Late last year, we wrote about how a judge in every patent hoarder's favorite court in Marshall, Texas had sided with a the Australian science agency CSIRO, which claims a patent on some of the core technology found in WiFi. CSIRO is interesting. It's a government agency, and therefore claims it can ignore lawsuits against its patents, but still makes full use of the U.S. courts in enforcing those patents. The judge in this case has apparently issued an injunction against Buffalo Technology, the defendant in the case. This seems to go against the Supreme Court's ruling last year about how patent injunctions often don't make sense. Most courts since have (reasonably) ruled that injunctions don't make sense if the patent holder doesn't have a product in the market. After all, the greater harm in that case is clearly to society, since no product is being offered. However, in this case, the judge decided to issue an injunction anyway -- making the bizarre decision that not offering an injunction present irreparable harm in the form of "lost opportunities." As has been explained repeatedly (though, apparently not to this judge) "lost opportunities" is not an actual loss. Buffalo Technology will hopefully appeal, as it has a pretty strong case, given the Supreme Court's MercExchange ruling. However, in the meantime, this could mean that basically anyone offering WiFi products may suddenly have to pay up to the Australian government if they want to keep selling those products.
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