Recent Posts

Big Blue Swinging a Big Stick

Leads Pack in Cloud Patents. But What Does Alice Say?

IBM is leading the pack in developing cloud patents, according to a recent piece in Computerworld. But is the outlook sunny?

IBM is touting its fat IP portfolio, indeed. That’s (count ‘em) 7,534 patents in 2014 alone. Microsoft won 2,829 in the same period, Amazon 745. But IBM is getting flattened in the market right now, after being a market darling between about 2004 and 2011 or so. read more


Patent Bill H.R.9 Called Innovation Death Trap

Silicon Valley Icon Issues Broadside Against Industry-Backed Troll Bill

It’s about time. Another voice in the innovation community has risen to counter the repetitive arguments of those favoring legislation to curb the purportedly diabolical actions of patent trolls. I’m looking forward to hearing more such voices.

Bob Pavey, Silicon Valley icon and partner emeritus at venture capital firm Morgenthaler Ventures, isn’t buying the rhetoric. Check out his sober opinion piece in the San Jose Mercury News on the march toward passing H.R.9, the “anti-troll” bill now out of committee and to be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives. read more


IP Contributes $5 Trillion to GDP, Says USPTO

Initiates Quality Initiative, Citing Effect of IP on Jobs

According to the World Bank, gross domestic product in the U.S. was almost $16.8 trillion in 2013.

As it prepares to launch its new “quality initiative,” the USPTO claims that IP-intensive industries “support at least 40 million jobs in the U.S. and contribute more than $5 trillion—or nearly 35 percent—to our GDP.” read more


Patents in a Post-Alice World

Thoughts on Reports from IPBC Global in San Francisco

Intellectual Asset Management is today reporting on its blog on subjects near and dear to all of us: IP value, software patents in our “tricky” new era, legislation that could affect litigation, the environment post-Alice, and more.

Most interesting to me were the reports from Joff Wild, including on what Rockstar Consortium’s John Veschi said about software patents at SCOTUS: read more


Extracting a Toll From a Patent ‘Troll’

Floyd Norris writes a worthwhile business column for The New York Times. He’s done yeoman work exposing corporate fraud, for one thing.

Norris’ article of October of 2013, “Extracting a Toll From a Patent ‘Troll’,” offers a good and detailed summary (as good as it gets in mainstream media) of the issues at stake in Octane, now up for Supreme Court review. read more


Forward-Thinking, Future-Shaping Federal Circuit

In her article on Huffington Post, “The Forward-Thinking, Future-Shaping Federal Circuit,” employment attorney and Wake Forest University law professor Abigail Perdue addresses the unique nature of the Court (where she also clerked for Judge Jimmie A. Reyna):

[T]he Federal Circuit is the only circuit where every judge resides in the same location, generating an unparalleled culture of collegiality and collaboration. It is also the only circuit with nationwide jurisdiction, so its opinions control across America and are not geographically limited like other circuits’ decisions. read more


Lighting Ballast: Continuing Cybor’s Legal Fiction

Really?  No underlying facts at all?  Never? Is anyone else surprised about the outcome of Lighting Ballast?

I am. I thought there would be some—though maybe negligible—situation where the district court was forced to rely on extrinsic evidence, such as expert testimony. And the district court’s decision with respect to that evidence would be reviewed for clear error. read more


There is a “Right Way” To Steal Ideas

Remember your Mom saying “imitation is the greatest form of flattery”? And thinking as a kid … “Right, Mom.” I do remember, and now I find opportunity to say it to my girls.

But what’s the proper way to imitate something that you like? From a legal perspective, we know to avoid other companies’ intellectual property. We strategize about ways to “design around,” to avoid infringing others’ IP. But can we legitimately imitate? read more


Intellectual Property Drives Our Economy—and Others’

IP drives our economy. And now more than ever, when we send overseas everything we manufacture or sell, we need a strong IP system to protect innovators and their products (and services).

Yet, it seems that at every turn, some governmental entity is trying to weaken our ability to do so. Congress, the President, various states’ attorneys general, etc.  Why is that? read more


The Thirty-Nine Steps

Is Bulk Cross-Licensing Moving Towards a Non-Compete?

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”  John Buchan

The war on patent assertion entities continues. Sometimes it’s just rhetoric, sometimes it’s real.

Two days ago the Oregon state legislature introduced a measure to curb the most egregious types of patent trolling: dunning letters threatening legal actions if small businesses don’t pay a licensing fee. It’s the same type of provision—essentially a consumer and business protection law—as has been proposed in Vermont and Nebraska. We’ll keep an eye on what happens. Rampant “demand-letter trolling” deserves to be slammed. read more