Monthly Archives: September 2012

The NPELaw Proverb

It’s Friday, so time for the NPE Proverb – that so applies to NPE’s:

“I have come to regard the law courts not as a cathedral but rather as a casino.” – Richard Ingrams

TGIF, Patent Trolls! This Bud is for you!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Patent Troll = Patent Cockroach (In China)

In a report on SIIA.net, Mark McCarthy describes the potential for major NPE activity in China, particularly due to the China’s laws regarding utility patents:

“The threshold of inventiveness is lower for utility model patents.  As compared to prior art, an invention patent has “prominent substantive features and represents a notable progress;” while a utility model patent merely has “substantive features and represents progress.” As a result it is more difficult to invalidate a questionable utility model patent. And there is no mandatory examination upon filing an infringement action.

The utility models are issued without substantive examination typically in under 6 months (3 months is the target) Utility models are 20% cheaper than invention patents to obtain.

Because of these attractive features utility model patents are growing quickly.  Most of these are owned by Chinese individuals.”

And, note this ominous part: “The situation is ripe for abuse.  Since 2008, well-known non-practicing entities have begun to establish a presence in China. It is only a matter of time before the patent troll problem burst out there and by then it will be too late to prevent the damage these.”

 

Please go to this link for the entire post (and the “patent cockroach” reference: http://www.siia.net/blog/index.php/2012/09/chinas-utility-model-patent-system-a-perfect-storm-for-patent-trolls/

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Filed under NPE News, Patent Trolls, Patents

CATO Institute Study Recommends Repeal of Section 337

Cato Institute Analyst K. William Watson has issued a study condemning Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 because:

“Section 337 contravenes a foundational element of free trade known as national treatment and violates the commitments of the United States as a member of the World Trade Organization. The law negatively impacts the integrity and functionality of U.S. patent law by establishing a dual-track system for patent enforcement and retains its ability to serve as a purely protectionist trade remedy mechanism.”

His recommendation:

“Repealing Section 337 is the only way to ensure the integrity of the U.S. patent system, to bring the United States into compliance with trade obligations, and to prevent future abuse of this protectionist trade law.”

The chances of that recommendation being adopted with this Congress? Slim and none. And Slim just rode out of town.

Here’s a link to the study: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA708.pdf

For another Cato view of the study see this blog post: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/itc-how-an-obscure-bureaucracy-makes-the-world-safe-for-patent-trolls/

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IV’s Chemistry Lab Buys Equipment

An IV blog post reports that IV’s Chemistry Lab has purchase several pieces of equipment: “Included in our new acquisitions are a liquid chromatograph, a UV-VIS spectrometer, and a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer. Each of these instruments plays an integral part in analytical chemistry, the branch of chemistry that is focused on studying the composition of mixtures.”

Inventions and patent infringement suits to follow. And then more “Global Good”. It’s the IV Lifecycle!

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Patent Troll Norman IP Holdings Escapes Massachusetts Litigation

A US District Court in Massachusetts has found that the patent infringement actions of Norman IP Holdings in other jurisdictions, while hiring Massachusetts-based legal counsel, “do not constitute sufficient minimum contacts with Massachusetts to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction.”  So, Tom-Tom, the plaintiff, will have to face Norman elsewhere. Hmmm-where would a GPS system determine that location to be? Texas, anyone?

See this blog post for more information about the decision:http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=bd1dc3b7-6b4e-4db8-b696-8aa2484c22aa

 

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IV Settles DRAM & NAND Flash Suits

More revenue for “Global Good” coming IV’s way! Huzzah! This time IV has settled its patent litigation lawsuits with memory chip manufacturers (and admitted antitrust violators for memory chips) Hynix and Elpida (in process of being acquired by Micron). See this blog post on wsj.com for more information.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/09/24/intellectual-ventures-reaches-patent-deal-with-memory-chip-makers/

Too bad Rambus was not as successful as IV with the memory chip industry-that stock price wouldn’t have cratered to $5 (and resulted in recent layoffs).

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Filed under Intellectual Ventures, NPE News, Patent Litigation, Patent Troll

Disguising A NPE As A Startup?

Patent Attorney Leonid Kravets in a Techcrunch blog post asserts that PersonalWeb may be a legitimate startup with a patent monetization strategy as well and not a patent troll. He also has this to say about the proposed SHIELD ACT:

“Certainly, there are compelling reasons for and against the Act and it is worth watching its progress in Congress. However, I am not sure that the answer to the Non Practicing Entity problem is to make patent lawsuits financially untenable for small entities, as there are plenty of legitimate examples of  small companies attempting to enforce patents against wrongdoers. Similarly, as the line between a traditional Non Practicing Entity and an operating company blurs or disappears, we should not assume that every small company attempting to enforce a patent is a patent troll.”

Here is a link to the blog post for more: http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/23/the-death-of-the-non-practicing-entity/

Also note the comments below the post which are worth a read as well. I particularly liked this one:

“PersonalWeb is pretty clearly a troll, though an elaborately disguised one. No real company with product aspirations has so many issued patents but no other even attempt at a revenue stream. None of their products are out, and they have 18 followers on Twitter. If you were going to disguise an NPE as a company, you’d put it right in the middle of east texas to win jury sympathy, throw up a website with elaborate product descriptions and no links to any real products, and then list all of your patents. Which is exactly what PersonalWeb has done. The only link on the website is to contact them to license patents. That’s a pretty damning sign.”

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Filed under NPE Articles, Patent Trolls