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November 28, 2009

Retiring

CAFC Chief Judge Paul R. Michel, now 68, is retiring when the cherry blossoms next bloom in the nation's capitol. Having written 800 opinions, he is considering starting his own IP think tank. "Once I'm a retired judge, I can make a public nuisance out of myself. I think that's needed." Certainly the politicians threatening to trample this country's patent system could benefit from the wisdom on offer.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:12 AM | The Patent System | Comments (1)

November 23, 2009

#1

Quantity over quality is expressed in the quintessential American hanker of wanting to know who's number 1, which is the surmised measure of who is best. If there ever was a justifiable bifurcation between quantity and quality, it lies with patents. Year after year, IBM gets the most U.S. patents. What does that really mean?

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:52 PM | Patents In Business | Comments (17)

November 19, 2009

Fatigued

6,100,287 claims a nutritional supplement for "enhancing muscle performance" and recovering from fatigue. Iovate sued BSN over '287. The district court found the asserted claims anticipated by advertisements in Flex magazine. It took no muscle flex for the CAFC to confirm.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 10:30 PM | Prior Art | Comments (2)

November 15, 2009

Heritage of the Heretic

In the ultimate backfire, political hack Jon Dudas has left his mark on the patent office. Dudas demeaned the PTO by being openly hostile to its bread-and-butter clientele, patent applicants, with proposed rules that would limit claims and even applications, in a banal attempt to address pendency. Challenged by Dr. Triantafyllos Tafas, with GlaxoSmithKline riding shotgun, the district court shot the agency down. The PTO appealed.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 7:15 PM | The Patent Office | Comments (10)

November 14, 2009

All Red Hat and No Cattle

The open source software crowd have had their knickers in a twist for some time about patented processes via software, being fervently against them, and having more generally quaint notions about intellectual property, including copyright. Patrick Anderson provides an incisive analysis of this week's tempest in a teapot in his blog entry: "Free" Sells, But Who's Buying?

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 7:22 PM | Patents In Business | Comments (5)

November 12, 2009

Rotten at the Core

The nature of human organizations is for their collective morality to sink to the lowest common denominator. Which is low, to the level of greed unbridled. After all, corruption is human nature. Intel is trying to get the antitrust monkey off its back by paying off rival AMD $1.25 billion. This is the same Intel that has furiously and ferociously lobbied for patent deform legislation that will get inventors' patent monkey off its back, by diluting patent protection in this country.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 8:35 PM | Patents In Business | Comments (1)

November 10, 2009

Sharpened

Samsung has been stung by Sharp at the ITC over flat-panel LCD display patents. One of the Sharp patents in the case went to LCD brightness and refresh rate, and another to minimizing flickering. Samsung has brushed aside speculation about the ruling's impact, stating that it won't affect the company's ability meet market demand. The Financial Times opined: "unable to compete on price, rivals are trying to compete on patents."

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 8:43 PM | Patents In Business | Comments (1)

Incoming

J. Michael Jakes had one helluva day being slammed with well-deserved shots from Supreme Court Justices in oral arguments Monday. Jakes represents Bernard Bilski in his quest for a patent on a ridiculously vague claim for managing risk. On the government's side, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart's position was stiff as a board in supporting the CAFC's rigid machine-or-transformation test for patentable methods. But that was not entirely a bad thing.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:14 AM | § 101 | Comments (13)

November 7, 2009

Out of Hand

The New York Times turns troglodyte on invention, fearing patents can "stifle competition and infringe on the rights of non-patent holders. Not every bright idea should be protected as a property right." Only bright ideas that take jobs from workers. In a nutshell, the New York Times thinks that there should be a law against the law.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 9:28 PM | § 101 | Comments (4)

November 6, 2009

One Upmanship

Inventors and small companies, flush with money burning a hole in their pockets, regularly file an excess of crappy patent applications. Belatedly recognizing this inviolable fact, the patent office now promises to shoot you in the head faster if you'll shoot yourself in the foot first.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos has announced the agency intends to launch a pilot program that will give small entity inventors having two or more patent applications currently pending greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined while also reducing the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. This pilot will allow a patent application from a small entity to receive special, accelerated status if the applicant is willing to abandon an application that has not been examined. [USPTO press release]

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 3:59 PM | The Patent Office | Comments (1)

November 3, 2009

License Crossed

Philips and 3M inked a patent cross license in 1995. The next year, 3M spun off Imation. The agreement, which granted license to subsidiaries, continued. In 2003, Imation formed a joint venture that created GDM. In 2006, Imation acquired Memorex. In 2007, Imation filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a finding that GDM and Memorex are licensed subsidiaries under the agreement. The district court ruled against Imation, and so Imation appealed.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:05 PM | Case Law | Comments (2)