Patent law

Nod to IP Law History: Elisha Gray and the Long Duel for Telephone Patents

March 7th 2010

Some of you may know I enjoy writing about Boston history and architecture on my other blog www.iboston.org. Today is one of the few occasions where both blogs’ topics intersect. On this day back in 1876, Elisha Gray, an inventor from Ohio, filed notice that he had invented the telephone. Unknown to him, Boston’s Alexander [...]

Judge Orders Microsoft to Stop Selling Word in US.

August 12th 2009

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis has issued a permanent injunction that “prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML.” View details. In May, a federal jury in Tyler, Texas, ruled that the [...]

Patent Failure: How The Patent System Fails Innovators

September 8th 2008

There are lots of signs that the patent system needs reform. Have you noticed that some IP lawyers are now filing their own patents, and forming shell companies which exist only to generate lawsuits? Many writers have alarming stories about why IP law reform is needed. However, here is an eminently readable macro-analysis of issues [...]

Lacking Innovation, Microsoft Patents the Obvious and Spends $300M to Rebrand

August 28th 2008

The USPTO has granted Microsoft a patent for a “method and system for navigating paginated content in page-based increments.” That would be the page up function. Specifically, it’s for a function that moves your view exactly one page, rather than one screen. Of late, Microsoft has been more prolific in producing press releases and security [...]

Silverlight Law Suit Threatens NBC’s Online Olympics Coverage

July 9th 2008

We were describing the need to understand video search as a new arena of legal interest. Gotuit Media Inc., has sued Microsoft, claiming Silverlight infringes on three of its patents that involve making movies searchable. The Gotuit software allows for the insertion of searchable text data into a movie. Silverlight also allows for the insertion [...]

USPTO Uses Social Networking to Improve Patent Reviews

June 20th 2008

The USPTO faces a backlog of over one million patent applications. To keep up, patent examiners have less than 20 hours per application to determine if a 20-year monopoly should be issued, which can determine the future of entire industries or the direction of basic research. Over the last year, the USPTO has cooperated with [...]

SCOTUS: No Double-Dipping on Patent Royalties

June 13th 2008

In a sizable decision for Quanta Computer Inc. in Quanta v. LG Electronics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled to uphold the doctrine of patent exhaustion, which states that once an entity licenses its patent rights to another, it no longer has control over how the purchaser uses it. The case involved LG Electronics [...]

Attack of the Singapore Patent Troll

June 7th 2008

According to Singapore company VueStar Technologies, images that link to other Web pages, or the method of “locating Web pages by utilizing visual images,” are a violation of their patent. From ZDNet/Asia: “Those who use visual images which hyperlink to other Web pages or Web sites … whether on the first page or subsequent pages of a Web [...]

Free China Patent Translation Tool

May 14th 2008

China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and the China Patent Information Center (CPIC) have developed a Chinese-to-English translation engine. China’s patent office is the fifth largest in the world in terms of volume, processing about a half million requests for invention patents, utility models, and design patents in 2006. The Japan and Korean offices have [...]

PRO-IP Act Passes House

May 11th 2008

The still-controversial Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (or PRO-IP) Act has passed the House of Representatives by a 410-10 margin. The proposed legislation would allow the government to seize personal property, such as computers, that are allegedly used in copyright infringement. In addition, it creates a new position within the Executive Office of [...]