Archive for the ‘Patents’ Category

Patent Reform Act 2011: Winners and Losers

February 6, 2011

An article on upcoming efforts to reform the patent process embedded from businessinsider:

After six years in limbo and significant changes from past years proposed patent reform legislation, the Patent Reform Act of 2011 is going to get hotly debated as it was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee on February 3rd and is currently on it’s way to the Senate.

Read more at the businessinsider

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Interview with Chief Patent Judge

November 6, 2010

I will update this post with more information but it looked interesting enough to just share the link to this article about an interview with the chief patent judge

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101102/02062411677/chief-patent-judge-feigns-ignorance-of-how-often-patents-are-used-to-hinder-innovation.shtml

White House Administration looking for ways to block access to sites with infringing content

October 3, 2010

This story on Techdirt which was posted before the news of “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) being delayed was out, still shows that people concerned with the interplay of privacy, government control, trademarks and copyright infringement need to keep abreast of the shifting landscape.  White House Administrative staff has been meeting with domain registrars (among others) and talking about ways to block access to infringing sites.  I think it is an important goal to stop piracy and theft of intellectual property, I just want whatever procedures put in place to have proper due process to ensure that non-infringing or legitimate fair use works are not caught in the same “net”.

Boingo awarded patent for hotspot access | MuniWireless

July 2, 2009

I find this one surprising.  Bonigo has been awarded a patent for accessing a wireless network from any mobile device, be it a cell phone, laptop, or netbook.  Is this the type of “idea” that should be patented? Isn’t the whole idea of wireless networking to provide portability of the devices that intend to connect to the network.  I see this is as another piece of evidence that the patent process needs serious overhaul.

That thought is compounded by the fact that the original application was in 2002 and it took seven years to be granted!  How many businesses have been built on this type of technology and now may be found in violation of this patent and become responsible for licensing fees? Further, how has the “prior art” issue been addressed.

The more I learn about the patent process, the more questions I have.

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Boingo awarded patent for hotspot access | MuniWireless

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Unmasking Plaintiffs in Google Case

May 24, 2009

This post “ Unmasking Plaintiffs in (Firepond) Google Case “on law.com shows that all is not always as it seems.  When I first heard this story, I thought that it was a legitimate complaint to be concerned that someone searching on Google for your company name would be served up information/links on your competitors.  This can potentially be confusing for the searcher, who may not realize they are clicking on a competitor of the company/product they were searching for.

Then you find out that the people behind the suit have a history of acquiring patents, allegedly for the sole purpose of suing other people for patent infringement. Does that make the claim/suit any less valid? What impact does this have on innovation and the products available in the marketplace?  Is it protecting innovation or stifling it.  I think the next few years will be significant in the world of patent law, especially in the technology field and we will see changes in how patents are granted and what it takes to have an existing patent invalidated.

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