patent

Top events ahead in 2014 for abusive patent litigation

reform of abusive patent litigation

It’s a new year and all indications are that it will be a busy one for reform of abusive patent litigation.

What are some of the top events ahead in 2014? » Read more

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Open source under the lens of an intellectual property lawyer

open source and intellectual property
All Things Open eBook

Download the free All Things Open interview series eBook

Have you ever wondered what, from a business perspective, the world of sharing, free, and open source looks like to a lawyer?

Challenging! Chaotic? Creative.

Pam Chestek is an intellectual property lawyer. She runs Chestek Legal, a practice that focuses on giving practical, legal advice on branding, marketing, and protecting and sharing content. In this interview she shares with me what caused her to challenge traditional wisdom back in law school, the kind of chaos involved in analyzing free and open source software through the lens of the law, and how creativity is at the heart of it all.  » Read more

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White House takes executive action to curb patent abuse

Patent reform

The White House on Tuesday announced a broad set of legislative recommendations for Congress and executive actions aimed at thwarting abusive patent infringement lawsuits.

» Read more

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Top 10 FOSS issues of 2012

foss lawyers

The year 2012 had many important FOSS legal developments which reflects the continued increase in FOSS use. FOSS projects have increased from 600,000 in 2010 to 900,000 by December 2012. In addition, a Dr. Dobbs' survey in the third quarter of 2012 stated that more than 90% of developers are using FOSS in two of the most rapidly growing areas, cloud computing and mobile computing.

Continuing the tradition of looking back over the top ten legal developments in FOSS, my selection of the top ten issues for 2012 are as follows.

» Read more

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Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability

 Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability

As has been widely reported, the district court in the Oracle v. Google case has issued an order holding that the "structure, sequence and organization" (SSO) of 37 J2SE 5.0 API packages is not copyrightable. Oracle is expected to appeal. » Read more

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Supreme Court orders reconsideration of breast cancer gene patent decision

Yesterday, the Supreme Court vacated Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics and remanded the case for further consideration in light of last week's Prometheus decision, which stated that the laws of nature are unpatentable. The Myriad case concerns the patentability of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes. » Read more

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A cure for the common troll

A cure for the common troll

Our bridge into the 21st Century presently houses a nasty creature who demands a toll from the best and brightest in our community. The dreaded troll is a regular denizen of our current system of patent enforcement and he poses serious problems for technology companies. Despite the great expense of patent litigation, trolls are filing increasing numbers of patent suits aimed at technology companies, and particularly aimed at software and related areas of commerce. Their club of choice is the broad, complex, and vague patent claim. There are several means at our disposal, most of which are based on known mechanisms from other areas of the law, for dealing with these trolls, or more diplomatically, these "non-practicing entities." » Read more

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Infographic: "When Patents Attack!" from patent good to patent profiteering

The problem with patents

This week FrugalDad posted an infographic about how the patent system has reacted to the rapid pace of technology, inspired by the "When Patents Attack!" episode of NPR's This American Life.

As he writes in the graphic, patents were imagined as a way to "promote the progress of science and useful arts," but they've become a path to litigation instead. See how we went from "the right idea" (even the high-fiving robot arm) to "patent profitteers" and the "selfless innovator." » Read more

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The huge societal costs of NPE software patent lawsuits

Ginormous losses from NPE software patent lawsuits

Innovative software companies start each work day knowing that, no matter how careful and how ethical they are, they face a meaningful risk of being sued for patent infringement. It's like a tooth ache – painful and distracting, even when not debilitating. A major source of this pain is non-practicing entities (NPEs), which are expert at acquiring and exploiting weak software patents. While this is not hot news to the open source community, the enormous financial harm caused by NPEs is just starting to be understood. » Read more

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New patent reform law could reduce lawsuits by non-practicing entities

New patent reform law could reduce lawsuits by non-practicing entity

The Hidden Gem in the Bill:  Joinder Reform

So it has finally happened: a patent reform bill has actually become law. Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted 89-9 to send H.R. 1249 to the White House, where it was signed into law today.  While I have pointed out in the past that this bill misses out on several aspects of reform that previous bills attempted, it does include some useful aspects.

First, though, let’s discuss what the new law will NOT include. » Read more

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