Occupy Wall Street to trademark name

By:Samantha Stainburn
Source: http://www.globalpost.com

Occupy Wall Street's organizers have filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark their movement's name.

Occupy Wall Street's organizers have filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark their movement's name, CNN Money reports.

Attorney Samuel Cohen of the Law Offices of Wylie M. Stecklow, a firm that represents the protestors in Zuccotti Park, told The Associated Press that the filing was a defensive move to stop people from using the Occupy Wall Street name for improper purposes.

In its application, the group states it intends to use the phrase on merchandise, in magazines and newsletters and on a website about the Occupy movement, CNN Money reports.

“To the extent that it is possible, this application is intended to vest trademark rights in ‘Occupy Wall Street’ in the unincorporated association ‘Occupy Wall Street’ as a whole, not in the individual applicants as joint applicants per se,” the application states, according to Politico.

Another applicant, Arizona-based Fer-Eng Investments LLC, filed for the same trademark on the same day. Vince Ferraro of Fer-Eng Investments told CNN Money that he applied for the trademark as a businessman – he wants to sell OWS clothing and bags – and is not part of Occupy Wall Street. Since Ferraro filed his application a few hours after the Occupy Wall Street group, Cohen told CNN Money he is confident that his group will be awarded the trademark.

There is already a pending trademark application for the name "Occupy Wall St,” using the abbreviation for “street,” filed on Oct. 18 by Robert Maresca of West Islip, N.Y., the AP reports.

Maresca and his wife have been silk-screening t-shirts with the phrase on it, and Maresca told CNN Money that he was worried that they might be sued if someone else obtained the trademark. Maresca told CNN Money he would sell the trademark to the Occupy Wall Street group for $1 after he covers his costs.

Source: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111031/occupy-wall-street-trademark-name-samuel-cohen

Motorola Banks $228 Million from Unnamed Patent Holder

By Caleb Garling
Source: http://www.wired.com

Motorola Mobility — the smartphone manufacturer recently snatched up by Google — has received a total of $228 million in cash and licensing fees from an unnamed company, and all signs point to Blackberry maker Research in Motion as the outfit in question.

In a recent SEC filing, Motorola noted that in June of 2010, it entered into a settlement and license agreement with a company that resolved all outstanding litigation between the two operations.

“The agreement includes provisions for an upfront payment of $175 million from the other company to [Motorola Mobility], future royalties to be paid by the other company to [Motorola Mobility] for the license of certain intellectual property, and the transfer of certain patents between the companies,” read the statement.

A spokesperson for Motorola Mobility declined to shed any light on the identity of the mystery company. But in June, Motorola Mobility and RIM announced they had entered a similar agreement. The two companies said they would cross licence rights to a number of unnamed patents that covered aspects of 2G, 3G, 4G, 802.11, and wireless email technology.

What was not announced was the financial impact of the agreement. In its recent SEC filing, Motorola said its $228 million pre-tax settlement covered a nine month period ending on October 2nd, 2011. The Motorola spokesperson also declined to comment whether this was a one-time payment or ongoing.

The legal settlement between RIM and Motorola Mobility was announced nearly two months before Google said it planned to acquire Motorola Mobility — a subject also covered in the filing. The company noted that the merger might have a “negative impact” due to “intensifying existing litigation or increasing new legal claims from competitors and other third parties, particularly as companies vigorously pursue and protect their intellectual property rights with patent litigation.”

In other words, the company recognizes “we’re going to be a prime target in the mobile patent wars now that we’re becoming a part of Google.” In the last year, Google’s Android operating system has come under fire from multiple big name patent holders, including Apple, Oracle, and Microsoft. As a result, Google has taken numerous measures to shore up its patent arsenal.

Motorola Mobility also said that the merger might be hampered because customers and potential employees may be unsure how the acquisition will play out.

Source: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2011/10/motorola-rim-payment/

European court says stem cell technique cannot be patented

By: The Irish Times
Source: http://www.irishtimes.com

A process which involves removal of a stem cell from a human embryo at the blastocyst stage, entailing the destruction of that embryo, cannot be patented. The use of human embryos for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes which are applied to the human embryo and are useful to it is patentable, but their use for purposes of scientific research is not patentable.


Oliver Brüstle is the holder of a patent, filed on December 19th, 1997, which concerns isolated and purified neural precursor cells produced from human embryonic stem cells used to treat neurological diseases.

According to the information supplied by Mr Brüstle, clinical applications for the procedure already exist, particularly for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

On the application of Greenpeace eV, the Federal Patent Court in Germany ruled that Mr Brüstle’s patent was invalid insofar as it covered processes for obtaining precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells.

Mr Brüstle appealed and the Federal Court of Justice in Germany decided to refer questions to the European Court of Justice.

These concerned the interpretation of, in particular, the concept of “human embryo” which is not defined in directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions.

The question was whether the exclusion from patentability of the human embryo covers all stages of life from fertilisation of the ovum or whether other conditions must be met, for example that a certain stage of development be reached.


The court pointed out that it was not called upon to deal with questions of a medical or ethical nature, but must restrict itself to a legal interpretation of the relevant provisions of the directive.

The context and aim of the directive showed that the European Union legislature intended to exclude any possibility of patentability where respect for human dignity could be affected. It followed that the concept of “human embryo” must be understood in a wide sense, it said.

The court therefore considered that any human ovum must, as soon as fertilised, be regarded as a “human embryo” if that fertilisation was such as to start the process of development of a human being.

A non-fertilised human ovum into which the cell nucleus from a mature human cell has been transplanted and a non-fertilised human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis must also be classified as a “human embryo”, the court said.

In relation to the stem cells obtained from a human embryo at the blastocyst stage, which are involved in the invention introduced by Mr Brüstle’s patent, the court found that it was for the referring court to ascertain, in the light of scientific developments, whether they were capable of commencing the process of development of a human being and, therefore, were included within the concept of “human embryo”.

The court also examined whether the concept of “uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes”, which is not patentable under the directive, also covered the use of human embryos for purposes of scientific research.

The court noted that the grant of a patent for an invention implies, in principle, its industrial or commercial application.

The use of human embryos for purposes of scientific research which was the subject matter of a patent application, could not be distinguished from industrial and commercial use and therefore could not be patented.

However, this did not mean the exclusion of patents used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes applied to the human embryo itself and which were useful to it, for example to correct a malformation and improve the chances of life.

The court held that an invention was excluded from patentability where the implementation of the process required either the prior destruction of human embryos or their prior use as base material, even if, in the patent application, the description of that process did not refer to the use of human embryos.

Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1031/1224306801891.html

Can Kodak rescue itself via a patent bonanza?

By:Associated Press
Source: http://ibnlive.in.com

New York: Kodak - the company that invented the first digital camera in 1975, and developed the photo technology inside most cellphones and digital devices - is in the midst of the worst crisis in its 131-year history. Now, caught between ruin and revival, Eastman Kodak Co. is reaching ever more deeply into its intellectual treasure chest, betting that a big cash infusion from the sale of 1,100 digital-imaging inventions will see it through a transition that has raised the specter of bankruptcy.

Kodak popularised photography over a century ago. It marketed the world's first flexible roll film in 1888 and transformed picture-taking into a mass commodity with the $1 Brownie camera in 1900. But for too long the world's biggest film manufacturer stayed firmly focused on its 20th-century cash cow, and failed to capitalise quickly on its new-wave know-how in digital photography.

As a result, Kodak has been playing catch-up. Pummeled by Wall Street over its dwindling cash reserves - and its stumbling attempts to reinvent itself as a profitable player in digital imaging and printing - Kodak has been hawking the digital patents since July. Many financial analysts foresee the portfolio fetching $2 billion to $3 billion.

But others think Kodak can haul in far more than that - and carry it off within a few months. That's because patents have become highly valuable to digital device makers who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits. In July, an alliance made up of Apple and Microsoft purchased a raft of patents from Nortel Networks for $4.5 billion. A month later, Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, in part, to gain hold of the company's 17,000 patents.

"The size of the (Kodak) deal could blow your socks off," predicts Los Angeles money manager Ken Luskin, whose Intrinsic Value Asset Management owns 3.8 million Kodak shares. "It's pocket change for Google and Apple to go pay $3-or-$4-or-$5 billion for these patents," concurs Christopher Marlett, chief executive of MDB Capital, an investment bank based in Santa Monica, Calif., that specialises in intellectual property. "There is an all-out nuclear war right now for global dominance in smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, and Kodak has one of the largest cache of weapons sitting there." Marlett says he owns Kodak stock, but wouldn't disclose how much.

Even a hefty return, skeptics counter, won't solve Kodak's struggle to close out a nearly decade-long transformation and return to profitability in 2012 after running up losses in six of the last seven years. "All the extra cash does is give you a lifeline for a short period. And then, poof, you're back in the same position without the assets to sell," says analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research in Livingston, NJ. "If you're burning cash and not finding a way to generate recurring earnings, it doesn't matter."

Kodak's grim financial picture should become clearer when it reports third-quarter results Thursday. Agitated investors will likely focus on the company's latest borrowing activities and cash woes - it had $957 million in cash in June, down from $1.6 billion in January. They will also want to know what kind of progress Kodak made in the July-September period in building up a high-margin ink business to replace shriveling film sales.

Kodak has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into new lines of inkjet printers that are finally on the verge of turning a profit. Home photo printers, high-speed commercial inkjet presses, workflow software and packaging are viewed as the company's new core. Kodak projects that sales from those four businesses will double to nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2013, accounting for 25 per cent of all sales.

In the meantime, Kodak needs to tap other sources of revenue before those areas have time to pay off - and mining its inventions has become indispensable. Kodak's chief executive, Antonio Perez, has signed confidentiality agreements with potential buyers but hasn't given a time frame for a deal. The patents for capturing, storing, organizing, editing and sharing digital images do not apply to the four core businesses, Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner says.

"One thing I would stress is: It is our intention to retain a license to any of the intellectual property we sell," Meuchner says. "It's like you sell the property but still get to live in the house." A sale represents a sharp tactical shift. Kodak picked up just $27 million in patent-licensing fees in the first half of 2011 after amassing nearly $2 billion in the previous three years.

In the heated environment for patents, "it makes more sense for us to sell the portfolio than it does to license it company by company, which takes lots of time and expense and can involve litigation," Meuchner says. Michael Fitzgerald, chief executive of Next Techs Technologies, a patent buying-and-selling intermediary in Houston, says that while the portfolio is valuable, "I just don't view it necessarily as a `strategic' acquisition that multiple players will fall all over themselves on."

Investor fears sent Kodak stock tumbling to an all-time closing low of 78 cents a share on Sept. 30 after it hired Jones Day, a major restructuring law firm, as an adviser. Kodak insisted it had no intention of filing for bankruptcy protection.

Kodak is also involved in a royalty dispute with iPhone behemoth Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. The case centers on a 2001 patent now on the auction block - a method that enables a camera to preview low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at higher resolutions. The 21-month-old battle before the US International Trade Commission, a trade-dispute arbiter in Washington, D.C., was due to be revisited on Monday, but was recently shelved until December 30.

Chief Executive Antonio Perez thinks a favorable ruling could enable Kodak to draw up to $1 billion in fees from its deep-pocketed rivals. In 2009, the commission ruled that South Korean mobile phone makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics infringed the same patent, resulting in $964 million in payouts.

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/can-kodak-rescue-itself-via-a-patent-bonanza/197702-11.html

Amazon reveals its patent lawsuits are on the rise

By: News Technology
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk 

Amazon has revealed that 11 companies have filed patent lawsuits against it since the start of the year - more than three times as many as in all of 2010.

The online store made the declaration in a filing to US financial regulators.

The complaints include claims that Amazon's sales systems infringe another firm's intellectual property, and that its Kindle ebook devices use technologies owned by two others.

Amazon says it disputes the claims and intends to "vigorously defend" itself.

The US firm's filing reveals that it has been accused of infringing a total of 30 patents since January.

Of those two have been dismissed, including a claim by MasterObjects, a Dutch developer specialising in search result software.

The software firm had claimed that Amazon's drop-down search suggestions infringed one of its US patents. However, the case was thrown out in August.

One of the active lawsuits involves a company named LVL Patent Group. It claims Amazon's mobile applications and other technologies breach four of its innovations.

The Virginia based litigator also launched claims against Apple, Siemens, Hewlett-Packard and Nokia, among others, in September.
Legal activity

The lawsuits mark an upswing in legal activity.

Over the whole of 2010, Amazon's filing suggests it was sued by three claimants over a total of four patents. Amazon settled one of the cases and still disputes the others.

"It is quite common in the technology industry to have aggressive patent litigation," said Andrea Matwyshyn, assistant professor of legal studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

"In fact, the volume against Amazon pales compared to other industries such as the mobile phone sector, which is involved in a series of patent wars."

However, Amazon's legal troubles may mount following the launch of its first tablet computer.

"These lawsuits can only continue to increase, especially as Amazon makes more hardware," said Colin Gillis, senior technology analyst at BGC Partners.

"The field is clogged with lawsuits, particularly with products that run on Google's Android software, which its new Kindle Fire tablet uses."

Amazon's best defence may be to secure patents of its own. Its most recent filing involves a gift card which allows the buyer to restrict what products the recipient can choose.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15482508

Apple wins patent on key smartphone feature

By:  Kim Peterson

Other software companies have incorporated the slide-to-unlock system, potentially leaving themselves open to lawsuits.

If you have a smartphone, you've probably used the slide-to-unlock feature to make a call or check your mail. This week, Apple (AAPL +0.06%) won the patent for that feature.

Apple first applied for the patent in 2005 (you can read the patent here), long before the first iPhone was unveiled. The idea is simple: A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had a little more fun describing it in 2007: "To unlock the phone, I just take my finger and slide it across," he said in a presentation. "Wanna see that again? We wanted something you couldn't do by accident in your pocket. Just slide it across -- BOOM!"

Slide-to-unlock is an elegant, useful feature, and it's been copied by many other companies. The Android software by Google (GOOG +0.25%) uses it, as does the new Windows 8 lock screen from Microsoft (MSFT -0.99%). (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

So what will happen now that Apple owns the feature? Well, it's pretty clear that any devices using it could be sued for patent infringement. Time Magazine thinks we'll see a substantial drop in the number of devices offering it from now on.

Apple isn't saying anything about this publicly. But we might look to Jobs himself for clues about the company's legal strategy here.

In the new biography of Jobs out this week, he says he was "willing to go thermonuclear war" on Android. Google's copying of Apple's features amounted to "grand theft," he added.

He also said he would "spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank to right this wrong."

So I'm guessing Apple's lawyers are getting ready for a big fight.

Source: http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=6c178915-af3b-4c20-8102-3dec14ae06e6

Microsoft, Gigaset, Phyton, McDonald’s: Intellectual Property

By:Victoria Slind-Flor
Source: http://www.businessweek.com

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. signed a deal with Compal Electronics Inc. for tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform.

Specific details and financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed other than a mention that the company will receive royalties from Taipei-based Compal, Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft’s patent licensing business began when Marshall Phelps joined the Redmond, Washington-based software company in 2003 after spending 28 years growing patent-licensing into a billion dollar business at International Business Machines Corp. Phelps was Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing until his departure in 2010.

The company began using litigation as part of its patent- licensing strategy after Horacio Gutierrez took over management of the company’s patent portfolio in 2006.

In the Microsoft statement, Gutierrez said the licensing agreement with Compal meant that more than half the companies in involved in original design manufacturing for Chrome and Android have now taken a license to his company’s patent portfolio.

Gigaset Files Patent Infringement Suit Against AVM in Germany

Gigaset AG’s Gigaset Communications unit filed a lawsuit against FRITZ! Box manufacturer AVM Computer Vertriebs GmbH at a Dusseldorf district court on Oct. 21.

Gigaset, a maker of cordless telephones, said in a statement yesterday that several products in the AVM FRITZ! range infringe a “fundamental” Gigaset patent.

The company is seeking money damages and an injunction regarding the use of its technology. It also asked for a court order for destruction of the allegedly infringing products.

Phyton Sues Samyang in Germany Over Paclitaxel Production Patent

Phyton Ltd.’s Phyton Biotech unit filed a patent- infringement suit against Seoul’s Samyang Corp., according to a company statement.

The suit, filed in a German court, is related to a patent for plant cell fermentation using cell lines derived from the Taxus species to produce the paclitaxel compound. Taxus is the family to which yew trees belong, and paclitaxel is used to treat a variety of cancers.

Phyton claims Samyang’s method of producing paclitaxel infringed the patent. It asked the court to order Samyang to halt its alleged infringement, and requested a ban on the sale and use of Samyang’s paclitaxel in Germany.

Phyton, based in San Antonio, is a global supplier of paclitaxel and docetaxel, a related anti-cancer compound also produced from yew trees.

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-25/microsoft-gigaset-phyton-mcdonald-s-intellectual-property.html

Here's A Different Take On All These Android Patent Cases (AAPL, GOOG, MSFT)

By:Matt Rosoff

Steve Jobs considered Android "grand theft" of the iPhone, and vowed to fight it to his dying breath.

Keith Bergelt has a totally different point of view.

He believes that most of the patent litigation going on in the mobile space is more about relative newcomers in mobile phones -- mainly Apple and Microsoft -- using their cash to stall Android by raising its cost of ownership.

Bergelt heads the Open Innovation Network, a group that aims to create patent protection around open source software, including Linux and Android. The OIN was founded by IBM, Sony, and other companies involved with reselling Linux.

Before you dismiss him as an open-source zealot with a warped view of reality, take these points into account:

Traditional phone companies, including Android resellers, have patents that are necessary for mobile phones. "If you look at the patent portfolios of LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, those patent portfolios are representative of the overwhelming majority of relevant patents that enable you to offer wireless products and services. It's nice to have touch, but you can have touch on a device that can't communicate and you're not going to sell a lot of devices."

Some of those phone patents are more valuable than what Apple has: recall that Apple is paying Nokia, not the other way around. "When it comes to the cross license, at the end of the day, it's just like the cross license that Nokia struck with Apple."

Microsoft has the resources to tie up Android resellers in court for a long time, which is why some of them are settling instead of fighting. "When you have a dynamic when you are incredibly cash rich, when you can outspend people, it's about tying people up and creating issues that can slow or stall a platform. It's not about who is necessarily right or wrong, it's about the effect that you can exact by taking advantage of that dynamic."

By buying Motorola, Google changed the game completely. "I'm not sure what their ultimate goal is but clearly if you look at the mobile patent holders, they've just become one of the 5 largest patent holders in the world. They've gone from a position where they had some patents to now having a purpose built portfolio that is exactly what you want if you're going to continue to support and advance a platform....From a quantity standpoint, they may not have as many patents as Microsoft or Apple but they have qualitatively winning patents because they have more standards based patents now. The fruits of 35+ years of Motorola's birthright as one of the founding, inventing and most innovative companies in wireless technology."

Here's a transcript of our conversation:

Business Insider: What do you think of all the patent litigation going on in the mobile space, with Microsoft and Apple suing Android resellers? Are we going to end up seeing a bunch of cross patent licenses in private and then this problem goes away, or do you think we're going to continue to see these kinds of litigation events?

Keith Bergelt: I think over the near to medium term, within the next 18 months, you'll continue to see forum shopping, litigation with a goal of not a lot of cross licensing discussion or broad licensing discussion, but rather one-off licenses with a goal of increasing the total cost of ownership of the platform.

Source: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5399137754124668671#editor

Mobile Industry Patent Wars Growing

By Soo Kim
Source: http://www.thirdage.com

Mobile industry giants are increasingly entangled in a war over patent protection, BBC News reports.

The number of mobile phone patent infringement cases filed in the US court system grew from 24 in 2006, to 84 in 2010, figures collected by Lex Machina, an intellectual property litigation data provider. That number is expected to grow to 97 cases this year, which would mark a four-fold increase in just half a decade.

The rapid evolution and growth of the mobile phone industry is the underlying driving force of the rising patent wars. There are possibly over 250,000 active patents relating to a single smartphone, according to San Francisco-based patent aggregator and licensor RPX.

"The devices we used 10 years ago to make voice calls have become hand-held computers incorporating a vast array of software and hardware, which increases the breadth of patent exposure," said John Amster, chief executive of RPX.

"And this problem increases with the capabilities of these devices to do new things,” he added, BBC News reports.

Heavy-hitters such as Apple and Microsoft have been not only suing their competitors to protect their original creations, but have also been purchasing third party patents to build their mobile war weaponry.
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Source: http://www.thirdage.com/news/mobile-industry-patent-wars-growing_10-23-2011

Microsoft boasts patent licenses with over half of Android market

By:Josh Ong
Source: www.appleinsider.com

Microsoft announced on Sunday that a new patent license agreement with original design manufacturer Compal means that companies accounting for more than half of all Google Android-based devices now have agreements with the software giant.

On the heels of the Redmond, Wash., Windows maker's announcement that it had reached an agreement with Compal to receive royalties in exchange for patent coverage for the Android or Chrome platform, the company's General Counsel Brad Smith and Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez posted an official blog post touting the new statistic.

The deal marks Microsoft's tenth license agreement with an Android partner. Momentum appears to be in the company's favor, as nine of the ten licenses have come in the last four months alone. Some pundits have gone so far as to speculate that Microsoft makes more money from its patent licenses to Android than it does off of its own platform, Windows Phone 7. For instance, the company's agreement with HTC is said to bring in $5 per Android device sold by the Taiwanese handset maker.

Microsoft was also said to be seeking $15 per device from Samsung. The two companies reached a cross-licensing agreement in late September, but declined to reveal how much Samsung would pay to Microsoft in royalties.

However, Windows Phone boss Andy Lees worked to dispel the myth that Microsoft receives more revenue from Android patent licenses than Windows Phone sales during an interview last week.

"I don’t know where the, you know, one making more money than the other comes from. We certainly want to sell a lot of Windows Phone," Lees said at AllThingsD's AsiaD conference in Hong Kong.

Sunday's post included a chart entitled "Android Patent Licensing and Litigation" showing that Microsoft has reached agreements with all but a few Android ODMs and OEMs. According to the chart, the company still has pending litigation with Motorola Mobility, Inventec, Foxconn and Barnes & Noble. The graphic also depicts Apple's ongoing legal action against rivals Motorola, Samsung and HTC.

Smith and Gutierrez went on to point out that Microsoft spent roughly $4.5 billion to license patents from other companies over the past decade. Over the same period, the company reached 1,133 agreements to license its patents "to other companies that share [its] desire to respect IP rights."

The post also included a pie chart showing that 55 percent of the worldwide ODM market by revenue have Android licensing agreements with Microsoft. Meanwhile, the company claims that 53 percent of the Android smartphone market in the U.S. in terms of units are licensed.

"For those who continue to protest that the smartphone patent thicket is too difficult to navigate, it's past time to wake up," the authors concluded. "As our recent agreements clearly show, Android handset manufacturers are now doing the same thing. Ultimately, that's a good path for everyone."

Apple, on the other hand, has indicated a divergent approach to its patents from Microsoft. Court documents from a dispute between Apple and Samsung in Australia reveal that the company is only willing to license "lower level patents." The company's strategy appears to involve holding back some of its more advanced inventions as iOS exclusives in order to differentiate its products.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson in an interview that he would spend his "last dying breath" fighting to destroy Android because he believed it was a "stolen product."

"I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this," Jobs reportedly said.

Jobs also reportedly told former Google CEO Eric Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling with Android makers over patent violations.

"I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want," Isaacson quoted Jobs as having told Schmidt.

Source: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/24/microsoft_boasts_patent_licenses_with_over_half_of_android_market.html

Apple patent reveals idea for thinner MacBook Pro

By: Will Shanklin
source: http://www.geek.com

We didn’t really need any new leaks to know that Apple is working on a thinner MacBook Pro. The current design has been around since late 2008 and, despite its greater capabilities, is starting to look chunky next to the ultra-thin MacBook Air. The big question, then, was whether Apple would lose optical drives altogether and essentially merge the Air and Pro lines, or if they would simply slim down the current Pro. It’s looking more like the latter, if a patent that was filed by Apple last year is any indication.

The patent focuses on the slimming down of the laptop’s optical drive. In order to do this, Apple is attempting to reinvent much of the core structure of the drive’s casing. Currently, an optical drive requires up and down movement of a motorized hub, which puts the DVD (or other disc) into place. This is the whirring and churning you hear on first inserting a disc. If one could eliminate the need for this securing mechanism, the height of the entire optical drive could be greatly reduced.

Apple’s answer for this involves magnetism. The simplified version of the process is that, on inserting a disc, a signal is sent to activate a magnetic field around a hub and clamp. The magnetism leads the hub and clamp to clear away space for the disc, which then centers the disc in place. Once the disc is in place, another signal is sent to remove the magnetic charge. The disc is now in place, without the need for any motorized hubs moving up and down (and taking up precious real estate inside the laptop).

The result should be a MacBook Pro that loses some girth. The lack of an optical drive is the biggest advantage that the Air has had over its big brother in achieving its considerable slimness. If the Pro can get almost to Air-like proportions without losing its optical drive, it could make for an unprecedented level of power and portability in notebooks.

Of course, Apple is a company that files lots of patents, so take this with a grain of salt. For every one patent that makes it into a product there are many more that never see the light of day. Some are likely filed just to own the innovation. But I think that this one is worth highlighting because it appears to offer an ideal answer for the problem of making a laptop thinner without losing the optical drive.

Whether you’re a fan of Apple or not, I think it’s hard not to appreciate the creative thinking behind designs like this, which question the fundamental mechanics of universally accepted designs.

Source: http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/apple-patent-reveals-idea-for-thinner-macbook-pro-20111021/

Patent Armageddon

Source: http://www.smh.com.au

It seems like every week there is a launch of a new smartphone on the world stage followed closely by posturing and legal threats for some form of patent breach. More often than not, the bigger story is legal maneuverings and machinations of the manufacturers and the ever increasing desire to be successful in court rather than in the marketplace.

Apple and Samsung are the current poster children for trying their hand at legal roulette. It is probably unnecessary to go through all the drama but we have reached the point now where it seems everyone and their friend are suing each other for infringements on designs, technology and software. The nasty dial is being ratchet-ted up as the manufacturers are going for broke - rejecting conciliation and out of court deals. Strap yourself in, this wild ride is not ending soon.

Legal action is now part of a marketing strategy and the Australian legal system is being bogged down in a tit-for-tat exchange that has no signs of slowing down. The ante is being upped as the patent disputes spread from tablets to phones. Apple successfully sought an injunction on the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which is now being countered by an attempt by Samsung to return the favour on the iPhone 4S.

Throughout the world, manufacturers are testing how much they can influence market share not through competition on price, features or brand positioning but their ability to disrupt supply of devices by any means necessary.

Battle lines were drawn up in March 2010 when Apple filed against HTC. Since then other manufacturers using android OS on flagship devices have come under scrutiny including LG, Motorola and most recently Samsung. The fun doesn’t stop there though with Microsoft applying pressure with threats of their own. Google is the ultimate focus of the attack but so far very little action has been directly applied to them - I am not including Oracle’s java suit as this is tangential to the devices themselves.

No one seems to be sitting still, least of all Google, who is aggressively buying up IP through acquisitions such as Motorola Mobility and some deals with IBM. Patent stockpiling is not new but it is concentrating particularly densely around mobile technology. The pile of cards is building higher and higher.

The usual modus operandi of waiting until an infringing product becomes successful and then going for penalties and damages is evolving now into a marketing tool that helps you interfere with competitor launches.

I’m not going to go into the right and wrongs of who copied what. I have a pretty dim view on the whole thing. What I am seeing now is a sophistication in using the legal processes, the target choice, special cross licensing deals designed to create alliances and posturing in the media without showing actual proof being co-ordinated in a strategic manner. The whole thing is being turned into a game. Legal shenanigans like this rarely have any real positive impact other than giving some lawyers a +1 level of Patent Wizardry.

Regardless who wins in court, the consumer loses, the app developer loses, the retailer loses and the mobile market as a whole loses through reduced competition, reduced co-operation and  an ever encroaching aura of fear that whatever you do in the mobile space someone is out to get you.

I have a strange feeling that the smartphone makers will look back at this time with 20/20 vision and regret opening the patent can of worms.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/innovation/blogs/smoke--mirrors/patent-armageddon-20111021-1mbzb.html#ixzz1bZldTGFo

Oracle can use Google email in patent case: judge

By: Reuter

Oracle sued Google last year, alleging the Web search leader's Android mobile operating technology infringes Oracle's Java patents.

In addition to those patent claims, Oracle also leveled copyright infringement claims against Google. Oracle acquired the Java programing language through its purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2010.

Shortly before Oracle filed its lawsuit, a Google engineer drafted an email saying Google needs to negotiate a license for Java.

Google investigated alternatives to Java for Android and concluded "they all suck," the email said. Google sought to prevent Oracle from using the email in its case.

But in an order on Thursday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled that a magistrate judge got it right by finding the email was not protected by the attorney client privilege.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/20/us-oracle-google-lawsuit-idUSTRE79J8RV20111020

Twitter Secures “Tweet” Trademark

By: Ben Parr
Source: http://mashable.com

Twitter has settled a lawsuit that will give the company control over the “tweet” trademark, according to a new report.

Twitter doesn’t currently own the trademark to the term. Instead, Des Moines-based Twittad controls the trademark. Twittad, a provider of sponsored advertising on Twitter, has trademarked its tagline, “Let your ad meet tweets.” It also has trademarked various variations of the word “tweet.”

Twitter and Twittad have been in a legal struggle for years over the trademark. Twitter has argued that the term “tweet” was famous as a Twitter term before Twittad secured the trademark. The courts have thus far disagreed.

The two companies have settled their differences though, according to The Wall Street Journal. As part of the settlement, Twittad will transfer the “tweet” trademark to Twitter, though Twittad will continue to use its current trademark.

“Twitter and Twittad have arrived at a resolution recognizing a consistent use of Tweet while supporting the continued success of Twitter ecosystem partners like Twittad,” a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable.

Neither company revealed whether money exchanged hands as part of the settlement, though we’d be surprised if Twitter didn’t have to part with a good amount of cash to secure the trademark.

Source: http://mashable.com/2011/10/10/twitter-tweet-trademark/

Recent Steve Jobs patent filing for dynamic icons shows inventive spirit

By Neil Hughes

As a prolific innovator and hands-on leader, Steve Jobs's influence was felt in every aspect of Apple's products, as evidenced by a recent patent application credited to him designed to stop users from inadvertently starting an operation on a computer.

The application for "Three State Icon for Operations" was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office less than a year ago, and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is listed as one of the concept's two inventors. It stands as Jobs' most recent patent filing, and one of more than 300 inventions he leaves behind.

The proposed invention describes a dynamic context-sensitive software icon or button that would be presented to users in different fashions. By doing this, an application could help prevent a user from accidentally initiating a task on their computer.

The filing notes that users sometimes engage in activities on their computer that cannot be stopped once they are started, like formatting a disk. In another example, if a system starts burning data to a DVD-ROM or CD-ROM, the operation cannot be stopped without ruining the disc, as the data cannot be rewritten.

"Initiating an improper operation on the computer can be costly in terms of both time and money," the document reads. "Recording medium may be recordable only once such that if a mistake is made while recording, then the medium will not be reusable."

Computer applications will avoid this issue by presenting a dialog box to users, asking them to confirm that they wish to proceed. But Apple's filing and the application credited to Jobs note that this is an additional step for the user that they believe is unnecessary.

Jobs's solution, as presented in the solution, is for a dynamic icon that would present itself in three states. By default, the icon would be displayed in a "protective state," but then could be selected to activated to change it to a second state.

The initial selection of the icon will not perform any action, but will instead simply change the icon to the second state. This method gives a pause, and allows the user to verify that they want to initiate the activity, and would help to prevent accidentally starting an operation.

"When the operation is proceeding on the computer, the icon will revert to a third state to show that the function is proceeding as desired," the filing reads.

Apple represents the concept in its filing with an icon designed like a camera aperture or iris. In its initial, "safety" state, the iris is closed.

Pressing the button with a mouse click or finger tap would then open the iris to display a new icon similar to a radioactive symbol. With the aperture opened, users could then select the icon in its second state to begin the operation.

The icon could then spin to indicate that the operation was underway. If the task is burning a DVD, the button could show a DVD logo when the operation has been completed.

The proposed invention was filed with the USPTO by Apple in July of 2010, and the document was made public that November. Jobs shares credit for the invention with Timothy Wasko.

Source: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/06/recent_steve_jobs_patent_filing_for_dynamic_icons_shows_inventive_spirit.html

Microsoft Inks Another Android Patent Deal, This Time With Quanta

By:Chris Velazco
Source: http://techcrunch.com

The list of Microsoft’s patent buddies has just gotten a little longer today: the company has announced that they have entered into yet another patent protection deal, this time with Taiwan-based Quanta Computers.

Readers may recall that Microsoft’s past partnerships range from big names like Samsung and HTC, to less prominent firms like General Dynamics Itronix.

Unfortunately, the release is vague enough to ensure that we aren’t privy to any specifics. It does mention though that in exchange for the company’s patent coverage, Quanta will pay out royalties on smartphones and tablets that run on Android or Chrome OS.

That could be absolutely huge. The Quanta name may not ring many bells, but they’re the one of the largest contract PC manufacturers in the world. On top of that, they handle tablet production and manufacturing for more prevalent companies. Remember the Amazon Fire? It’s probably one of theirs.

That’s where things start to get cloudy. If Microsoft’s deal allowed them to collect royalties on any Android or Chrome-powered product sold under the Quanta name, that’s one thing. What would really count as a Redmond win is if the deal gave Microsoft a cut from any Android or Chrome-powered product they make for another company.

The licensing deals Microsoft has inked in the past don’t shine any light on the royalty structure. They signed a similar agreement with Wistron, an Acer spin-off company that also manufactures products for sale under different brand names, but the terms were never disclosed.

In any case, Microsoft is playing hardball with these licensing agreements, and they’ll likely make bank off of them. Google historically hasn’t been a fan of Microsoft’s practices, so we’ll see if the folks over in Mountain View have anything to say about this.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/13/microsoft-inks-another-android-patent-deal-this-time-with-quanta/

Gov't cameras in your car? E-toll patent hints at Big Brotherish future

By:Bob Sullivan

Imagine that you couldn't drive on major highways without agreeing to put a camera in your car -- one that could film either the occupants or the vehicle’s surroundings and transmit the images back to a central office for inspection.

You don't have to read George Orwell to conjure up such an ominous surveillance state. You just have to skim through filings at the U.S. Patent Office.

It's hard to imagine Americans would tolerate such a direct, Big-Brotherish intrusion.  But they might not notice if the all-seeing cameras were tucked inside another kind of government tracking technology that millions of Americans have already invited into their cars.

Kapsch TrafficCom AG, an Austrian company that just signed a 10-year contract to provide in-car transponders such as the E-Z Pass to 22 electronic highway toll collection systems around the U.S., recently filed a patent on technology to add multi-function mini-cameras to their toll gadgets. Today, transponders are in about 22 million cars around the U.S. Adding inward and outward facing cameras to the gadgets would create surveillance capabilities far beyond anything government agencies have tried until now.

The stated reason for an inward-pointing camera is to verify the number of occupants in the car for enforcement of HOV and HOT lanes. The outward-pointing camera could be used for the same purpose, helping authorities enforce minimum occupant rules against drivers who aren't carrying transponders.

But it's easy to imagine other uses.  The patent says the transponders would have the ability to store and transmit pictures, either at random intervals or on command from a central office. It would be tempting to use them as part of a search for a lost child, for example, and law enforcement officials might find the data treasure trove irresistible.  The gadget could also be instructed to take pictures when the acceleration of a car "exceeds a threshold," or when accidents occur, so it could be used like an airplane cockpit flight recorder.

It's important to note that a patent filing is a far cry from the invention and manufacturing of a new product.  Many patent filings are nothing more than a defensive measure taken to protect the farthest reaches of intellectual property. Officials at Kapsch declined to be interviewed for this story, but in a statement said that citizens shouldn't read too much into the filing.

“This patent filing is part of the standard intellectual property protection process followed by every company that invests in research and development," said Erwin Toplak, chief operating officer of Kapsch, in an e-mail. "Kapsch, for example, files approximately 20 patent applications a year. This process protects our unique ideas; it does not signify that a commercial product is in development or even contemplated .”

Source: http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/13/8308841-govt-cameras-in-your-car-e-toll-patent-hints-at-big-brotherish-future

Buccellati Sues Buccellati in Trademark Suit

By:WWD Issue 10/19/2011

BUCCELLATI SUES BUCCELLATI: Upscale jeweler and watchmaker Buccellati Holding Italia SpA slapped handbag designer Laura Buccellati, the grandniece of company founder Mario Buccellati, with a trademark infringement lawsuit on Friday.

Filed in New York federal court, the lawsuit claims the bag designer used her own trademarked name to falsely imply her company’s association with her family’s business. Calling Laura Buccellati’s trademarks “imitations” of the Buccellati marks, the complaint said that the marks are being used on handbags, carryalls, purses, wallets, belts and scarves, and being sold by the designer.

The plaintiffs cite an excerpt from laurabuccellati.com, in which the defendant writes that her “collection of fine leather accessories follows in the footsteps of her family’s tradition of excellence and impeccable craftsmanship.”

“We have been informed that certain documents have been filed in a New York court concerning our company Laura Buccellati LLC,” Laura Buccellati told WWD. “We have not yet had the opportunity to review the documents and therefore have no comment at this time.”

According to the lawsuit, this isn’t the first time Laura Buccellati tried to “capitalize on the popularity” of her last name.

After she sold her entire interest in the Buccellati companies in 1989, the designer, along with Lilian Azel, co-founder of Laura Buccellati, “attempted to register trademarks comprising of/containing the name Laura Buccellati, both in the United States and internationally,” the suit said. Registration for the U.S. marks was denied, and the designer commenced an opposition proceeding against Buccellati that is currently pending before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Claiming trademark dilution, false designation of origin, unfair competition and unfair deceptive trade practices, the plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief, damages, attorney’s fees and investigatory costs.

Source: http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/buccellati-sues-buccellati-5311179

Samsung Seeks Injunction to Block Sales of iPhone 4S in France, Italy Patent infringement battle heats up; Apple seeking a "free ride?"

By:Truman Lewis
Source: http://www.consumeraffairs.com

The wraps are barely off Apple's new iPhone 4S and already it's the target of litigation.  Samsung is seeking an injunction blocking the sale of the new iPhone in France and Italy as a trademark-infringement war between the once-friendly companies escalates.

The companies been in an acrimonious battle over the design and patents within the Samsung Tablet devices, each accusing the other of various offenses.

Samsung now says Apple's violations are so severe that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales and warns that its injunction requests may spread to other nations.

"Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation." Samsung said in a statement.

Source: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2011/10/samsung-seeks-injunction-to-block-sales-of-iphone-4s-in-france-italy.html

Urban Outfitters Line May Be Illegal, Or Just Trendy

Author: Brent Randall

Urban Outfitters' attempts to be trendy and edgy may have backfired. The clothing store has released a brand of “Navajo” clothing and accessories which the actual Navajo Nation is not too happy about for a couple reasons.

For starters, the Navajo government has at least 10 trademarks over the use of the word “Navajo”, particularly in connection to clothing, footwear and online retail. The Navajo Nation’s lawyers sent Urban Outfitters cease-and-desist letters this summer asking them to remove the name from their stuff. But Urban Outfitters never responded, and the stuff is still in their stores.

In addition to the trademark claims, legal commentators, like those here on Reuters, say that Urban Outfitters should be prevented from selling the goods due to a law barring the use of a name of a tribe in connection with something that is not actually made by that tribe.

Another reason why the Navajo Nation is upset, which runs a bit deeper, is that the stuff their tribe’s name is connected to includes underwear, which goes against the tribe’s spiritual beliefs, and flasks, which has been seen as insensitive due to the prevalence of alcohol abuse among Native Americans.

For its part, Urban Outfitters has claimed that it is just taking advantage of the “Native American-inspired trend.” Other products offered in the line include feather necklaces, t-shirts and scarves. The items in the line have designs that are often associated with Navajo crafts.

It seems that Urban Outfitters’ line is in poor taste from both legal and moral standpoints. It sounds like the Navajo Nation has the trademarks properly registered to oppose the use by Urban Outfitters. Either the store made a poor business decision, their lawyer didn’t do enough research, or nobody really thought about the implications of the line. But perhaps worse is the apparent offence the store has made against the Navajo culture. When patterns are associated with entire groups of people, clothing companies should be sensitive when using them. Plus, who would want their name associated with hipster flasks and panties anyway?

Source: http://www.cinemablend.com/pop/Urban-Outfitters-Line-May-Illegal-Or-Just-Trendy-36138.html

Facebook files trademark for identity cards

By:Patrick Stafford

Facebook has filed for a trademark for using its own name on business cards and something it refers to as “non-magnetically encoded” identification cards.

According to the filing, which was submitted earlier this year, it would also cover “business card and identity card design services”, along with “facilitating social and business networking through the provision of data for use on business and identity cards”.

TechCrunch has reported that some sources close to the company don’t have any idea about the project.

However, the trademark is not final. Several technology companies experiment with ideas and never fulfil them – it remains to be seen whether the business would follow through with such a plan for physical identity cards.

Source: http://www.smartcompany.com.au/information-technology/20111018-facebook-files-trademark-for-identity-cards.html

Apple must show patents valid in Samsung case: judge

By: Dan Levin
Source: http://www.reuters.com

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge said that Samsung Electronic's Galaxy tablets infringe Apple Inc's iPad patents, but added that Apple has a problem establishing the validity of its patents in the latest courtroom face-off between the technology giants.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made the comments in a court hearing on Thursday, but has yet to rule on Apple's request to bar some Galaxy products from being sold in the United States.

Apple and Samsung are engaged in a bruising legal battle that includes more than 20 cases in 10 countries as the two jostle for the top spot in the smartphone and tablet markets.

Earlier on Thursday, an Australian court slapped a temporary ban on the sale of Samsung's latest computer tablet in that country.

Apple sued Samsung in the United States in April, saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad.

Apple then filed a request in July to bar some Samsung products from U.S. sale, including the Galaxy S 4G smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Mobile providers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA have opposed Apple's request, arguing that a ban on Galaxy products would cut into holiday sales.

Apple must show both that Samsung infringed its patents and that its patents are valid under the law.

Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan argued that in order to defeat an injunction bid, Samsung need only show that it has raised strong enough questions about the validity of Apple's patents.

"We think we've clearly raised substantial questions," Sullivan said at the hearing on Thursday in a San Jose, California federal court.

Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Apple's product design is far superior to previous tablets, so Apple's patents should not be invalidated by designs that came before.

"It was the design that made the difference," McElhinny said.

Koh frequently remarked on the similarity between each company's tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which.

"Not at this distance your honor," said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

"Can any of Samsung's lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?" Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.

Additionally, at the hearing Koh said she would deny Apple's request for an injunction based on one of Apple's so-called "utility" patents.

She did not say whether she would grant the injunction based on three other Apple "design" patents.

Koh characterized her thoughts on the utility patent as "tentative" but said she would issue a formal order "fairly promptly."

"It took a long time to make that distinction," Koh said.

After the hearing, Samsung spokesman Kim Titus said Apple's injunction request is "groundless."

Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet said, "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad ... This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/us-apple-samsung-lawsuit-idUSTRE79C79C20111014

Samsung sues to block iPhone 4S in Australia

By:Asher Moses

Samsung is suing Apple to stop sales of the iPhone 4S in Australia, just days after the device went on sale around the world.

Both companies are now shelling out millions in legal fees to fight more than 20 patent infringement cases in 10 countries. Samsung recently vowed to shift its strategy from "passive" to being "more aggressive" in targeting Apple for "free riding" on its patents.

Samsung filed a suit seeking a ban on sales of the iPhone 4S in the Federal Court's New South Wales Registry today, and separately lodged an appeal against last week's decision by the court to temporarily ban sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.

Suits against the iPhone 4S had already been launched in Italy and France but today Samsung filed preliminary injunction motions in Tokyo and Australia. A similar case in the Netherlands was dismissed on Friday.

Apple Australia declined to comment.

It is unclear why Samsung did not file its suit before the device went on sale. Telstra alone has sold tens of thousands of iPhone 4 units in the opening three days - "our highest-selling iPhone launch to date" - according to Telstra's director of mobile, Andrew Volard.

Senior patent lawyer Mark Summerfield, from Watermark in Melbourne, said he believed the delay in filing the suit would make it much harder for Samsung to make a case for pulling the iPhone 4S from shelves. He said Samsung may have been waiting for the Federal Court to hand down its preliminary injunction decision for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which occurred last Thursday.

"I don't think the chances are very high that it will actually be pulled off the shelves," Summerfield said, adding he believed any resolution would most likely be around the payment of royalties.

Independent intellectual property expert Florian Mueller said he did not believe Samsung would be successful in its bid to block the iPhone 4S as the patents it was relying on were "essential to the 3G telecommunications standard".

Samsung recently surpassed Apple in global smartphone sales for the third quarter.

"Samsung's preliminary injunction request in Australia cites three patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications standards, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and HSPA," Samsung said in a statement.

"The injunction request in Japan cites infringements on one High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) standard-related patent and three user interface patents, which seriously violate Samsung's intellectual property.

"In light of these violations, Samsung believes the sale of such Apple devices should be injuncted. Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free ride on our technology. We will steadfastly protect our intellectual property."

Earlier today it was revealed that despite the injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1, many Australians were still ordering the device from online stores.

Samsung has suffered setbacks in court in recent days. In addition to the temporary ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Australia, in the US a judge said Samsung infringed Apple's iPad patents while in the Netherlands a court dismissed Samsung's request to block sales of the iPhone and iPad in that country.

Peter Black, an intellectual property law lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, said it was important to note the difference between an interim injunction and a final injunction. Last week's ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia was an interim injunction until the court can make a final decision on the patent infringement case, which is due next year.

"It is easier to obtain an interim injunction than a final injunction," he said. This was because an interim injunction only required that a court be satisfied that the applicant has a prima facie case, meaning that it is more probable than not that it will succeed at trial.

He questioned whether the patent system in Australia was actually promoting innovation in software and mobile technologies, or whether the patent system and these endless lawsuits were "in fact stifling competition and innovation, with the customer being the ultimate loser".

In seeking to block the sale of the iPhone 4S in Australia, Samsung is relying on the following patents:
Method and apparatus for transmitting/receiving packet data using pre-defined length indicator in a mobile communication system (WCDMA)
Method and apparatus for data transmission in a mobile telecommunication system supporting enhanced uplink service (HSPA)
Method and apparatus for transmitting and receiving data with high reliability in a mobile communication system supporting packet data transmission (HSPA)
Source: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/samsung-sues-to-block-iphone-4s-in-australia-20111017-1lszh.html#ixzz1b1On1HQI

UPDATE 5-Apple must show patents valid in Samsung case-US judge

By Dan Levine
Source : http://www.reuters.com

Apple seeks U.S. bar on some Samsung Galaxy products

* Hearing in California follows earlier Australia order

* Samsung tablets infringe Apple patents-judge

* Apple has a problem establishing patent validity-judge

* Apple must show both patent infringement and validity

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct 13 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge said that Samsung Electronic's Galaxy tablets infringe Apple Inc's iPad patents, but added that Apple has a problem establishing the validity of its patents in the latest courtroom face-off between the technology giants.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made the comments in a court hearing on Thursday, but has yet to rule on Apple's request to bar some Galaxy products from being sold in the United States.

Apple and Samsung are engaged in a bruising legal battle that includes more than 20 cases in 10 countries as the two jostle for the top spot in the smartphone and tablet markets.

Earlier on Thursday, an Australian court slapped a temporary ban on the sale of Samsung's latest computer tablet in that country.

Apple sued Samsung in the United States in April, saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad.

Apple then filed a request in July to bar some Samsung products from U.S. sale, including the Galaxy S 4G smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Mobile providers Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA have opposed Apple's request, arguing that a ban on Galaxy products would cut into holiday sales.

Apple must show both that Samsung infringed its patents and that its patents are valid under the law.

Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan argued that in order to defeat an injunction bid, Samsung need only show that it has raised strong enough questions about the validity of Apple's patents.

"We think we've clearly raised substantial questions," Sullivan said at the hearing on Thursday in a San Jose, California federal court.

Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Apple's product design is far superior to previous tablets, so Apple's patents should not be invalidated by designs that came before.

"It was the design that made the difference," McElhinny said.

Koh frequently remarked on the similarity between each company's tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which.

"Not at this distance your honor," said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

"Can any of Samsung's lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?" Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.

Additionally, at the hearing Koh said she would deny Apple's request for an injunction based on one of Apple's so-called "utility" patents.

She did not say whether she would grant the injunction based on three other Apple "design" patents.

Koh characterized her thoughts on the utility patent as "tentative" but said she would issue a formal order "fairly promptly."

"It took a long time to make that distinction," Koh said.

After the hearing, Samsung spokesman Kim Titus said Apple's injunction request is "groundless."

Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet said, "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad ... This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/apple-samsung-lawsuit-idUSN1E79C24K20111014

Samsung, Apple patent war enters new chapter

By:Cho Ji-hyun
Source: http://www.koreaherald.com

While the debate surrounding the global patent war staged by Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. is garnering wide attention, industry watchers say Samsung is likely to have a good opportunity for a turnaround even after its three defeats against the software giant.

“Apple currently looks to be in the lead, but it’s much more difficult to provide a forecast on how the situation will end up,” said Kim Seung-yul, team manager of the N-Screen team at Daum Communications.

He also said that the three nations -- the Netherlands, Germany and Australia -- where its courts handed the victory to Apple have traditionally given favorable rulings to the firm which has the patent.

“The reason a turnaround is possible is that it will take time to examine Samsung’s technology-related patents, while the patents or trade dress issues raised by Apple are easier to check,” Kim said.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Choi Gee-sung also said the Samsung vs. Apple patent supremacy is a long-term battle in a meeting with reporters late Friday.

“We still respect (Apple) as our primary customer, but we can’t just shut our eyes while they take away our profits,” he said as he arrived at Gimpo Airport to greet its chairman Lee Kun-hee returning from an overseas business trip.

“We will make active efforts to go forward with a counteraction plan on our rival infringing Samsung’s rights.”

On Friday, a Dutch court rejected a bid by Samsung Electronics to ban sales of Apple’s 3G mobile phones and tablet PCs.

The judges in District Court of The Hague said in its decision posted online that the 3G technology, claimed by Samsung, has been accepted as an industry standard and Samsung is obliged to offer licenses to Apple under the “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) terms.

Samsung had argued that it rival infringed its 3G mobile communications technology-related patents.

An Australian court also slapped a temporary ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier on Thursday. Samsung Electronics said it would immediately proceed with legal options following the interim order against its newest tablet PC.

However, the following day, the court turned down Apple’s bid to have Samsung give it an advanced warning of any new product launches in Australia until its infringement case against the Seoul-based firm goes to a full hearing.

With the patent war spreading across nine countries -- totaling up to 21 cases -- another court showdown, which focused on Samsung’s wireless technology patents, took place in Seoul on Friday.

During the three-hour heated hearing between the two rivals at Seoul Central District Court, Samsung’s lawyers argued that Apple had violated its “patent 234,” while Apple’s lawyers debated that the technology was nothing new to the industry.

Apple also said its mobile chips use a different algorithm from Samsung’s patent 234.

Judge Kang Young-soo asked the U.S. software giant to submit the details of the mobile chip algorithm to prove its case and to disclose specific manufacturers and sellers of its mobile chips within two weeks.

The next hearing in Seoul is scheduled for Dec. 9.

“Samsung Electronics and Apple are declaring to go face-to-face on the issue. But both sides will inevitably incur great losses if they fail to reach an agreement because they are important business partners to each other,” said Kim. “Since the two firms have patents that are complementary, most outlooks say an agreement will be reached where the two sides will be both able to use their patents.”

Nam Tae-hyun, an analyst at IBK Securities, also said it was still too early to attach too much meaning to the Australian court’s decision, adding that there was still room for the two sides to reach a sudden agreement, such as a cross-license.

Source : http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20111016000110

Rexahn secures US patent for anti-cancer drug

By:PBR Staff Writer
Source: http://regulatoryaffairs.pharmaceutical-business-review.com

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals has received US patent from United States Patent & Trademark Office for arylisoquinolinamine derivatives which are anti-cancer in nature.

The patent specifically covers the company's RX-8243 which is currently in pre-clinical development.

According to the company, RX-8243 has demonstrated potent anti-tumor properties in many cancer cell lines, besides paclitaxel-resistant human colorectal xenograft models.

The drug candidate also showed cytotoxic effect when combined with other cancer drugs against human cancer cells.

Rexahn president Rick Soni said the US patent marks an important step in the development of RX-8243.

Source: http://regulatoryaffairs.pharmaceutical-business-review.com/news/rexahn-secures-us-patent-for-anti-cancer-drug-131011

Patent Chaser MacroSolve Has A Trump Card: A Deal With Donald Trump

By: Ingrid Lunden
Source: http://paidcontent.co.uk

Here’s news of a deal that shows not all the smaller companies chasing down big companies and small developers over patent infringement allegations are trolls. MacroSolve—which in September filed a case against AT&T (NYSE: T), Citigroup, Dell, Salesforce.com, Groupon and Living Social and others—has today announced a deal with the Trump Organization to develop apps for the businesses in its portfolio.
The announcement comes at the same time that the dispute between Lodsys and app publishers for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices over in-app transactions could see some developments, with the news that Apple has filed a patent application of its own for in-app payments.

The MacroSolve/Trump deal will see MacroSolve developing mobile apps for a range of businesses in the Trump portfolio. Details of which were not spelled out, but they could potentially include hotels, real estate, and golf courses, and a number of other odds and ends, such as the ice skating rings in New York City, which are managed by the Trump Organization. The deal appears to have been brokered directly by Donald Trump, Jr., EVP for development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization.

The Trump deal sees MacroSolve going to back to its wheelhouse, so to speak: the company says in its release that it already has a track record in developing apps for the hospitality industry.

It looks like this deal is entirely unconnected to the other recent news we have seen concerning MacroSolve and its litigating activities. In September, it announced that it had filed a case against seven large companies, including AT&T, Dell, Groupon and Living Social over how apps are created, distributed and then used to collect information about users.

The case, filed in the same court in the Eastern District of Texas as the Lodsys suit, followed another case earlier in the year, when MacroSolve also targeted developers over the same patents. The company says it intends to target 250 further companies over the same patent in future.

Although companies like Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) have enabled a huge ecosystem for apps that collectively have seen hundreds of millions of downloads every month, most developers (perhaps not Rovio, but the millions of Rovio-wannabes) will see only a small dividend paid out on their work.

Therefore, it’s no surprise, really, to see an app development company look to its own intellectual property to try to maximize that.

The company clearly has high ambitions for where it could go with its legal cases and looks like it is gearing up to target the big storefront operators soon, too: “MacroSolve’s patent covers every existing mobile app that sends data from the app user back to the makers or administrators of the app,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “The patent puts the company in a solid position to talk with companies such as Apple Inc., Google, RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) and Getjar… in the near future for licensing the patent.”

Source: http://paidcontent.co.uk/article/419-patent-chaser-macrosolve-has-a-trump-card-a-deal-with-donald-trump/

eTAGZ Patent Enforcement Success Continues

By: Press Release (Market Watch)
Source: www.marketwatch.com

Hunting Company Comes Into Compliance in Out-of-Court Settlement !
SALT LAKE CITY, Oct 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In another victory during its series of litigation cases this year, eTAGZ, Inc. has recently arrived at settlement terms with a national hunting manufacturer (to remain unnamed according to settlement stipulations). The manufacturer infringed on eTAGZ's patents by attaching digital media to products for the purposes of sales and promotion. This settlement is the latest in a string of victories for eTAGZ as it fights to enforce the rights that the patent grants the company.

"eTAGZ has settled with several such companies in the hunting industry without having to resort to protracted litigation," said Joe Pia of PADRM, lead patent litigation counsel for the company. "I believe this reflects both an acknowledgement of the patents' strength and the realization that partnering as a licensee of eTAGZ's technology is more productive than litigating over infringement."

"Many other respected businesses in the hunting industry, including Woods Wise Products and Mountain Mike's Reproductions, have settled with us too," said eTAGZ CEO Isaac Jacobson. "They recognize the validity of our eTAGZ patents. Many have even compensated us for past infringements, granting eTAGZ exclusive rights to manufacturing and agreed-upon licensing rates moving forward."

While the details of this settlement remain confidential, Sean Reyes, General Counsel for eTAGZ and a candidate for Utah Attorney General in 2012, is confident about the future of the company and any possible future litigation.

"We are very pleased with the settlement," he said. "It reinforces the strength of our patents and their importance to the way numerous companies conduct business every day."

eTAGZ, Inc. owns the patents to place advertising or other content on digital media attached to merchandise in the form of CDs, DVDs, flash drives, etc. eTAGZ engineers marketing strategies for major manufacturers, retailers and multimedia outlets, combining entertaining and educational content designed to engage consumers with products. This strategy results in added value, increased sales and enhanced loyalty for the brands involved. For more information, please visit www.etagz.com .

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/etagz-patent-enforcement-success-continues-2011-10-12

ADAPTIX Touts New 4G Wireless Patents in US and Korea

By: Press Release (Market Watch)
Source: www.marketwatch.com

Company broadens portfolio with innovations in 4G handoffs and power control

CARROLLTON, Texas, Oct 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ADAPTIX Inc., a pioneer in the development of fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology, announced today that it has been awarded two new patents in the U.S. and one in the Republic of Korea. Detailing important aspects of 4G wireless systems, the newly minted patents cover innovations in subscriber handoffs between base stations, as well as advanced subscriber device power control.

Issued yesterday, U.S. Patent 8,036,173, entitled "System and Method for Managing Wireless Base Station Handoff Information," describes methods for performing intelligent handoff of subscribers between base stations. As wireless cell sizes continue to shrink due to the deployment of smaller base stations, handoffs will occur with even greater frequency. Providing fast and efficient handoffs will be key in building a reliable 4G communications network.

Also issued yesterday, U.S. Patent 8,036,199, entitled "OFDMA With Adaptive Subcarrier Cluster Configuration and Selective Loading," further boosts the ADAPTIX portfolio by describing methods for subscriber device detection of base stations. Such methods can be employed for a number of uses including facilitating inter-base station handoffs for continuity of mobile communications.

Korean Patent 10-1062630 was also recently granted to ADAPTIX and is entitled "Method and Apparatus for Adaptive Carrier Allocation and Power Control in Multi-Carrier Communications Systems." This patent describes techniques for employing closed-loop power control for OFDMA-based subscriber devices such as smartphones and tablets. Power control, a necessary element of 4G communications, provides for more robust wireless transmissions by reducing interference and improving mobile device battery life.

"These new patents provide important innovations that make 4G wireless communications fully deployable in our increasingly fully-connected, mobile world," said Byron Young, vice president of marketing and technology at ADAPTIX. "Additionally, they serve to further diversify our company's coverage of next-generation cellular technologies, broadening ADAPTIX's expansive technology portfolio."


ADAPTIX, Inc. is an award-winning technology company long recognized in the industry as one of the first developers of cutting edge OFDMA-based mobile wireless systems. With patents filed as early as 2000, ADAPTIX research and development efforts have resulted in one of the world's largest independent intellectual property portfolios focused exclusively on 4G technologies. With its rapidly growing portfolio of 230 issued and pending patents in 13 countries, ADAPTIX's innovations extend across a broad range of applications including 4G mobile cellular networks, 3G/4G interworking, Voice over 4G and multi-antenna technologies.

ADAPTIX is headquartered in Carrollton, Texas, and is a Baker Capital portfolio company. For more information, please visit www.ADAPTIX.com .

About Baker Capital

Baker Capital, founded in 1995, is a New York-based private equity firm with $1.5 billion under management. Baker Capital invests globally in digital communications, media and technology companies at all stages of development. The partners of Baker Capital have extensive private equity and operational experience allowing the firm to provide its portfolio companies with not only capital, but also global strategic thinking and relationships.

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/adaptix-touts-new-4g-wireless-patents-in-us-and-korea-2011-10-12                        


Australian court bans sales of Samsung tablet

Source: http://news.smh.com.au

An Australian court has temporarily banned Samsung from selling its new Galaxy tablet computer in the country, another setback for the South Korean electronics giant in a global patent battle with Apple Inc. that accuses it of slavishly copying the iPad and iPhone.

Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett on Thursday granted a temporary injunction against sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. The decision prevents Samsung Electronics Co. from selling the device in Australia in its current form until a further court order, or until a pending patent lawsuit between the warring technology giants is resolved.

The patent battle spanning 10 countries has underlined the perception of Samsung as an efficient imitator among technology companies rather than a pace setter. Over the years, the company has grown to become the global No. 1 in TVs and No. 2 in smartphones by sales. But unlike archrival Apple Inc., it has not mesmerized consumers with its originality and innovation.

In April, Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. sued Samsung in the United States, alleging the product design, user interface and packaging of Samsung's Galaxy devices "slavishly copy" the iPhone and iPad.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. fought back with lawsuits of its own, accusing Apple of patent infringement of its wireless telecommunications technology.

Apple filed the Australian lawsuit in July, accusing Samsung of copying its touch screen technology. In her ruling Thursday, Bennett said she was granting the temporary injunction in part because she felt Apple had a sufficient likelihood of winning the trial against Samsung.

The judge's full orders will not be published until Friday. It was not immediately clear whether Samsung could _ or would _ attempt to sell a variation of the device that removed the features Apple objected to in the Australian lawsuit.

"We are disappointed with this ruling and Samsung will be seeking legal advice on its options," Samsung said in a statement. "Samsung will continue its legal proceeding against Apple's claim in order to ensure our innovative products remain available to consumers."

Samsung, which filed its Australian countersuit in September, said it remained confident it could prove Apple violated its wireless technology patents.

"We will continue to legally assert our intellectual property rights against those who violate Samsung's patents and free ride on our technology," the company said in a statement.

An attorney for Apple declined to comment after the hearing.

Source: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-technology/australian-court-bans-sales-of-samsung-tablet-20111013-1lmd0.html

Intellectual Ventures Sues Motorola over Alleged Patent Infringement

By: Ed Silverstein
Source: http://legal.tmcnet.com

Intellectual Ventures is suing Motorola Mobility alleging its technology infringes on six patents with its Android (News - Alert)-based smartphone, according to news reports.

The BBC said that company negotiations with Motorola (News - Alert) broke down over licensing, which led to the legal action.

In a new statement, Intellectual Ventures says it “will not tolerate ongoing infringement of our patents to the detriment of our current customers and our business,” the BBC adds.

Google is a part investor in Intellectual Ventures (News - Alert). Other investors include Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Nokia, Apple, SAP, NVIDIA and eBay, the BBC said. Customers are HTC and Samsung.

The company has over 35,000 patents. Most came when the company bought intellectual property from other firms and from inventors, according to the BBC.

For example, TMCnet reported earlier this year that BlueCat Networks (News - Alert) has acquired patents from Intellectual Ventures “to protect its core business and has become a customer in IV's IP for Defense program. Under the program, BlueCat Networks can acquire additional patents from IV's portfolio of more than 35,000 intellectual property assets. The deal marks the latest in a series of new customers for IV across multiple industries, ranging from emerging companies to established global technology giants.”

In fact, Intellectual Ventures is ranked as of the top five holders of patents in the United States as of 2011, the BBC said.

“Intellectual Ventures has successfully signed licensing agreements with many of the top handset manufacturers in the world, and has been in discussions with Motorola Mobility for some time,” said Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel, Intellectual Ventures, in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach agreement on a license. We have a responsibility to our current customers and our investors to defend our intellectual property rights against companies such as Motorola Mobility who use them without a license. Our goal continues to be to provide companies with access to our portfolio through licensing and sales, but we will not tolerate ongoing infringement of our patents to the detriment of our current customers and our business.”

The patents at issue are those that relate to "file transfers, remote data management and updates on mobile devices," the BBC explains.

Source: http://legal.tmcnet.com/topics/legal/articles/227866-intellectual-ventures-sues-motorola-over-alleged-patent-infringement.htm

Nexus Prime smartphone, Android 4.0 delayed over patent dispute?

By Matt Hamblen
Source: http://www.computerworld.com

A Russian blogger has asserted that the Samsung Nexus Prime smartphone and Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, are "under question" over patent disputes with no timeline for an outcome.

Both the phone and software were expected to be unveiled at an industry press event today, although Google and Samsung said they delayed the event in tribute to the passing last week of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The comment, posted on Twitter by blogger Eldar Murtazin early Tuesday, reads: "Nexus Prime and Android 4.0 are under question. Google removing some features which are subject of patent war. No timeline for this job."

Murtazin has been described by GBR.com as a "plugged-in Russian blogger [who] has a solid track record with inside information." He is also the editor-in-chief of MobileReview.com, a digest of cell phones that can be ordered from the site.

Murtazin posted his tweet to explain why the Tuesday event at the CTIA conference was delayed by Google and Samsung. Both were expected to show Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Nexus Prime, which has been widely expected to ship in late October or November on Verizon Wireless.

Google said last week and again on Monday that the delay was made because it was "not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs' passing."

A Google official who asked not be named also said on Monday that the delay was not due to any technical problems with Ice Cream Sandwich or the Nexus Prime.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for reaction to the Murtazin tweet. Neither did Murtazin respond to a request asking how he knew Google is removing features from Nexus Prime or Android 4.0.

Samsung and other Androidmanufacturers are fighting patent battles with Apple in courts in many countries, making a delay over patent issues plausible.

Florian Mueller, a German-based patent issues blogger who writes Fosspatents.com, said he saw Murtazin's tweet on Tuesday and noted that he has been "spot-on with some things he's said, but not always."

Mueller added: "I think there's a 50% probability that this assumption is accurate. Given the acrimonious fight that is going on between Apple and Samsung, it's possible that Google and Samsung are particularly careful to steer clear of infringing Apple's patents to the greatest extent possible. Google has previously removed functionality from the Android codebase to work around patents held by Apple, such as in connection with list scrolling.

Source : http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220725/Nexus_Prime_smartphone_Android_4.0_delayed_over_patent_dispute_?taxonomyId=15

Breakingviews: Patent litigation becoming a vicious circle

By: Thomson Reuters
Source: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com

NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Patentlitigation has become a vicious circle. Motorola Mobility, which Google is buying, is being targeted by Intellectual Ventures, a patent-holding firm backed by the very same Internet search giant. For investors that acquire the rights to inventions primarily to sue for financial gain, such cannibalism is a bad sign.

By one account, trolling hasn't been so lucrative anyway. A recent Boston University study of 14 publicly listed trolls found they barely broke even from 2000 to 2010, based on cumulative net income. With licensing fees lagging, the firms have sought revenue from infringement suits. But litigation wins became scarce after 2006, when the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder to block infringers from using patents.

Now, the industry's worst element has afflicted its biggest member. Created to finance inventors and inventions through licensing fees on some 35,000 patents, Intellectual Ventures for years staunchly opposed litigation. In the last year, it has filed four infringement lawsuits against Symantec, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others. And last week, it sued Motorola.

It might have been just one more in the litany of patent lawsuits if it weren't for the fact Google, which bankrolled one of Intellectual Ventures' first funds, agreed to buy Motorola for $12.5 billion earlier this year.

Intellectual Ventures says it has earned more than $2 billion in licensing fees, but its recent wave of litigation suggests investors are pressing for more. The claims against Motorola seem a stretch. Two of the patents are almost 20 years old, overbroad and possibly invalid, legal experts say. The suit appears designed to put the squeeze on Motorola more than to vindicate Intellectual Ventures' rights.

That's the troubling tactic behind most troll litigation. In this case, it also undermines Intellectual Ventures' stated goal of encouraging invention. The high cost of lawsuits can discourage tech firms in particular from creating new products that might elicit claims of infringing overbroad patents. Statistics show the biggest R&D spenders attract the most lawsuits.

Some patent suits have merit and profit pressures are real. But Intellectual Ventures and others of its ilk tout successful licensing businesses and partnerships with inventors. Sticking to that nobler pursuit probably would be better for all concerned.

Source: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/California/News/2011/10_-_October/Breakingviews__Patent_litigation_becoming_a_vicious_circle/

Aigo wins damages in Toshiba patent case

By: Kathrin Hille
Source: www.ft.com

A Chinese court has ordered Toshiba to stop selling some of its notebook computers in China and pay Rmb200,000 ($31,000) in damages to Aigo for infringement of the Chinese electronics company’s patents on storage port technology.

Although Toshiba can appeal the ruling of the Xi’an People’s Court, the decision is a reminder of the growing intellectual property litigation challenges that multinationals face in China.

Historically, foreign companies used to go after Chinese rivals for alleged infringement of their intellectual property rights. But over the past few years, the number of patents filed by Chinese companies has soared and the number of intellectual property rights cases brought by Chinese firms against foreign plaintiffs are on the rise.

A 2009 settlement under which France’s Schneider Electric agreed to pay a Chinese rival $23m is being remembered as a milestone in this process. Many Chinese companies have started to recognise the value of IPR.

Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology, better known by its brand name Aigo, has long been selling a broad range of consumer electronics products including digital music and video players, cameras, tablet computers and storage devices. But the company only kick-started its IP strategy in 2005 and collected its first royalty payment in 2009.

“Apart from creating intellectual property rights, we need to learn how to use it,” said Huang Jin, Aigo’s head of IP. Ren Jianqing, Aigo’s head of standards, said: “Chinese standards are only very rarely recognised. With our economic model focused on labour-intensive manufacturing, we have not earned the respect we should get.”

The company started IPR litigation against multinationals in April 2010. Apart from suing Toshiba in Xi’an, it also sued Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest PC vendor by sales, in a Beijing court.

Aigo accused the two foreign companies of violating patents it owns for USB Plus, a storage port technology used in many laptop computers.

In its complaint against HP, Aigo asked for damages of Rmb1m. HP has refuted Aigo’s claims of patent infringement.

But that case faces procedural delays as a co-defendant, a retailer from which Aigo purchased HP laptops, has not responded to summons to appear in court.

Aigo said laptops sold by other global brands also use its technology. It added that it had approached some of these companies about potential royalty payments but did not intend to sue every one of them.

“We expect the lawsuits against Toshiba and HP to have a much broader impact beyond the models referred to in the court cases,” said Mr Huang. “They cover patents for very basic technology widely used in almost every laptop. Therefore other PC makers are going to look to the rulings in these cases.”

Toshiba China declined to comment on the ruling.

Source : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/0c2b575a-f32d-11e0-8383-00144feab49a.html#axzz1aT0n3vjx