How Reporters Contribute To Misconceptions About Patent Lawsuits

from the we-need-more-accuracy-in-reporting dept

Joe Mullin has another fantastic post, discussing how way too many reporters, in covering patent disputes, mislead the public into thinking that the patent holder is accusing another company of copying its invention. The truth is that it's very, very rare for a patent infringement lawsuit to actually involve a company that copied (or, as the patent system supporters would falsely claim, "stole") someone else's invention. Usually, it's about companies coming up with a similar offering independently. Yet, as Mullin points out, in the recent reporting on Picsel suing Apple for infringement, reporters, such as those at CNN wrote that Picsel claims "Apple's hot-selling iPhone and iPod Touch devices incorporate Picsel-patented technology."

That implies much more than the lawsuit really says. It implies that Apple actually took or copied a specific "Picsel-patented technology" and placed it in the iPhone. But the truth is that no such claims are actually made in the lawsuit. Mullin suggests that reporters covering such patent lawsuits should make this much clearer, even suggesting something along the lines of the following:
"Picsel, which does not claim that Apple copied its patent or products, is asking for a royalty to be paid on all iPhones sold in the United States."
While that exact wording may not make sense, it does seem important to get more people to realize that patent lawsuits are almost never about the actual copying of inventions, despite what patent supporters and lazy reporters might tell you.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 8:01pm

    Reporters Contribute To Misconceptions
    Film at eleven

    Journalism used to be a respected profession ... what happened?

     

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  2.  
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    angry dude, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    How Reporters Contribute To Misconceptions About Patent Lawsuits

    Look in the mirror, my little retarded friend
    YOU are the one who produced most lies about patents

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 8:10pm

    Re: How Reporters Contribute To Misconceptions About Patent Lawsuits

    Angry Dude !

    Long Time No Read

    How's it hangin ?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 8:44pm

    Re: How Reporters Contribute To Misconceptions About Patent Lawsuits

    hmmmm

    lies about patents, is that redundant?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 8:44pm

    April 12, 2000:

    Picsel files its initial application in the UK

    April 14, 2001:

    Picsel files a counterpart application in the US

    October 18, 2001:

    Picsel's US application is published by the USPTO

    March 7, 2006:

    Picsel granted a patent in the US

    January 9, 2007:

    Apple unveils iPhone

    It looks as if Apple had about 5 1/2 years notice of Picsel's application and its contents. It had slightly less than a year to look at the Picsel patent.

    Re "copying", see para. 16 (allegation of willfulness) on page 3 of Picsel's complaint filed 2/13/09.

    What will be the outcome of this matter is unknown, but one thing is known...Apple should learn to read its copy of the Official Gazette published weekly by the USPTO. Had it done so back in 10/01 it could have saved itself a lot of grief.

    If you feel the need to talk about "copying", this matter is not a good one to to rely upon.

     

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  6.  
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    cynic, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 9:00pm

    Who comes up w/ these co names ?

    Did Picsel ever actually create anything?
    Where is their product?
    I guess they do not have a product because Apple fricken stole it !!!

    It would be a shame if Pissall errrr Picsel (whatever) actually had a product that was adversely affected by the "theft" of their "intellectual" property

     

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  7.  
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    ASH, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 9:26pm

    I dunno...if this is the best example you can find of journalistic transgression, then your basic premise here is bullshit. The article says that Apple is accused of incorporating Picsel-patented technology; that's 100% accurate, start to finish. It doesn't say "stole", and it doesn't say "copied".

    I'm certain there's lots of reasons to get pissed at the media when it reports/misreports about IP, but this isn't one of them.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Who comes up w/ these co names ?

    Use Google to navigate to Picsel's website. It is an ongoing concern recognized for its work in this area of technology, and has seen its technological solutions incorporated into the products manufactured by various mobile telephone companies.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Re: Who comes up w/ these co names ?

    Use Google to navigate to Picsel's website.

    Why would I do that ?
    What is their product ?
    They have no product !

     

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  10.  
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    Michael, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Call patents what they are, an artifical restriction.

    I believe this wording is most likely accurate:

    Apple is accused of using the same/a similar idea that Picsel was awarded a patent for.

    I think in the vast majority of cases the volume of information and patents has passed the point where we get meaningful returns on 'protecting' (locking up) ideas which we would all probably benefit more from having published directly in to public domain or at the very least being trade secret.

    I also agree with other previous Techdirt articles that note about the disparity in areas where NDAs were allowed versus those where they were not. The free exchange of people and ideas enriches, not diminishes, the whole.

    Alone we are worth less than we are combined; in fact combined we are worth more than the sum of our singular selves. It is diversity, variety and different viewpoints which lead to the exploration and selection of more optimal paths.

     

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  11.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 20th, 2009 @ 11:14pm

    Re:

    So... what? All that shows is that there was a patent filled for a similar-sounding idea. It does not show that Apple's engineers had ever heard of Picsel's application or read the patent, let alone copied it.

    So far, all we have is that there was a fairly obvious idea for a function on a small-screen, touch screen device, and Picsel filed a patent first. It also shows that they had nearly 6 years to capitalise on the "invention" but failed to do so, and are attacking a larger company who created the device and had financial success. Despite cries of "protecting" themselves, I doubt we'd be hearing of this if the iPhone had flopped (why else wait 18 months after the device's high profile release to file a patent claim?).

     

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  12.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 12:09am

    Picsel's Patent Application Was 11 Years Too Late.

    To: Anonymous Coward #5

    I wish people would learn to cite their sources. Now, I take it we are talking about Patent No. 7,009,626. A cursory review of the patent suggests that it would fail under KSR vs. Teleflex and In Re Bilski. All the other claims depend on Claim 1, which describes what used to be called a "Progressive GIF," or "Interlaced GIF" The interlacing feature appeared in GIF in the 1989 specification. This is a standard borderline-fraudulent "junk patent," in short.

    http://www.iphonefootprint.com/2009/02/picsel-technologies-sues-apple-for-patent-infringem ent-related-to-the-scrolling-and-zooming-features-of-the-iphone/
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph -Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f =G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7009626&OS=7009626&RS=7009626
    http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Graphics_Interchange_Format

     

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  13.  
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    DaveJ, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 12:21am

    Re: Re:

    They've sold over 250 million units of their file viewer, that I would say is fairly successful.

    Remember also that all of their customers, who are major players in the industry, licence this product from them. It would be wholly unfair to them if they had to pay for this while Apple use their IP for free.

     

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  14.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 21st, 2009 @ 5:55am

    Study history and contempory cases.

    Mike, once again you are dead wrong, as is Mullin. I have been reading the crap Mullin spews and believe that he has long been an avid supporter of big corporate thieves. He has bought Piracy Coalition propaganda hook line and sinker and it is he and you who are at best lazy and not the rest of the reporters whose writings display poor journalistic practices.

    Most patent lawsuits are about blatant theft of an inventor’s work. Such theft occasionally comes from published applications but more often it comes after an inventor has tried to sell their invention to the company.

    Every inventor thinks that they have the most beautiful baby in the world and like a new parent they show their invention to anyone who will listen. Many patent pirating companies (you know the ones who are members of the Coalition for Patent Fairness) take this opportunity to meet with the inventor and extract as much information as possible. Then they tell the inventor that they have decided they are not interested.

    Six to eighteen months later they introduce an infringing product knowing that most inventors will not be able to raise millions to tens of millions of dollars that it will take to defend their patent rights.

    A small percentage of inventors do manage to connect to patent enforcement companies or contingency litigators. When an inventor does manage to do so then the Piracy Coalition’s (no, they are not about fairness) propaganda machine moves to paint their victims as vicious patent trolls.

    It is a fact that there is a long history of companies stealing others’ inventions. Armstrong, Farnsworth, Tesla, Kearns, Lemelson, Gould, Damadian, Campana, yours truly and the list goes on.

    So tell me Mike, when are you going to pull your head out of your rectum? There is no shortage of well documented historical and current examples of corporate patent thievery.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  15.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 21st, 2009 @ 6:01am

    Re: Journalism a respected profession?

    Could it be that Mike Masnick & Joe Mullin happened? Ok, to be fair, are they the only journalists who may be lazy & biased?

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 7:14am

    Ron,

    Thank you for your obviously biased opinion. If you are indeed speaking only on your own behalf, then why list all the junk? Are you spamming this board? Looking for a bailout?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 8:29am

    I always look forward to posts about patents. Angry Dude and RJR competing for least effective argument is always entertaining.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Ben, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 9:39am

    not so

    I love the blog, but in this case, you are wrong. Incorporate merely means has something in it, or includes, which is precisely what picsel is claiming: that some of their patented technology is in there. This verbiage does not imply anything about the way that it came to be there, just that it is there.

    Thanks,

    Ben

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward Fan Club, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Dont play

    Hey every person on these forums should quit engaging this coward. Never has anything good to say,always has a negative view.This person must stay up 24 hours a day. Its like a cancer spreading. I swear he/she has a comment on everything.

    I will go somewhere else to get informed opinions.

    I see this person with a meth pipe in one hand under a single naked light bulb.

    "Better to stay silent and appear stupid than open ones mouth (keyboard) and remove all doubt." Mark Twain

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Your Gawd and Master, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Do you ever have anything to say other than blah-blah-I-feel-angry-cause-I'm-a-douchebag-blah-blah?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Joe Campana, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Mr. Riley:

    When enumerating companies in your list of those who allegedly stole intellectual property, it would be more responsible if you and your related organizations used the specific legal name of companies, if you have a gripe with them. I feel our business name was injured through your list of “anonymous “ names.

    I suspect you were referring to a company with the word “Campana” in it, possibly a Canadian Company, and not to my U.S. firm, whose entire legal name is “J. Campana & Associates LLC.” Is that correct?

    We are a highly respected professional services firm, and we pride ourselves with our high degree of business ethics and responsibility.

    Sincerely,

    Joseph E. Campana, Ph.D.
    www.JCampana.com
    www.PrivacyMakeOver.com
    www.PrivacyDiary.com
    www.AskDrPrivacy.com

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Reporters and patents

    Normally I agree with Mike, especially on the IP system in the US - it is seriously broken.
    Further, while Mike formerly "pegged" on extreme positions, at times, which is not helpful, his recent posts are much more moderate and thoughtful, and therefore more useful.
    However, "Apple's hot-selling iPhone and iPod Touch devices incorporate Picsel-patented technology." was somehow morphed into a presumed "deliberate theft" - it doesn't say that. It says that Picsel thinks technology they patented is in the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. In other words, it says, in effect:
    "Picsel, which does not claim that Apple copied its patent or products, is asking for a royalty to be paid on all iPhones sold in the United States." They simply implied that they were not claiming copying, that is why copying is not mention in the news report. BAD BLOG! NO COOKIES!

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Mr. Campana,

    The "Campana" to which Mr. Riley refers is Thomas J. Campana, an inventor whose work was the subject of the NTP v. RIM litigation.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Journalism a respected profession?

    Mike is not a journalist. He is a blogger+analyst.

     

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  25.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 21st, 2009 @ 6:38pm

    Re:

    The article says that Apple is accused of incorporating Picsel-patented technology; that's 100% accurate, start to finish. It doesn't say "stole", and it doesn't say "copied".

    Yes. As the original piece noted, that is technically accurate, but highly misleading. Claiming it "incorporated Picsel-patented technology" is the sort of thing that leads those who are not well-versed in patent law to think that Apple actually TOOK Picsel's tech and put it into their own product... rather than coming up with the same concept separately.

     

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  26.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 21st, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Most patent lawsuits are about blatant theft of an inventor’s work.

    Could you provide an ounce of evidence to support that? Of course not, because the actual evidence shows that (as per usual) Ronald J. Riley makes stuff up:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1270160

    Will Ronald J. Riley admit he was wrong?

    Or will he insult me and my family again?

    Stay tuned...

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 5:02am

    Like almost all reporters, when faced with a story in an area where they are not expert, the facts tend to get lost in the misconceptions.

     

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  28.  
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    Michael Wells, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 6:21am

    Patents

    You criticize other reporters for their reporting; which may actually be true. However you also failed to explain the allegations against Apple in any clear manner that the average person would understand.

     

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  29.  
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    Stephan Kinsella (profile), Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 7:12am

    Mike is Right

    Anonymous Coward: "It looks as if Apple had about 5 1/2 years notice of Picsel's application and its contents. It had slightly less than a year to look at the Picsel patent. ... What will be the outcome of this matter is unknown, but one thing is known...Apple should learn to read its copy of the Official Gazette published weekly by the USPTO. Had it done so back in 10/01 it could have saved itself a lot of grief."

    This repeats the very mistake that Mullin is talking about: here AC implies Apple *had notice of* the previous application, that is, that they were actually aware of it, before the iPhone was developed, and therefore that they copied it. But just because a patent application is published and the state's artificial, positive law rules decree that people "are on constructive notice" does not mean that they have actual notice, or knowledge, of it.

    Riley, in an incredibly rude and incivil post, wildly asserts that "Most patent lawsuits are about blatant theft of an inventor’s work." Where is his proof of this? The study Mullin reports on carefully examined evidence in this regard and didn't find this. Moreover, Riley uses the loaded term "theft." This is problematic for several reasons. First, even the artificial state patent law system does not label patent infringement as theft--it's just infringement. And no wonder--if they refer to it as "theft," then this implies that if you do *not* copy then it's *not* infringement--that is, that independent inventorship is a defense. And I'm sure that patent socialists like Riley do not want this kind of defense, do they, even though they they harp on the "copying" meme so much for rhetorical and propaganda purposes, further confusing the public, just as Mullin notes.

    Second, theft implies taking something from someone--in normal theft, the very problem with the theft is that the thief deprives the owner of his property. But this is the problem with the idea of intellectual property as such--if I use my own property according to a certain technique, design, or recipe--some pattern of information--this does not deprive the originator of that pattern from using it himself. In other words, even if I do copy your idea, I have not taken it from you--you still have it.

    so patent socialists are left with the claim that what the infringer is "taking" is not the idea, but the right to profit off of it--but of course, this notion is fraught with difficulty. For one, it is circular because it is only if the state grants an artificial monopoly that one would have the right to collect monopolistic royalties, so one cannot justify this practice by relying on it--that's circular. For another, it implies that there is a right to the value of property--but there is not; only the right to the physical integrity of one's property, not what others think about it or are willing to pay for it. (I explain this fallacy in this post: Objectivist Law Prof Mossoff on Copyright; or, the Misuse of Labor, Value, and Creation Metaphors http://blog.mises.org/archives/007614.asp .)

    Masnick: "Claiming it "incorporated Picsel-patented technology" is the sort of thing that leads those who are not well-versed in patent law to think that Apple actually TOOK Picsel's tech and put it into their own product... rather than coming up with the same concept separately."

    Masnick is dead-on here. There is a widespread confusion about copying, and this needs to be made more clear.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 9:44am

    Re: Mike is Right

    Darn it...IE7 died on me again (I run Vista), so my response to your comment concerning "notice" is forever lost.

    Rather than try and replicate it in its entirety, let me merely suggest that USPTO publications are done for a reason, one that apparently largely escapes the legal staff at Apple. The company had numerous opportunities to learn what Picsel was doing, and failing to avail itself of those opportunities is hardly a good reason to excuse its lack of action in this instance. Please note that I am limiting my comments to the facts concerning this instance, and do not mean to suggest that they apply with equal force in all instances.

    Merely as a side note, Mr. Masnick cites a study co-authored by Mr. Lemley. I am well familiar with Mr. Lemley's body of scholarship, and submit that the cited study is not one that by my measure reflects true academic scholarship. In my view it appears to be little more than a "CV filler", an unfortunate consequence of the "publish or perish" pressures faced by current day academics.

    In the movie "Jerry McGuire" (sp?) is the oft repeated line "You had me at 'hello'." In the cited study Mr. Lemley seriously undercut the persuasive force of his arguments by suggesting that numerous voices were calling for the creation of an "independent inventor defense" by citing his own work. I expect more than citations to one's own publications.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Re: Mike is Right

    BTW, I have been immersed in the area of IP law (a term that I do find incredibly misleading) for almost 31 years, and not once have I ever believed that our "economic engine" is dependent upon laws promulgated under the power granted to Congress by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8. Nonetheless, I have on numerous occasions been able to use these laws to keep others "honest", and to at least this extent I have found these laws to be quite beneficial. Typically the benefits of these laws have had a quite salutory effect in the context of Teaming Agreements, as well as the U.S. Government's propensity to try and compete with the private sector in both domestic and international scenarios.

    Since, like me, you are a student of the law, I am curious about your views as to the constitutionality of the U.S. Government granting itself patents for work done by it employees in the ordinary course of their employment. The same can be said of state governments. Interestingly, whenever I have posed this question to many of the academics who pronounce themselves as experts in the law, I receive a quizical look that is immediately followed by a resounding "Of course they can." I term such views as "shooting from the lip" that are based on nothing more than a gut reaction, and not based upon any thoughtful examination of the relevant legal issues.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    For one who claims to be an expert in patent law, Mr. Lemley's paper is well below the level of expertise that I associate with much of his other work.

    The material he selected, including the venues from which he gathered his material, is a poor choice. Notice pleading under the FRCP does virtually nothing to add substance to his and his co-author's arguments, and the associated court opinions do likewise.

    "Copying" is not an element associated with such lawsuits, so it should be expected that its lack of explicit or implicit reference in the materials would be the norm.

    It is disappointing that the paper does not address the "notice" function inherent in current patent law. Perhaps this is to be expected from one in academia who has never dealt with the full scope of patent law, the implementing regulations, and the internal guidance issued by the USPTO interpreting the law and regulations. Unfortunately, this is the norm in academia.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    SSRN is a great site. :-)

     

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  34.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Merely as a side note, Mr. Masnick cites a study co-authored by Mr. Lemley. I am well familiar with Mr. Lemley's body of scholarship, and submit that the cited study is not one that by my measure reflects true academic scholarship. In my view it appears to be little more than a "CV filler", an unfortunate consequence of the "publish or perish" pressures faced by current day academics.

    I'm amazed that MLS would make this statement (and, once again, decide not to sign his name). Lemley isn't some tenure-track nobody. He's one of Stanford's star law professors, and has a very productive ongoing legal career as well.

    The idea that he would publish a bogus paper just to publish as CV filler is ridiculous. Lemley has no need to publish as CV filler.

     

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  35.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    It is disappointing that the paper does not address the "notice" function inherent in current patent law. Perhaps this is to be expected from one in academia who has never dealt with the full scope of patent law, the implementing regulations, and the internal guidance issued by the USPTO interpreting the law and regulations. Unfortunately, this is the norm in academia.

    Um. MLS (again failing to sign his name) fails again. Lemley is not merely an academic but has been quite busy working on actual patent cases for quite some time. But, the great MLS (where are you citations, by the way?) has decided that he can ignore all Lemley has to say because he's a mere "academic."

    Your ego is astounding.

     

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  36.  
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    mobiGeek, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Re: not so

    But this is EXACTLY why it is wrong. It isn't "their" technology in the iPhone. Picsel claims that it is technology which falls under the umbrella of the patent that they have been granted.

    If I go out today to my garage and develop some new gizmo to improve the efficiency of a pool pump (or whatever), there's a chance that I will tread on someone's patent even if I have never seen nor heard of a similar gizmo myself. In your words, I will have "incorporated" someone's technology simply by tinkering in my garage??

     

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  37.  
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    mobiGeek, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Patents

    1. Mike is not a reporter

    2. The point to this post wasn't about the correctness or clarity of the patent claims, but the accuracy of the reporting of those claims.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Mr. Lemley is a respected academic, but that alone is insufficient reason to ascribe to him and others in academia insight lost to professionals who toil outside of the hallowed halls of educational institutions.

    The paper you have cited is clearly well short of the standard of scholarship associated with much of his work.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    I see you are not familiar with the advocacy or certain academics, including Mr. Lemley, who spoke approvingly of USPTO rulemaking activities in the recent past dealing with issues such as revisions to continuation practice. These rules are the subject of ongoing litigation in the matters of Tafas v. Dudas and GSK v. Dudas, with the result to date being that the rules have been declared unlawful and the USPTO enjoined from their implementation.

    Perhaps if these vocal academics were also members of the USPTO Bar and/or practiced all facets of patent law they might have a somewhat different perspective. There are many academics with such credentials, but their voices are rarely heard over those who are so quick to declare as "broken" a system within which they have never toiled.

     

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  40.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Mr. Lemley is a respected academic, but that alone is insufficient reason to ascribe to him and others in academia insight lost to professionals who toil outside of the hallowed halls of educational institutions.

    Again ignoring that Lemley is a practitioner.

    I'm getting the feeling that perhaps you're just jealous of Lemley's accomplishments. That also might explain why you still refuse to sign your name. Afraid that folks might start comparing your legacy with Lemley's?

     

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  41.  
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    Willton, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Again ignoring that Lemley is a practitioner.

    Actually, he's not. Lemley does still do litigation, and his resume is impressive, but one thing he has not done is prosecuted a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In fact, he is not even admitted to practice in front of the USPTO. He may know a whole lot about patent law, but he cannot technically call himself a patent attorney.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Your ego is astounding.

    If this were true, which is most certainly not the case, I would likely find myself in the distinct minority among my peers. However, it turns out that this is not the case. The majority of comments by members of the profession in legal blogs and journals largely mirror my comments, though in the interest of accuracy there are some differences at the margins of the issues constantly railed against by many in academia who have largely abandoned their roles as dispassionate students of the law and crossed over into blatant and quite troubling advocacy.

    Perhaps if you were more conversant on these issues, you might have pause for concern before citing many of the studies by law academics upon which you rely as "proof".

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 10:55pm

    Again ignoring that Lemley is a practitioner.

    I would hardly call Mr. Lemley a "practitioner", unless by this you mean that any association with the law in a non-academic setting qualifies one as a "practitioner". To date this participation outside of an academic setting has involved the submittal of amicus briefs, and in each instance the amicus briefs were co-authored by other academics and were clearly "advocacy" in favor of a specific party. In the matter of In re Bilski he and his co-authors argued in favor of Messrs. Bilski's and Warsaw's position, and in the matter of Tafas v. Dudas he and his co-authors argued in favor of the USPTO's position.

    It is not at all uncommon for amicus briefs to be presented by professional associations (e.g., the ABA, AIPLA, LES, etc.) that take the side on neither party and are clearly non-partisan. Their sole purpose is to assist the court on the law in what I term an "honest broker" fashion. I must admit, however, that some of these briefs are perilously close to the line between "honest broker" and partisan "advocacy".

    Once more, I would hardly term legal activities involving but a tiny subset of all relevant "law" (statutes, executive orders, regulations, and internal policy directives) as being synonymous with the term "practitioner".

     

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  44.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Feb 22nd, 2009 @ 10:59pm

    The Justices of the Supreme Court are not Patent Lawyers.

    The Supremes do not have any very great commitment to the fine details of patent law. Unlike a patent lawyer, they do not have strong convictions about relative merits of the doctrine of patentability versus the doctrine of obviousness, or anything like that. Yet they have the power, vide Brown vs. Board of Ed., to substantially abolish patents and patent law. The Supremes have delivered a series of unanimous verdicts tending to diminish the scope of patents. Common sense suggests that they have done so, not on the basis of narrow technical grounds, but in the spirit of Christ driving the moneylenders from the temple. The essential meaning of a series of unanimous verdicts is that it is going to be some time before their wrath is slaked.

    For example, at this point, businessmen in established industries commonly expect an internal rate of return on investments of about twenty percent, before taxes, before the cost of supporting top management, etc. That works out to five years payback time. A new machine has to pay for itself within that time, or else the investment has to be made by a governmental or quasi-governmental entity. In the automobile industry, the product cycle is about ten years, and a new automobile loses ninety percent of its market value within five years of use. By contrast, in the late nineteenth century, things moved more slowly. Looking at 1900 and 1909 Sears catalogs, I find that, for watches, foot-treadle sewing machines, and double-barrel shotguns, there was no idea of a model year. The article one purchased was not expected to be demonstrably better than the article one inherited. The notion of model year existed for Winchester repeating rifles, but the product cycle was about twenty to thirty years. The Supreme Court might decide to cut patents back to seven years, on the grounds that technology moves faster than it did in the days of the Framers, and that it was never the intent of the framers to allow patents to extend to articles which had become obsolete.

     

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  45.  
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    DS, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:28am

    Re:

     

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  46.  
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    Matthew, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:31am

    The patent system is designed to provide "notice" of new innovations precisely for the purpose of other firms licensing and copying the technology in question. I'm not a lawyer, but it's my understanding that once something has been patented, it is assumed a priori that the details of the patent are known by all (or, at the very least, by all who should have an interest in knowing.) Of course, this style of notice requires a detailed search of the patent catalogue for any new invention and becomes really ungainly when you consider how many patents exist. It's for this reason why companies engage in what many people consider to be frivolous, "defensive" patenting.

     

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  47.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Mike:

    Lemley's paper is hardly definitive, and he admits his paper is not definitive several times, with one significant lapse in his conclusions.

    Lemley first assumes that lack of allegation of copying equates to no copying. Later in his paper he points out that it may be that copying could have been alleged, but was not for some [unspecified] reason. Lemley is generally careful to use words such as "may" that point out that his information is in fact not definitive, also suggesting a need for further study.

    Lemley's one lapse is in his conclusion where he states clearly that "most defendants are not copiers," when he in fact admits by his use of language that he has not proven that point. I am actually a little surprised that he made this statement considering he said elsewhere such things as "The fact that few, if any, people appear to be copying technology..." and "That doesn't mean that technology transfer from patentees to others - or even copying of inventions - doesn't happen in the patent system..."

    I am also surprised that a respected researcher such as Lemley would succumb to using relative words such as "very." To say something is "very low" is meaningless because there is not basis for comparison. Academically, a researcher should state the statistic, state any basis for comparison, and leave it at that. Anything else smacks of trying to influence the audience and is more journalistic than scientific.

    What is Lemley's real conclusion? Copying is alleged in about 10% of all cases. Is that "low"? Depends on your definition of low. Is that "very, very rare"? My definition of "rare" in this case would probably be a few percent; very, very rare would probably be under 1%; 10% would seem to be more often than "rare."

    Lemley also suggests that copying may not be alleged when it could be. I have asked a few litigators whether they would allege copying if they could (small sample, three), and every one has said no. The reason is that it is hard to get evidence to prove copying, even when it happened blatantly. Patent infringement, on the other hand, is relatively easy to prove in comparison to copying.

    Rather than taking Lemley's paper as the definitive answer to whether copying actually occurs in cases of patent infringement, I believe more studying should be conducted to determine whether copying could have been alleged and was not, and why it was not alleged. I also think it would be interesting to see whether plaintiffs thought copying had actually occurred, even though it was not alleged.

    Just as someone might well assume from the way the press writes about patent cases that copying has occurred, someone might also read Lemley's paper and believe that copying hardly ever occurs, when Lemley's paper suggests copying might not be occurring, but he admits that he does not know for sure.

     

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  48.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    Matthew:

    The large number of patents that exist is not as intimidating as you think. Most patents for a particular invention or type of invention are confined to certain classes and subclasses. Though some art fields, such as biotech, are incredibly crowded, most others have relatively few patent application and patents issued. There are also lots of places to do searching of patents, with the best possibly being Google patents. If there was a "willful ignorance" accusation, not bothering to perform even a cursory check of existing patents would seem to constitute the basis for such an accusation.

     

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  49.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 8:46am

    Reporters Don't Understand

    Patent law and Copyright law is a shifting landscape where the content owners, who are stealing from the public, have convinced the news media that the public is stealing from them. Of course, there is a conflict of interest as the news media would like "strong" copyright so that they extort money.

    Reporters aren't much into history, so they fail to explain to the public that, over time, copyright and patent law has become ever more onerous. Think of it this way, a yellow light at an intersection stays on for five seconds, the grace period is reduced to four seconds. Guess what we have now stolen one second from the public and we now have more criminals to fine!

     

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  50.  
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    moelarry, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:00am

    infringement

    What you fail to address is that even if they did not purposely copy they most always refuse to stop using even after they have been informed of their infringement.

    please see http://truereform.piausa.org/ for a different/opposing view on patent reform

     

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  51.  
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    nasch, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re:

    What's dishonest about advocacy? Shouldn't people and organizations advocate causes they believe in? Shouldn't legally knowledgeable organizations submit briefs that advocate for a legal position that they believe to be correct? If this happens to side with one position or the other, what makes that less honest?

    I am of course assuming there is no conflict of interest here. Obviously a for-profit corporation submitting a brief in a case that could affect its business is a different story.

     

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  52.  
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    angry dude, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Journalism a respected profession?

    "Mike is not a journalist. He is a blogger+analyst."


    More like arsehole writer

     

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  53.  
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    angry dude, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: Reporters Don't Understand

    "content owners, who are stealing from the public"

    Dude

    what did you drink yesterday ?

     

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  54.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re: infringement

    What you fail to address is that even if they did not purposely copy they most always refuse to stop using even after they have been informed of their infringement.

    Huh? And why should a company stop building a product they built by themselves just because someone else claims to have done it first?

    Don't you see a pretty serious problem with that?

     

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  55.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Journalism a respected profession?

    More like arsehole writer

    Heh. I love how angry dude is always quick with an insult, but somehow fails to respond when we point out how he has been caught lying repeatedly -- and when challenged unable to find a single bit of evidence to support his attacks.

    Funny how that works.

     

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  56.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Sorry, Lonnie, but I'll take the results of a research paper over you asking several unidentified lawyers.

    Mullin's original point stands: even if it is difficult to show full copying, in a jury trial, if there is some way to show that some copying was likely, you would absolutely want to do that. The fact that so few patent lawsuits do that suggests a pretty strong likelihood that very few patent lawsuits involve direct copying.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Ronald J Riley, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 10:23am

    I love techdirt!

    I should also mention that I suck cocks.

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  58.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Mike:

    As has been pointed out to me frequently, correlation is not causation. It is interesting that copying is only alleged in 10% of cases. It is interesting that copying is proven in even fewer cases. However, the unanswered question is, why? Mullin has a point, but it is a question asked and unanswered. Further, Lemley has no proof, merely interesting information that has no context.

    I should also note that you have brought up a separate issue not covered by either Mullin or Lemley, and that is whether any evidence of copying was brought up at trial, regardless of whether copying was either alleged or proven. Again, neither Mullin nor Lemly covered that point.

     

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  59.  
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    Willton, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Mullin's original point stands: even if it is difficult to show full copying, in a jury trial, if there is some way to show that some copying was likely, you would absolutely want to do that. The fact that so few patent lawsuits do that suggests a pretty strong likelihood that very few patent lawsuits involve direct copying.

    No, it suggests that so few patent law suits intend to prove copying, likely because it is difficult to prove and not necessary in order to obtain a judgment of infringement. If Path A and Path B lead you to the same destination, yet Path A is easier to travel than Path B, why would one choose to travel Path B?

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    ...why would one choose to travel Path B?

    Perhaps because by failing to do so one is likely to be critized by persons unfamiliar with the law and litigation practice.

     

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  61.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    No, it suggests that so few patent law suits intend to prove copying, likely because it is difficult to prove and not necessary in order to obtain a judgment of infringement.

    Again, you seem to be blatantly ignoring the treble damages available for willful infringement... Of course, you'd want to show copying. It helps your case so much, you'd be practically committing malpractice to ignore it if you believed it were true.

    Considering what sort of ridiculous stuff is often alleged in such lawsuits, copying is hardly a difficult thing to include.

     

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  62.  
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    anymouse, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    If only the system worked...

    "If there was a "willful ignorance" accusation, not bothering to perform even a cursory check of existing patents would seem to constitute the basis for such an accusation."

    That would make sense, which is obviously why it doesn't happen that way in reality. What really happens is anyone working on a specific idea who happens to look at any related patents can then be charged with 'willful infringement' of any patents they looked at (meaning they looked at an idea and decided to copy it, even if that is not the case). What this means is that R&D departments are often specifically forbidden from reviewing related patents just so that the company can't be sued for 'willful infringement'.

    That sounds like it 'promotes the progress' right? Oh well, it promotes something......

     

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  63.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    Mike:

    Regardless of the source of willful infringement, courts have been very reluctant to find willful infringement, even in some cases where copying has been proven. Courts have also raised the willful infringement bar quite high as of In Re Seagate (CAFC 2007).

    Even when willfulness is found, a court is not bound to award enhanced damages. Here is a great quote from In Re Seagate

    "But a finding of willfulness does not require an award of enhanced damages; it merely permits it."

    Considering the increasing standard to prove willfulness, the discretion of the court in awarding damages, and the infrequency with which enhanced damages are awarded, proving willful infringement is generally not worth the effort. The evidence you have cited from Lemley is clear evidence that willfulness is proven infrequently. Further, copying may not be considered willful infringement depending on facts and circumstances.

    One should also consider that if one manufacturing company is suing another manufacturing company for willful infringement, their motivation may simply be to get the infringing company to stop, and they may be uninterested in obtaining damages.

    While you may feel that "ridiculous stuff is often alleged," the accusations must have some basis, otherwise the accuser is begging for a civil suit for false allegations. Copying may be easy to include, but if the evidence of copying is tenuous, at best, then the accuser is just setting themselves up for an allegation of false accusation and risking having their entire suit thrown out. Why would anyone set themselves up for failure?

     

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  64.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    Re: If only the system worked...

    So instead they are accused of willful infringement because they should have known...

    In any case, the willful infringement standard keeps being raised. Keeping in mind that courts want people to read patents, they are not obligated to assess enhanced damages. I would be interested if anyone is aware of enahanced damages being awarded as a direct result of reading competitor patents after the In Re Seagate decision.

     

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  65.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Thomas Campana Jr. was the inventor behind NPT. He was an honest to goodness example of real American ingenuity.

    The court hammered RIM because they committed numerous infractions, not the least of which was foisting manufactured evidence on the court.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  66.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    "academia who have largely abandoned their roles as dispassionate students of the law and crossed over into blatant and quite troubling advocacy."

    They are supplementing their incomes feeding at the trough of the Piracy Coalition.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Re: I love techdirt!

    Hey Mike, is this post your work or that of a Piracy Coalition stooge?

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  68.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 6:48pm

    Re: If only the system worked...

    What really happens is anyone working on a specific idea who happens to look at any related patents can then be charged with 'willful infringement' of any patents they looked at (meaning they looked at an idea and decided to copy it, even if that is not the case). What this means is that R&D departments are often specifically forbidden from reviewing related patents just so that the company can't be sued for 'willful infringement'.

    What really happens is that they do look at the patents, willfully infringe those patents, and then lie, cheat and steal at every opportunity.

    Transnational corporations are functionally equivalent to organized crime and many in the software community are functionally equivalent to petty racketeers. Both feel quite justified in stealing others property.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  69.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    Shocking. Ronald J. Riley shows up, responds to four comments.. but entirely skips over the one where I presented evidence showing that he was (as usual) 100% wrong.

    Funny how that works.

    See that? Way way way over there? It's your credibility Ronald... and, whoops, there it goes. It's gone.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Perry Mason, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: I love techdirt!

    Ron.... I think Mr. Masnick actually believes the dreck he is purveying, much to my astonishment. I didn't just fall off the turnip truck though, so I can imagine him girding his retirement loins behind the scenes where nobody could possibly hear about it. Perhaps a little of both, but only the shadow will ever really know for sure. One has to wonder why he spends apparently about 12 hours a day writing witty and nasty responses to anyone who disagrees with his law according to Mike. It might help his case a bit if he actually knew anything about patent law, but I have seen little evidence of it lately.
    Perry Mason

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    eldakka, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re:

    that leads those who are not well-versed in patent law to think that Apple actually TOOK Picsel's tech

    Sounds more like a reading comprehension issue.

     

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  72.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: I love techdirt!

    Hi Perry,

    Funny, you also seem to enjoy insulting people without a single reference to facts to support your position.

    Also amusing that you are unwilling to respond in your real name. As ridiculous as RJR may be, at least he's willing to stand behind his speech.

    And, for your info, no, no one pays me to write what I write. Why would I do that? Besides, if I wanted to be a shill, I'd get paid a lot more money -- and my posts would actually agree with those you accuse me of siding with.

    The problem, of course, is that I disagree with all of the companies Ronald and others accuse me of shilling for. I've stated quite clearly that I think their ideas on patent reform will not help and are a waste of time.

    And, I like the swipe about my knowledge of patent law. I note, of course (as per usual) you don't point to anything specific. And, also, I'll note that this is the same lame fallback position of others who have no real argument: my position is not based on patent law, but on fundamental economics, and the purpose of the patent system (to promote the progress...). Since the economic evidence shows that progress is not being promoted, I see that as a problem.

    It seems that those who support the patent system are always those (especially lawyers) who make the most money from that system... Funny that they then turn around and accuse *me* of being a shill.

    Ah, look, it's your credibility running off over the horizon's with Ronald's...

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Eldakka, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: not so

    If I go out today to my garage and develop some new gizmo to improve the efficiency of a pool pump (or whatever), there's a chance that I will tread on someone's patent even if I have never seen nor heard of a similar gizmo myself. In your words, I will have "incorporated" someone's technology simply by tinkering in my garage??

    Yes you will have. You will not have 'stolen' their ideas, but you would still have infringed upon their patent by incorporating the ideas expressed in their patent. If you 'stole' their ideas, you could face treble damages. Whereas for innocently coming up with your own version, you would not face treble damages.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Study history and contempory cases.

    "I feel our business name was injured through your list of “anonymous “ names."

    Sue his butt.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    "Mr. Lemley is a respected academic, but that alone is insufficient reason to ascribe to him and others in academia insight lost to professionals who toil outside of the hallowed halls of educational institutions."

    That sentence sounds like it was written by a pompous ass.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    "No, it suggests that so few patent law suits intend to prove copying, likely because it is difficult to prove and not necessary in order to obtain a judgment of infringement."

    Yeah, because nobody would want treble damages, would they?

    Get real.

     

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  77.  
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    Eldakka, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: infringement

    Huh? And why should a company stop building a product they built by themselves just because someone else claims to have done it first?

    Because it's the law? (Well, the owner of the patent can take the infringer to court, and if the court agrees its infringing they can order the infringer to stop producing the product.)

    I'm not saying it's a good law, in fact I think it's pretty silly, but until the law changes, that's how it is.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 24th, 2009 @ 3:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    The problem Mike is that you are very selective in which research papers you cite. You are so poorly informed, so biased, so belligerent to those who try to discuss the issues that there is a broad belief in the inventor community that you cannot be reasoned with. You are not an honest broker. In light of this it is reasonable for people to wonder about and theorize about what has made you what you are.

    I like to compare the human brain to a loosely coupled network of computers with each running a different operating system and all of the subsystems having been modified over time to serve functions different from their original purpose.

    Most people's skills are not well balanced because of the way the brain is constructed. For example, in my case I excelled in science and math and have very strong analytical reasoning skills. I am probably a highly functioning example of Asperger and have considerable difficulty connecting letter combinations to their sounds. That in turn leads to mistakes word use and spelling yet my IQ places me at about one in a million.

    Now in your case you seem to excel at writing and I am certain that you are also quite bright, but either lack the ability to process diverse sources of information or perhaps you have a financial reason to distort the information. When it comes to intellectual property and economics of such your writings are down right embarrassing.

    The bottom line is that you reap what you sow. So you need to start listening to those who actually know something about this topic.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    DanC, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: If only the system worked...

    What this means is that R&D departments are often specifically forbidden from reviewing related patents just so that the company can't be sued for 'willful infringement'.

    This would seem to be evidence that the patent system isn't working properly...

    What really happens is that they do look at the patents, willfully infringe those patents, and then lie, cheat and steal at every opportunity.

    Of course, Ron has full proof of this allegation. I mean, he wouldn't post unprovable speculation, would he?

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: If only the system worked...

    This would seem to be evidence that the patent system isn't working properly...

    Having dealt with companies in which in-house counsel caution against its engineers reviewing USPTO publications, the conclusion I have drawn is that these companies are being poorly advised by legal counsel who focus entirely on limiting liability across the board in all legal matters and not on actively assisting the companies to successfully implement their business plans. The former are journeymen who tend to practice law in "cruise control" and rarely, if ever, bring anything useful to the "business table", whereas the latter tend to be viewed as both lawyers and businessmen who function as an integral part of the business team.

    Sadly, the former seem to predominate over the latter by a wide margin. Small wonder that the majority of in-house counsel are generally viewed as obstructionists and an unnecessary evil.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 24th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike is Right

    The problem Mike is that you are very selective in which research papers you cite. You are so poorly informed, so biased, so belligerent to those who try to discuss the issues that there is a broad belief in the inventor community that you cannot be reasoned with.

    This from the guy who insulted my family and repeatedly tells me I have my head up my ass?

    Ronald, I have never insulted you personally or implied anything about your intelligence. You have repeatedly done that to me and others. Hell, I even defended you in that ridiculous lawsuit against you... and for it, I received even more insults.

    I can be reasoned with... if you presented a SHRED of evidence.

    I will note, for the record, that you have not.

    You are not an honest broker

    How can you say that? I have NO STAKE in this issue other than seeing American innovation succeed. Unlike you, I do not make my living in any way having to do with the patent system. I'm as honest a broker as there is in this debate.

    When it comes to intellectual property and economics of such your writings are down right embarrassing.

    Which is why I have numerous IP lawyers and economists each day congratulating me on what I write. Obviously, they're all insane.

    So... um.. Ronald, what happened to actually providing evidence to back up your assertion that most patent infringement lawsuits involve big companies stealing ideas from little companies.

    We're all still waiting.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Phillip, Feb 24th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Journalism a respected profession?

    Funny how that works. Nah, I'd say that's pretty standard behavior for people like him on the internet.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    DanC, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: If only the system worked...

    the conclusion I have drawn is that these companies are being poorly advised by legal counsel who focus entirely on limiting liability across the board in all legal matters and not on actively assisting the companies to successfully implement their business plans.

    Actually, given the current atmosphere, it's hardly poor advice at all. It seems to be increasingly difficult to bring a new innovative product to the market without being repeatedly sued over infringement issues. Apple supposedly filed over 200 patents based on the iPhone, which still didn't serve to stem the lawsuits. Vonage was unfairly targeted by every telco late to the game to the point where they were automatically settling every lawsuit.

    Since companies have discovered they can cause significant harm their competitors with these lawsuits, it simply makes sense for a company to cover its bases. Since the damages for willful infringement are significantly higher, purposefully avoiding the chances of it occurring is a logical step.

    It's an unhealthy atmosphere stemming from overly litigious companies, weaknesses in the patent system, and the "if you can't compete, litigate" mentality.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    mike ballantine, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    hold on

    Picsel just made a massive round of redundancies and also have insider news the employees haven't been paid properly since December 2008. Don't you think that it makes sense for Picsel to sue Apple for a bank loan? Or do you think they're desperate?

    Nuff said! Mike

     

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


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