Over In The UK, Court Tosses Out Silly Patent Claims Against RIM
from the stop-abusing-the-system dept
In some ways, it’s a little difficult to feel sorry for RIM concerning the various patent infringement lawsuits they’ve been facing. RIM’s management brought it on the company by being one of the more aggressive patent enforcers before NTP knocked them for a loop and cost them over $600 million for a bunch of invalid patents. Over in the UK, however, it seems that the courts are at least a little more reasonable. In a different suit from yet another patent hoarding company, InPro, the court has ruled that the patents they were suing RIM over were not valid and should be revoked. That’s not the most interesting part, however. Rather, the court ruling highlighted how ridiculous many of these patent suits are — especially ones that touch on a minor feature that has become quite common. In this case, the patent was for a way that portable devices surfed the web. The ruling noted that RIM’s device came out three years after the patent was granted, and appeared not to be influenced by the patent at all, and (more importantly) did a hell of a lot more than what the patents described. In fact, the ruling noted that: “three years is a long time in the world of computers, where speed of computing, of connection and size of memory and price change so rapidly.” This probably will horrify some patent attorneys, but it’s part of the reason that many people feel that tech patents should have a much shorter shelf-life. Everything advances so quickly and so many people are designing similar things that it seems silly to give too much control to whoever files a patent on an idea that becomes more and more obvious as computing power increases.