite liked how Glyn Moody framed the situation in his article “If Microsoft Wins Its ‘Stupid Patent Of The Month’ Lawsuit, Expect A Plague Of Trolls To Move Into Design Patents”.
As if Microsoft itself is not somewhat of a massive troll itself (we wrote a lot about this before). Just look what the company has been doing with patents this past decade. “The recent Techdirt article about Microsoft’s design patent on a slider,” Moody wrote, “understandably focused on the absurdity of companies being forced to hand over all of the profits that derive from a product if it is found to have infringed on someone else’s design patent even in just a tiny portion of that product. But there’s another angle worth mentioning here that picks up on something Techdirt has written about several times before: the rise and threat of patent thickets. Back in 2012, it was estimated that 250,000 active patents impacted smartphones. That makes it impossible to build devices without licensing large numbers of patents, and even then, it’s likely that claims of infringement will still be brought.”
Microsoft is now using patents primarily against Android, which the company is at war against (don’t believe the pretenses and the "loves Linux" baloney).
“The EPO’s lawyers who currently deal with my case were also recently seen working from the same side as Microsoft on the patent front, based on Reuters.”Here is another new article about Microsoft’s “Stupid Patent of the Month”. “The design patent,” says Softpedia, “numbered D554,140, basically states that Microsoft is the owner of the slider you can see in the photo attached to the article. This is the very same slider that the company uses in its Office productivity suite to allow users to zoom in or out of documents, but it has also been implemented in a wide variety of Microsoft and non-Microsoft products.”
But when patent examiners are pressured to issue patents in bulk and/or do a rushed job (as in the EPO for example, with Microsoft being on the high-priority list), no wonder such nonsense gets granted, leaving European courts to sort out the mess at a huge expense to the defendants. It is worth noting again that only articles of mine which mentioned Microsoft were even the target of threatening legal letters from the EPO’s lawyers, which gives room for speculation. The EPO’s lawyers who currently deal with my case were also recently seen working from the same side as Microsoft on the patent front, based on Reuters. █
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Where patent trolls with software patents are the stars of the show…
Summary: A look at some recent court actions in the US, motivated by software patent grants
The power outage at the USPTO aside (“It will be interesting indeed to find out how this quite extraordinary state of affairs plays out after the holiday weekend,” IP Kat wrote), there were some other problems at the USPTO earlier this holiday (or just before it began). It’s something for the EPO to learn from (EPO staff as a whole, not management).
A ‘superstar’ patent troll, Spangenberg (shown above with troll cross-pollination), which we wrote about before [1, 2, 3], is said to have just attacked a company which produces Free software. It happened just shortly prior to an IPO and watch how many other companies were sued. To quote this report: “In the realm of patent assertion, there is one man who stands head and shoulders above the rest: Erich Spangenberg. Of the more than 1,600 companies he has sued for patent infringement in the past decade, the most recent is Atlassian.
“The likes of Spangenberg, wielding software patents, attack thousands of practicing companies.”“Not that you’d know it was Spangenberg doing the suing; the action comes from Spangenberg-controlled Pherah LLC, a company that doesn’t even have a website.”
Also published just days ago was this article titled “Patent Trolls Attacked My Business”. The likes of Spangenberg, wielding software patents, attack thousands of practicing companies.
“My small business was the victim of abusive patent litigation,” said the author of of the latter article, “and I want to share my story to promote awareness of this growing problem. Capstone Photography provides photography services at events across the country, like marathons, triathlons and 5K road races. We have been in business since 2005. Naturally, we have a website where athletes can find and view their photos. It’s not rocket science. The basic premise of our site relies on a simple lookup function that any high school programmer could describe and execute.”
“Some of these patents were granted by the EPO and later invalidated (after Apple had sued Samsung and others).”Not only software companies are affected. Watch how Apple, a branding giant, attacked Samsung (mostly a hardware company) just before Christmas. As Florian Müller put it: “While Apple is usually the net payer when it comes to patents (most recently vis-à-vis Ericsson), it has received $548 million from Samsung this month, though a reimbursement may be demanded later. Samsung might base a future reimbursement claim on its design patent-related appeal to the Supreme Court (if that one suceeds, which would not be a huge surprise) and/or on the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has held the ’915 pinch-to-zoom API-related patent invalid (a decision Apple is appealing to the Federal Circuit) and/or the increasingly likely invalidation of the D’677 iPhone design patent.”
Some of these patents were granted by the EPO and later invalidated (after Apple had sued Samsung and others). What does that tell us about the direction the EPO is heading in? Europe already attracts some patent trolls with software patents. █
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The Koreans believe that a US court might actually rule against an influential US company
Summary: Remarks about Apple’s relentless attacks on Free/Open Source software (FOSS), using dubious software patents and patents on vague/generic ‘designs’ that probably never ought to have been granted in the first place
THE USPTO-granted patents, especially after the SCOTUS ruling on Alice, are a lot more limited, primarily but not only when it comes to software. Does it mean that SCOTUS can offer redemption to Samsung, and by extension to Android? Well, only if the Apple-connected government actually allows the case to proceed to SCOTUS, which we very highly doubt (see Oracle v. Android [sic] with the government’s now-infamous denial [1, 2, 3]). SCOTUS should really be dealing with important human rights issues and landmark decisions pertaining to civil liberties, not Apple fanatics who almost religiously believe that Apple invented everything (even when the necro-worshiped leader publicly admits "stealing" ideas but still acts like a spoiled brat [1, 2]).
“Samsung may need to waste a lot of money on lawyers and also pursue rather silly patents because Apple is aggressive and is constantly attacking whoever sells the best of Android.”Nevertheless, as we have demonstrated here for a number of years, Apple was stockpiling a lot of software patents after it had struggled with the rise of Android, which is of course based on Linux and is Free/Open Source software (FOSS). Apple attacked Samsung after it had viciously attacked HTC (with a far smaller patent portfolio, hence an easier target). Samsung must now tread more carefully or at least wisely. It needs to be smart, not just pursuing justice at all costs (which can be enormous costs, as has been proven to be the case thus far), so “Samsung is on track to unseat IBM as the number one company when it comes to winning U.S. utility patents,” according to this new article. Another new article, titled “Apple Stealing the Show with New Patents”, says: “As we know Apple frequently steals the show with marvelous patents that it files with the passage of time prior to its new offerings. The number of patents under Apple’s belt is so exceptional and that is why Apple has been appreciated by millions across the globe. The new feather in Apple’s cap is the awe-inspiring patent that the company has filed with the Patent and Trademark Office.”
Samsung may need to waste a lot of money on lawyers and also pursue rather silly patents because Apple is aggressive and is constantly attacking whoever sells the best of Android. All these fees are passed down the customers; phones become more expensive and sometimes, despite market demand and free code already being available (FOSS), key features are removed for fear of litigation. Cui bono? That’s why we even called for a boycott of Apple nearly half a decade ago. It was all to do with patents and these shameless attacks on FOSS. Does Apple even have the humility to claim to be some kind of “Open Source” leader? What ever happened to dignity and adherence to truth? Brand worship won’t last forever if Apple is launching an assault on truth itself.
“Does Apple even have the humility to claim to be some kind of “Open Source” leader?”Anyway, the massive news last night was the latest important move from Samsung. it was covered bty the Wall Street (actually News Corp.) Journal and many other sites, in articles such as:
There are many more articles about this. Is this what ‘innovation’ is supposed to look like? It looks more like protectionism, for those who are affluent and infinitely greedy. What ever happened to the myths of patents as protectors of the ‘little guy’? Well, these were just myths intended to help ‘sell’ an unjust system to the wider public, ensuring consent that is based on misapprehension, misconceptions, and misinterpretations.
Rajesh Vallabh of Foley Hoag (patent lawyers, i.e. those who profit from patents at the expense of everyone else) now gives advice to startups regarding patents. We’re rather appalled that he can write this with a straight face; it was published only in a journal of patent lawyers (for the most part) and it says things like “Patents can be vitally important for protecting the innovations of a start-up company” (and he sounds like he’s actually serious).
Start-ups are massively overwhelmed by trolls (see what happens in the US these days) and also crushed by companies with far more patents, even broader ones. Empirical evidence serves to suggest that the real benefactors in today’s largest patent systems are companies such as Apple. These systems are used for monopolisation, occupation, etc.
“Empirical evidence serves to suggest that the real benefactors in today’s largest patent systems are companies such as Apple.”Nowadays, considering how the patent systems have devolved, patents primarily exist to benefit large multinationals. Just see how the EPO already works primarily for large multinationals and even discriminates in their favour. Those who point this out (hi!) are threatened with lawsuits. Saying this and providing evidence of this thus becomes the unsayable. █
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