|The AmeriKat peering from|
her suitcase - ready to pounce
on some US IP stories
|Google's senior VP and chief legal|
officer and Stanford
law graduate, David Drummond
“a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents."
They’re doing this by banding together to acquire Novell’s old patents (the “CPTN” group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel’s old patents (the “Rockstar” group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn’t get them; seeking $15 licensing fees for every Android device; attempting to make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android (which we provide free of charge) than Windows Phone 7; and even suing Barnes & Noble, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.
A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a “tax” for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.”
|The US courts and USPTO may be challenged|
to put some teeth into patent law,
but the AmeriKat (above) isn't...
"Really, the challenge that's facing the courts and patent office and all of us is to put some teeth (in the law) and use common sense, like the Supreme Court said in 2007. The legal system should say you shouldn't patent something that's obvious. What we have to do is have real standards for what is patentable. Patents are supposed to be a form of property. The property system doesn't work if you don't have clear boundaries. Also, at the end of the day, damages, injunctions and remedies have to be proportional to the value of the invention. Very often, what is fueling patent-troll lawsuits is the ability to go into court and seek astronomical damages based on what any rational person would consider a minor component of the product. "
"use the large patent portfolio they've built up to get revenue from the success of other companies' products."
|Could this be on a coffee mug |
at Google's headquarters?
"Much of the information that Apple seeks to seal is publicly available by examining OS X itself or by consulting publicly available sources such as the website for the book OS X Internals by Amit Singh. Comparing the information Apple seeks to seal and the information publicly available reveals that much of the publicly available information is accurate...Apple cannot have this Court seal information merely to avoid confirming that the publicly available sources got it right."The decision comes after 3 years of litigation between the parties. Apple sued Psystar in July 2008 for copyright infringement and associated claims as a result of Psystar manufacture of clones of Mac computers. Following Apple's success Psystar was prohibited by the court from selling copies of Apple’s operating system.
|District Judge Alsup|
The willfulness part of the claim was subject to a motion by the parties during last week’s hearing in respect of the inclusion into evidence of an e-mail from Google engineer Tim Lindholm. Under US law (35 USC 284), where a plaintiff proves that a defendant has wilfully infringed a patent a defendant can face having to pay three times the damages. The e-mail from Lindholm, which Google argued is subject to attorney-client privilege or work-product rules (although those arguements did not find favor with the judge), explains that despite investigating alternative technologies to Java for Android and Chrome, they had not been able to find any suitable alternatives The only option, Lindholm stated in his e-mail, was to negotiate a licence for Java. Such an e-mail is of obvious interest to Oracle. Judge Alsup again denied, for the sixth time, Google's motion to exclude it from evidence. Last fall, after the fifth denial, Google appealed the issue to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). According to Florian Mueller of the excellent software and mobile patent blog, FOSS Patents, he does not see that the CAFC will decide anything differently than the trial judge. For more information on the case and the Lindholm e-mails please see Florian's post here and here.
AT&T to pay $215 million to TiVo in patent infringement settlement: The U.S. telecoms giant, AT&T, has settled a patent infringement law suit with digital video recorder company, TiVo. According to this press release from TiVo, under the settlement, AT&T will pay TiVo at least $215 million until June 2018, starting with an initial lump sum of $51 million followed by $20 million in the first year. In August 2009, TiVo filed their patent infringement complaint in the Eastern District of Texas claiming that AT&T's U-verse service had infringed three of its patents including US Patent No 6,233,389 for an invention entitled "Multimedia time warping system" which allows a user "to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program". After news of the settlement, TiVO's stocks spiked as much as 22%.