May 25, 2005
Mettling With Obviousness In Metal
Kenneth Harris and Jacqueline B. Wahl were trying to get a patent "claiming a nickel-based superalloy for turbine engine blades that experience high temperatures." Rejected by the patent office appeal board as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103, they pressed on, all the way to the Federal Appeals Court (CAFC) (04-1370).
May 23, 2005
IP Foresight Is Missing
Maybe it is just me, but I have grown a little weary of firms complaining about competitive pressures as a reason that their margins are receding. While indeed market pressure are likely the cause of current woes, I think that the real reason for their slow downward spiral is a lack of IP foresight. Their margins are being eroded because they have not competitive advantage. Often firms think they can use their talent to stay one step ahead of the competition. This may very well be the case in some industries; however at some point you will start dealing with incremental improvements. If you have not spent the diligence to protect your early advancements, your firm will be in a features and price war when you were initially the market leader.
May 19, 2005
Injunctive Relief - Historical Perspective
The U.S. patent office was founded in 1790. Injunctive relief against further infringement for the remaining duration of a patent's life has been available since 1819. From then into the early 20th century, injunctions against further infringement were generally granted as a matter of course.
May 15, 2005
The Constitutionality of Robbing The Patent Office
"The Congress shall have Power... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"
- U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8
May 14, 2005
Patenting Tips for Inventors
You have a great idea. Now all you need is to wrap it in patent paper.
May 13, 2005
Did A Mid-90's PTO Hangover Incite Patent Reform A Decade Hence?
The evidence is anecdotal. Patent examination may have been particularly slack in the early to mid-1990s, which perhaps resulted in a rash of flimsy patent enforcement cases in the past several years that have incited catcalls for patent reform to remedy the granting of weak patents. But that stalking-horse is already back in the barn.
May 12, 2005
Translogic Zaps Hitachi, Renesas
As of last Friday, 5,162,666 "Transmission Gate Series Multiplexer" wears a price tag of $86.5 million to Hitachi & Renesas Technology America for infringing it. Worse for the infringers, a permanent injunction is imminent.
Extreme Networks, Patent Infringer, Declares Victory
Extreme Networks, found guilty of infringing a Lucent patent, practically laughed out loud at the Delaware jury verdict, concluding a two-week trial. "We view this as a total victory," said Gordon Stitt, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.
May 11, 2005
Jump Start Your R&D Through Licensing
IP is commonly regarded as the key currency of the new economy. Lester Thorow has stated, “Intellectual Property lies at the center of the modern company's economic success or failure.” In addition, Gartner research has noted that value of intangibles is increasing to nearly 90% of the entire value of global 2000 firms. The reason is simple - these assets provide the firm with its sustainable competitive advantage. IP includes trademarks, copyright, and less tangible forms, but patents remain a key component. First and foremost they provide a firm with a legal, protectable monopoly in the material covered by patent.
WSJ's Patenting Guidelines
There was a decent article about patenting in the Wall Street Journal: A Step-By-Step Guide To Getting a Patent.
Patents In Iraq Gone To Seed
This just hit my radar screen, and finding it an interesting read, recommend: Iraq’s New Patent Law: A Declaration of War Against Farmers.
When their fabled MTV show wound down, Beavis and Butthead had to find a new gig. While Butthead tanked into suds, Beavis, ever the ambitious one, started a magazine: BeavisWeek. Circulation behaved like, well, Butthead: it tanked. So Beavis hired a marketing goon, who advised a brand name change - "title it like it's serious, and you can put whatever crap you like inside. They read the crap, thinking it's respectable because of the title." And so BusinessWeek was born.
May 10, 2005
A New Film Experience in Surreal-O-Vision
Microsoft U.K. is sponsoring a film festival on intellectual property theft, offering a £2,000 prize for the best film raising awareness on this very sexy topic.
May 9, 2005
A Modest Suggestion
The prospect of corporate-sponsored patent law mangling is weighing heavily on those who care about a fair patenting regime.
Bad Blood Not Shed
PharmaStem Therapeutics has an active patent enforcement campaign ongoing, and that's likely to piss somebody off. It did. But it didn't draw blood.
The Pith of Patents
With regard to patents, the Jedi mind-shit seems to have worked - there is widespread misunderstanding about the very nature of patents, gullible minds warped, the truth obscured by the propaganda of serial patent poachers - that is, frequent corporate patent infringers, who coined and cry "patent troll".
May 7, 2005
Conventional Claim Construction
PC Connector Solutions had no solution for crappy claims tossed for non-infringement on summary judgment in district court, and upheld in the appeals court (04-1180). The problem: tradition and convention.
May 6, 2005
Patent Marking Fraud - No Biggie
Invitrogen appealed a district court ruling that it had falsely marked some of its products with patents notifications, arising from a case where Clonetech Laboratories alleged false marking against Invitrogen under 35 U.S.C. §292. (CAFC ruling 03-1464)
May 5, 2005
Linux's Free Ride
Heather Meeker and Peter Zura are impressed that open source software, typified by Linux, has been patent litigation free. There are two possible reasons for that: Linux isn't sophisticated enough to infringe patents, and/or whoever owns patents being infringed isn't going to assert them against the companies distributing Linux. Both are true.
May 3, 2005
HP & EMC Bury the Hatchet, Buy Flowers
In 1999, Hewlett-Packard (HP) switched to Hitachi from EMC for high-end storage products, proclaiming EMC's technology old and proprietary. Little did they know at the time, they at least got the proprietary part right.
May 2, 2005
Patent Economics: Part 6 - The Importance of Patents
Before the 1500's, an average human's prospect for prosperity was stagnant. Beginning around 1820, the pulse of economic development quickened, with the Industrial Revolution in England coming into full stride. What changed?