October 31, 2005
Birdbrained Flu Scare
Alec van Gelder went off in the Boston Globe today: Patent nonsense on avian flu.
Michael Callicrate of St. Francis Kansas is nuts about castrating cattle, having amassed 5,236,434, 5,997,553 and 5,681,329 to prove it. And he tried to put the squeeze on Wadsworth Manufacturing for infringement, but couldn't loop them in district court. The CAFC said that the lower court ruling was bull (04-1597).
Microsoft Not Supreme
The Supreme Court declined to consider the Eolas-Microsoft imbroglio. While Microsoft largely won a March 2005 Appeals Court ruling, the company is still open to damages as the case heads back to district court on remand.
Hunan's Prince of Patents
Qiu Zeyou has 1,051 utility patents. Why? "I am strengthening my defenses."
October 30, 2005
Google Patent News
Google has a customizable news page at their Beta news site. You can add a custom section using a keyword. Add the word 'patent' as a news section keyword, and you get a good channel of patent news, better than the Moreover RSS feed for patent news.
October 29, 2005
Research in Motion (RIM) has lost traction: increasing competition, declining stock price, bad publicity, with two of the first three aspects owing to patent infringement that comes with an increasing hefty price tag.
October 28, 2005
Highway 101 Revisited
Surfing the wake from the Lundgren case, the Patent Office has released an interim "Guidelines 101", informing examiners, and the patent prosecutors who argue with them, how to tell if a claim is eligible subject matter.
October 26, 2005
Supreme RIM Shot
Discovering a hitherto untapped sense of humor in quoting W.C. Fields, newly appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts told Research in Motion (RIM), in its appeal to stay the lower court ruling of infringement of NTP patents: "get away from me kid, you bother me."
Dane Industries sued Ameritek Industries for infringement of two patents - 6,220,379 and 5,934,694, regarding a vehicle that retrieves shopping carts. Dane held the patents, but the inventor went to work for Ameritek.
October 24, 2005
IBM's Patent Leverage
"IBM is pledging royalty-free access to its patent portfolio for the development and implementation of selected open healthcare and education software standards built around web services, electronic forms and open document formats." There's stifling fine print to that, but the public relations song and business model backing it are solid.
October 23, 2005
Economist Survey of Patents
The Economist, for my money the best news magazine in the world, has a survey this week of Patents & Technology. For anyone interested in an informed perspective on the subject, calling it "essential reading" would be understatement.
October 21, 2005
The BlackBerry boys - Research In Motion, got shot down by the CAFC refusing to hear its appeal plea to suspend proceedings towards an injunction for infringing NTP patents.
MPEP 8r3 Foobar
The Patent Office recently released a newly revised, but definitely defective, MPEP, the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (8th ed., 3rd rev.), in web page format. Fortunately, there's a fix.
October 19, 2005
Roche Bows Under Pressure
Roche has bowed to international pressure to allow others to manufacture its patented, avian flu effective drug, Tamiflu.
October 18, 2005
No Freedom For Wireless
A federal judge in Boston granted an injunction Monday against Boston Communications Group Inc. (BCGI) for infringing patents owned by Freedom Wireless. In the ambiguous understatement of the year department, E.Y. Snowden, chief executive of BCGI, proclaimed ''Our fight is far from over."
October 17, 2005
Fosamax Has Patent Osteoporosis
Fosamax fights osteoporosis, bone loss, while contributing $1.9 billion in U.S. sales in 2004 to its maker, Merck. Today, Fosamax suffered its own bone loss, as the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Merck.
October 16, 2005
Carl Lundgren has been pushing the state of the art in economic processes. He's also pushed the state of the legal art in having the Patent Office Board of Appeals (BPAI 2003-2088) get rid of a non-statutory § 101 rejection that a claim must be within the "technological arts".
October 15, 2005
U.S. and European patent laws preclude patenting genes in humans. But proprietary techniques for isolating genes or developing gene-based therapies have been patented for decades. A new study from MIT, published in Science on Friday, found at least 18.5% percent of the known human genes had patents attached to them, and that figure is probably an underestimate.
October 14, 2005
Mike Levitt, U.S. Health Secretary: "The world is a biological dangerous place right now. An enemy avian virus known as H5N1 is establishing a presence in nations all over the world." The best known antiviral medicine for H5N1 is Tamiflu, and it's patented.
Patent Litigation Statistics
Jay Kesan and Gwendolyn Ball of the University of Illinois performed a biased axe-grinding coupled to a limited statistical study of patent litigation. Given the results, their whining that "there is growing concern that the number of overbroad or so-called “bad” patents may be increasing" was unsubstantiated.
October 9, 2005
Veracity Requires Documentation
KSR International v. Teleflex is under consideration for review by the Supreme Court. The issue is the appropriate standard for prior art anticipation vis-à-vis 35 U.S.C 103(a), particularly combination of prior art references. In short, the current standard is that veracity requires documentation. There has been outcry to weaken that standard to allow speculation as a basis for invalidating a patent claim, replacing a reasonable standard of documented certitude with case-by-case subjectivity. What are they thinking?
October 7, 2005
Research Tool Blog
In case you haven't noticed, Patent Prospector author Patent Hawk has this habit of rather extensively quoting case law findings, particularly from appeals court rulings. Is there a method to his story-telling madness?
October 6, 2005
Secret & Exploited
Mr. Egbert gave his future wife a corset with a feature that he patented two years after she began wearing the corset. Did his lady wearing his custom corset constitute "public use", and thus invalidate his patent? If a company develops a recombinant DNA biotechnology that it uses within the company more than a year before filing a patent, but doesn't sell a product using the technology, is that "public use", thus invalidating the patent under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b)? In Invitrogen v. Biocrest (CAFC 04-1273) we find out.
October 5, 2005
Wavlet Not A Wave
5,710,835 covered wavelet transforms, an image compression technique. Claim 21 was a broad claim, claiming generically what was only disclosed specifically. In Lizardtech v. Earth Resource Mapping, the CAFC (05-1062) found the claim overreaching.
October 4, 2005
Getting a lock on means-plus-function claim construction is tricky. In JWW v. Interact Accessories, the CAFC (04-1410) had to help the district court lock down the meaning of "lockably".
October 3, 2005
Turning nominally illiquid assets into liquid assets is only accomplished through market makers. This is fundamentally how the stock market works. And it's how the patent market is increasingly working.
October 2, 2005
Published Patent Tripe
James Kanter, supposed journalist, cut one about patents in the Sunday International Herald Tribune. Let's give Jimmy's novella the smell test.
October 1, 2005
Japanese high school students take standardized tests to qualify for college admission; that process is locally referred to "examination hell". This blog entry is just whining, but the regular off-base rejections I'm encountering from patent examiners brings examination hell to mind. As an open question to prosecutors, is it just me, or is the patent office examiner bus packed with bozos?!