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  • Jan 28, 2014 @ 11:54am

    Attorneys Fees a Naive Solution

    A defendant will have to invest millions to try to win, and then win, to recover fees based on fee shifting. Only the giants will be able to take advantage of this. What would really work would be to put a limit on damages to make cases unprofitable for trolls. Instead of letting them claim, for example, 1% or 2% of total company sales from a retailer, limit them to a percentage based on wholesale/supplier level prices. Instead of letting them claim, for example, 1% or 2% of total product sales from a manufacturer, when the infringement is burned into a chip bought from a chip manufacturer, limit them to a percentage based on the price of the chip.

  • Sep 17, 2013 @ 05:53pm

    Claims Invalid

    Lodsys might not be giving up much. On June 18, 2013 in a Reexamination, Claims 1-6, 10, 11,1 6, 22, 25, 30-32, 38, 46-48, 50-53, 69 and 71-74 of the Lodsys 7,222,078 patent were rejected in Reexam 95-000639.
    This patent, and the 7,620,565 patent had terminal disclaimers, which indicate that they expired when patent 5,999,908 expired -- which looks like August 6, 2012. And Lodsys is still sending out communications "offering" to "license." (You can't license an expired patent)

  • Sep 17, 2013 @ 05:50pm

    Some Lodsys Claims Rejected

    I'm just picking up on this, but it looks like on June 18, 2013 in a Reexamination, Claims 1-6, 10, 11,1 6, 22, 25, 30-32, 38, 46-48, 50-53, 69 and 71-74 of the Lodsys 7,222,078 patent were rejected in Reexam 95-000639.
    This patent, and the 7,620,565 patent had terminal disclaimers, which indicate that they expired when patent 5,999,908 expired -- which looks like August 6, 2012. And Lodsys is still sending out communications "offering" to "license." (You can't license an expired patent)

  • Jul 29, 2013 @ 05:14pm

    Not Secret?

    Maybe a different approach, and I certainly respect the reasonable comments above, is that once you post it on Facebook, it is really no longer private. Therefore why would you have an "expectation of privacy"? Consider if these were trade secrets. They can only be trade secrets if they are secret. If someone posts a company's trade secrets on Facebook, then secrecy is lost and there is not a misappropriation claim against the next "re-publisher."

  • May 10, 2012 @ 05:35am

    (1) I know a lot of you don't like patents at all, and I know there are patents that go way too far. But the rationale for the patent power is that "the people" are helped by (a) the disclosure of technology publicly, instead of keeping trade secrets and (b) encouraging that disclosure by permitting a limited monopoly over the invention after which time it is dedicated to the public. The problem isn't the grant of patents, it's the particular patents and the pace of the system. If you want to attack the validity of a patent application filed in 1996, all you have to do is come up with evidence that the thing was done in 1995. Not so easy to find if it's a patent that issued in 2005 and is asserted in 2012.
    (2) On 'open source', I'm a fan of open source generally, and have a Linux box, but I haven't looked into the particular rules used for managing the contributors. It seems to me that there should be some rules, just like a more formal Standard Setting Organization has, that require that if you participate and take advantage of the collective contributions, you must promise to not assert patents. That was a big part of Qualcomm v Broadcom.

  • Feb 11, 2012 @ 08:28am

    Perspective

    Sort of puts all the griping about limits to free music downloading in perspective. This is what a real limit on free speech looks like.

  • Feb 10, 2012 @ 10:52am

    FOIA

    Has anyone sought, under Freedom of Information Act, since a state University is involved, the terms of the settlements? A good project for you, Mike?

  • Feb 10, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Verdict Form

    VERDICT FORM FOR INVALIDITY TRIAL
    1. Did Defendants prove by clear and convincing evidence that any of the following asserted claims of the '985 Patent and '906 Patent are invalid?
    Answer "Yes" or "No" for each listed claim.
    Patent '985
    Claim 1 Yes
    Claim 3 Yes
    Claim 10 Yes
    Claim 16 Yes
    Claim 18 Yes
    Claim 20 Yes
    Claim 22 Yes
    Claim 36 Yes
    Claim 38 Yes
    Claim 40 Yes
    Claim 42 Yes
    Patent '906
    Claim 1 Yes
    Claim 6 Yes
    Signed

  • Feb 10, 2012 @ 07:35am

    Rock Stars

    Rock star witnesses. Microsoft lost when they litigated against Eolas, not having rock star witnesses, and also having memoranda saying that they needed the functionality also described in the Eolas patent. Of course, Internet Explorer, at the time, had just killed Netscape, so the evil empire was hardly a sympathetic defendant.

  • Feb 09, 2012 @ 03:18pm

    trolling

    Troll is not a verb (and "trolling", inapplicable) in this contest. Patent Trolls are called that because of the Troll in Billy Goats Gruff who jumped up from under the bridge to demand a toll for crossing.

  • Dec 14, 2011 @ 09:01am

    What Protected Speech?

    Tell me again -- if someone is enabling and encouraging the downloading of unauthorized copies of a work, which, under the law of the location the download is saved, how is that "protected speech"? Free speech is "free" as in "freedom" -- you can convey your own ideas about society, government, critique and petition the government. "Free" speech is not "free" as in "I don't want to pay". Not to say there aren't potential problems in SOPA/PIPA or creating a new ITC action in OPEN, but I still don't see how it's censorship or a restraint on free speech if it were used to stop illegal downloading from foreign sites.

  • Sep 28, 2011 @ 06:35am

    1968

    In 1968 they would have shot them. We've come a long way.

  • Sep 17, 2011 @ 06:51am

    Patent Marking -- Expired Patents

    While a small part of the whole, "I'm troubled by people claiming patents on inventions that are public domain" is a little logically inconsistent with the general tenor of the computer technology industry can do no wrong approach of Techdirt. The most ridiculous thing in the false marking cases was the idea that leaving on a patent number of an expired patent was actionable. All anyone needs to do is plug in the patent number in the appropriate Internet location and you can tell if it's expired. That, therefore, tells you what's in the public domain.

  • Feb 02, 2011 @ 06:01am

    Complaint

    I'd be interested in seeing a copy of the Complaint. If he filed in New York, how'd he get jurisdiction? Did he actually find a lawyer to file it?

  • Jan 05, 2011 @ 07:55am

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flatery

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flatery, but that's not a defense. If it's fair use, that's all you need to use the idea.

  • Nov 18, 2010 @ 06:12am

    Taxidermy

    If I had a beloved cat, named Washington, who passed away, and I decided to have him preserved, could I ask the taxidermist to mount Washington?

  • Nov 12, 2010 @ 06:06am

    Industry Shills -- Historical Patent Case

    One of the first "patent fraud" cases involved an industry shill. The industry patent lawyer wrote an article extolling the virtues of a labor saving glass forming invention but the byline was that of a leader in the glassblowers' union. Then the lawyer argued the article was more persuasive because the author was making a statement against his own interests. It all came out because the entire glass industry was involved in an industry-wide price fixing campaign -- I'm pretty sure it was all about "Depression Glass." The lawyer was disbarred and the Supreme Court announce an uncompomising duty of candor to the Patent Office.

  • Nov 05, 2010 @ 10:32am

    Capital One

    I had what I thought was a Capital One bait-and-switch on credit card terms. Paper offered one thing, Internet the other. While they thought it was fine, I paid off my account and won't use it anymore. If you have a bait-and-switch involving the Internet, document it if you want to complain (FTC has a new CTO!). Things change so fast that if you complain and later go back, you won't be able to prove what happened.

  • Oct 03, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Isolated Hypothetical

    Many situations are facts-driven. The above hypothetical and the cartoon assume certain facts and if we change the hypothetical we could change the result. Actually, the hypothetical reminds me a lot of the Nancy Sinatra case.
    My take, though, is simply that there may be reasons "credit" or linking back or something, may be more valuable than getting paid for using one's work. Would the student filmmakers in the Iowa State case have been better off getting the $300 or so, or getting credit for including their Dan Gable clip in the Olympics, or getting jobs? It doesn't matter because the Network simply stole it. Is there a "non-commercial but with linking back and credit" option or something?

  • Sep 26, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Petition Signatures

    Those of us familiar with Chicago politics don't find anything surprising about the dead signing petitions. What's more surprising is that someone actually relies on them.

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