Does US Patent Protection Extend Beyond Its Borders?

from the jurisdiction-questions dept

The US Supreme Court has apparently asked the White House to weigh in on a case its deciding whether or not to review. The case involves a patent dispute between AT&T and Microsoft. In question isn't the patents or whether or not they were violated. That part has been settled, with Microsoft agreeing to pay AT&T for using technology AT&T patented in copies of Windows that have NetMeeting (that patent involves making voices sound clear). At issue here, however, is whether or not Microsoft is liable for copies of Windows installed outside of the US. Of course, it seems likely that the White House won't have much of a problem saying that patent issues extend beyond our borders -- but that could have some pretty serious implications for many other patent lawsuits, making potential damages for companies that much greater, even if the products are shipping in countries where the technology is not covered by patents.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    viperdesignz, Apr 25th, 2006 @ 9:45pm

    I win

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Just another joe, Apr 25th, 2006 @ 10:58pm

    Wow, that is so incredibly amazing. You posted two words of meaningless drivel, be proud and stand tall, you're cool!

    Next time try putting some thought into your post and you may start an actual conversation.

    Is no place safe from useless trolling?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    COMMANDER, Apr 25th, 2006 @ 11:52pm

    ONE WORLD ORDER

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Mac, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:13am

    Not too familiar with patent Law but I would have assumed that the patent protection extends outside the US but only to those countries which have patent agrements with the US?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Patcus, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:43am

    US is not the center of the world

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Rick, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:54am

    Re:

    Yea, but we sure can blow it up easily enough. Bow down to the US, sucker...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:16am

    So can Israel you loser.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 2:47am

    We went from Flameing of useless drivel , to blowing each other up. All over a stupid question on whether a patent is ok outside of the US.... What a world to live in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 3:32am

    no kidding

    just like the forums, take a serious issue, or find somebody with a problem, and somebody replies with a comment, then somebody flames that person for spelling a word wrong. then somebody flames THAT person for using the wrong grammar whilst flaming someone, then someone says that the US is the best, then someone says Israel is, then somebody says everyone is a heathen, then everybody hates each other. the internet is gay now

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Wolfger, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:21am

    Re: no kidding

    gay: adjective, Showing or characterized by cheerfulness and lighthearted excitement; merry.
    No, the internet is not gay these days. It's becoming a rather dreary place with all the stupid laws and even stupider people that want in on the action.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    simon says, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:38am

    Laws are laws

    Well pattent laws provides that in the region that pattent was made, it is covered. now, cose microsoft is based in states and produces there, doesn't matter where is sales, needs to pay up for each piece produced...

    as consumer needs to pay for each piece bought,

    piece of advice for bill, move bussiness to a tax free/ law free zone :) and share all ... so we might chose not to get windows busted... with no matter how many patches and useless SP's

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    bow suggar, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 5:28am

    i gonna get a patent on my bloody dna in the us and then sue every damn bitch getting chillen with my genes. that s fuckin world order aint it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Thomason, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 6:00am

    Beyond borders

    The U.S. patent laws cover products made in the U.S. that then are exported. Also, the laws cover making in the U.S. a component that is specially made to be combined with other parts, which all together make product that would infringe a U.S. patent. For example, the patent claims a car body with a motor, so you have to have both of those to infringe. A company makes the motor in the U.S. and exports it, where it is combined with the car body. Here, Microsoft exported a component, which was combined with other components overseas, which together were all components claimed in the patent.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    "Is no place safe from useless trolling?"

    Lighten the hell up Joe. :P

    INTERNT. SERIOUS BUSINESS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    stever, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 8:59am

    AT&T and Microsoft

    If Microsoft gets any money for copies of Windows installed outside of the US , then Microsoft is liable end of story.

     

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  16.  
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    Simon, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 9:38am

    What about pirated copies?

    Wouldn't AT&T have a case for saying Microsoft are liable for those too? After all, it's not AT&T's fault that MS can't protect their IP.

     

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  17.  
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    Joe Smith, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 9:39am

    Re: AT&T and Microsoft

    If Microsoft gets any money for copies of Windows installed outside of the US , then Microsoft is liable end of story.

    Now suppose that AT&T has not registered the patent in Europe. A competitor of Microsoft would not have to pay royalties on European sales. If Microsoft wants to write a new operating system and write it in the US or manufacture it in the US then they have to pay royalties. But if they write the operating system anywhere else in the world then they don't have to pay royalties for European sales. The problem with this type of extra-territorial protection is that it will drive design, development and production off-shore. If AT&T choses to not register in Europe then they should not be protected by the back door.

     

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  18.  
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    Brandon Zylstra, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    steal a little and they through you in jail, steal

    If I use in the U.S. a pirated copy of Windows that I bought in Antarctica (where I presume there are no intellectual property laws), am I still guilty? I'm sure Microsoft would say so. They don't care where it was pirated or where I was when I bought it. They want their pound of flesh. So why shouldn't they have to pay when the situation is reversed? They *stole* intellectual property, and they should be fined far beyond the cost they would have paid to license it. (Otherwise the fine has no value, it's just a conveniently delayed payment, which one might well avoid if one's lawyers are clever enough, and such stealing is therefore heavily encouraged.)

    Similarly, if I pirate Windows and sell it overseas, they're still going to come after me, even if I sell it to penguins and scientists on the South Pole. Oh, wait, penguins all use another operating system...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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