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Patents Roundup: Britannica Loses, SpinVox Shamed, FFII Updated, and More

Chess at the park



Summary: News of interest about intellectual monopolies

Encyclopedia Britannica loses patent ruling [via]

A notorious patent case about a technology that allows people to search multimedia content may finally be coming to a close.

Earlier this week, a judge ruled that two patents initially awarded to Encyclopedia Britannica are invalid. The patents were built on the infamous 5,241,671 patent first unveiled by Compton's NewMedia in 1993 at the Comdex trade show.


SpinVox examines dossier claims (SpinVox is a software patent parasite [1, 2, 3])

Voice-to-text company SpinVox is under pressure after a dossier, alleging financial irregularities, was circulated to shareholders.


Patentability and Democracy in Europe

In July 2005, after several failed attempts to legalise software patents in Europe, the patent establishment changed its strategy. Instead of explicitely seeking to sanction the patentabilitty of software, they are now seeking to create a central European patent court, which would establish and enforce patentability rules in their favor, without any possibility of correction by competing courts or democratically elected legislators.


Patent Office Keeps Check, Lets Patent Go Abandoned For Being $10 Short [via]

Jorge Taylor had a patent for a chemical sealant device for repairing flat tires (U.S. Pat. No. 5,178,701) and had to pay the seven-and-a-half-year maintenance fee of $1040. But, Mr. Taylor sent a check for $1030, rather than $1040, in the mail and used the wrong form for transmitting his payment, and sent it to the Applications Branch rather than the Maintenance Fee branch – sort of a hat trick of errors.


Pharma biz fingers tech firm over patents

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY BTG is trying to stop certain computer products from reaching American shores because they infringe on some of its patents.


Oppn to officials taking up plum posts in WTO, WIPO ["a too-cosy club, v. close to corrupt," says Glyn Moody]

Civil society groups have complained against the practice of senior commerce ministry officials taking up plum posts with international agencies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) with whom they have been involved in direct negotiations on issues of national interest.


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