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If people thought it was hard to get the London Agreement up and running, they should wait for the fireworks a concrete proposal for a single European patent jurisdiction will cause. You can expect howls of protest and very well organised campaigns opposing whatever plans are drawn up from organisations which will see it as a move to strengthen patent protection in Europe, certainly with regard to software and computer implemented inventions. Once the demonstrations and the internet campaigns begin, strong political support from the very top will be crucial if anything concrete is to happen.
by: zoobabzoobab
13 Nov 2007 11:06
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"Google, along with Microsoft and a number of other large companies, are defending against a host of so-called trolls -- small companies, academics and individuals asserting patent infringement on core technologies," technology attorney Raymond Van Dyke told TechNewsWorld. "It is a long way to go before trial even in the Eastern District of Texas, and with a reduced threat of injunction, pursuant to the Supreme Court eBay decision, Google is likely unconcerned at this time," added Van Dyke.
by: zoobabzoobab
13 Nov 2007 00:03
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According to a recent press release, next week the High Court is to hear an appeal from a UK-IPO decision (Astron Clinica & others) on software patents. The appeal, coordinated by the well-known name (in the world of software patents at least) of Beresford & Co., relates to the UK-IPO's practice, following their interpretation of Aerotel/Macrossan (see previous IPKat posts here, here, here or here), of refusing claims directed to computer program products, even when such claims refer to claimed methods that are otherwise seen to be allowable. The four patent applications in question had method claims that were all deemed to be allowable, but were refused solely on the grounds of having computer program product claims.
by: zoobabzoobab
13 Nov 2007 00:00
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The patent describes a distributed database system that breaks search queries into fragments and distributes them to multiple computers in a network to get faster results. The patent was assigned to Northeastern University, which licensed it exclusively to Jarg, according to the lawsuit, filed last Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 22:16
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Keith Beresford, well known british hacker of the European Patent Convention and author of the book "Patenting Software Under the European Patent Convention", is trying to reverse the Macrossan case in front of the High Court in UK.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 19:06
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Acacia Research Corporation announced today that its Acacia Patent Acquisition Corporation subsidiary has acquired a patent for compiler technology. "Acacia continues to grow its base of future revenues by adding new patent portfolios," commented Paul Ryan, Acacia Chairman and CEO. "As our licensing success grows, more companies are selecting us as their partner for the licensing of their patented technologies," concluded Mr. Ryan. The patented technology generally relates to software object pre-compilation and linking in software compilers. The technology may be used in the development of application software such as operating systems, business software, video games, Internet commerce, and enterprise software.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 17:27
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Judgment in mock trial and debate on issues raised (Led by Professor Tilmann, Lovells, Düsseldorf; Judges: Peter Meier-Beck (Germany), Robert Van Peursem (Netherlands), Alice Pézard (France)); Interaction between EPO post-grant procedures and national litigation (Chair: Sir Robin Jacob, Court of Appeal, UK, Alison Brimelow, President, EPO, Edward Nodder, Chris Mercer, President, epi, Jan Wilems, Max von Rospatt, Pierre Véron) ; Brevets sans frontières: update on European initiatives (Chair: Jochen Pagenberg, Bardehle Pagenberg, Munich Margot Fröhlinger, European Commission)
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 15:46
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And finally software patents have become a site of conflict where not only different business models but also different vision of the knowledge society clash. [...] More specifically we have analyzed the conflicts around two recent EU directives the first EU directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRED 1) and EU directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions (Softwarepatent Directive). The study aims to explain why in the first case the decision making process followed the dominant maximalist rights culture, while in the second case the arguments of the proponents of alternative regulation modes have been heard. We argue that dynamic relational aspects are crucial to understand the structure of the conflicts and to explain their outcomes. It is important to take a closer look at the relations between the actors and at the characteristics of the networks.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 15:27
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The High Court is set to review government restrictions on the protection of computer-implemented inventions in the U.K. The hearing, set for 19 November follows an appeal by four small high-tech English companies against a decision of the UK-Intellectual Property Office in July. The high-tech four are challenging the UK-IPO’s refusal to accept patent claims that cover disks and downloads, thus undermining the ability of British industry to protect inventions reliant upon the development of new software. Astron Clinica Limited, Software 2000 Limited, Surf Kitchen Inc and Cyan Holdings Plc. have developed technology in fields ranging from skin imaging and printer drivers through to telecoms and micro-controllers. Each is reliant on novel software, and the ability to control the distribution of that software is critical to the success of their business.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 14:56
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This time, however, Google is late to the party. And while it may enter the market with a potentially brilliant idea, terrific brand, and the deepest of pockets, it probably won't own many, if any, patents for mobile-phone operating-system software. Perhaps I've been overexposed to the adversarial world of mobile-wireless intellectual property, in which patent protection is wielded like a battle axe -- but Google's lack of mobile-phone software patents could be a distinct disadvantage. Yes, Google plans to build its software with open-source code developed in a public collaborative manner -- but even this can get slapped with expensive and distracting patent litigation. Reliability, support quality and security are other issues surrounding open-source platforms.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 12:23
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Google is being sued by both Jarg Corp. (a privately funded search technology developer) and Northeastern University, parties to a patent which they claim describes the database technology Google uses to quickly index web information. The Boston Globe reports that the patent in question (No. 5,694,593, dated Dec 2, 1997) was granted to Northeastern in 1997 and exclusively licensed to the aforementioned Jarg Corp. It's not clear when Google began allegedly infringing on the '593 patent. The company incorporated in 1998, but Jarg co-founders Michael Belanger and Kenneth Baclawski weren't aware of any potential infringement until approximately 2.5 years ago, when the two men were contacted by a Boston law firm that wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 12:17
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Google is being dragged to court by Boston’s Northeastern University. The internet giant is being accused over a patented system for searching databases with networked computers and indexing results. In a complaint filed on Nov. 6th, in the federal court at Marshall, Texas, Northeastern stated that it “has suffered damages as a result of Google’s infringement and will continue to suffer damages.”
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 12:11
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The patent covers a method for chopping up database queries into multiple portions and having each part processed by a different computer. This allows for much faster searching of huge databases, like Google's vast index of Web pages on the Internet. Lawsuits get filed every day and I am sure Google is a target of more than its fair share due to its deep pockets. Whether this lawsuit has more merit than others will be decided soon enough by the courts.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 12:07
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Wearing the famous-in-geek-circles red hat, Jan Wildeboar of Red Hat talked about the company's philosophy and aims as a FOSS vendor. The company viewed the defeat of the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive as a victory, and the EPLA as a dangerous backdoor metho?d of bringing software patents to Europe by having a centrral patent court to harmonise national law. On software patents, Jan's view was that they simply do not work. Pieter Hinjens of iMatix, a company that licences its software under permissive licences such as GPL, shared similar views on software patents. He noted that the US triple damages rule (which applies where someone knowingly infringes a patent) effectively means that companies deliberately avoid reading patents, meaning that the system is 'wrong'. After this comment, it was unsurprising to hear that Hinjens views software patents and the EPLA as the biggest threats facing FOSS.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Nov 2007 12:02
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OpenTV settled a patent suit with Liberate Technologies Inc. dating back to 2002. San Francisco-based OpenTV sued Liberate in February 2002 over two patents, and then Liberate countersued, alleging infringement of four patents. Two of those claims were later dismissed by Liberate. [...] As part of the deal, Liberate admitted infringing OpenTV patents. U.S. District Court in San Francisco issued an order restraining Liberate from infringing OpenTV's patents, and Liberate dropped its countersuit.
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Nov 2007 13:29
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Most folks have a tough time saying goodbye. And if Microsoft gets its way, communication software vendors may find it tougher to give users the ability to say goodbye online. Microsoft wants to patent the technological mechanisms by which instant messaging, chat, and VoIP applications automatically send goodbye messages, according to a recently published patent application with the U.S. Patent Office.
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Nov 2007 13:20
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Burst.com claims that some of its patents for receiving, storing and transmitting audio and video files are at the heart of the iPod. The company first approached Apple to try to arrange a license for its claimed patents in late 2004. These attempts failed and the company later launched litigation against Apple in April 2006. Apple has argued that the patents do not rightfully belong to Burst, or that the patents are invalid. Last year Burst settled litigation with Microsoft, which took a licence and paid Burst a US$60 million lump sum.
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Nov 2007 01:09
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Linking to "third party repositories": Legal says that we can link, from the Fedora website, to third party repositories, so long as no one has made a critical assessment to determine that a patent or patents cover the technology in question and no party has actually asserted their patents against the technology, we should be okay. Once we are on notice of a claim of infringement or are aware of a competent assessment that concludes infringement is likely, we would need to take the link down or run a serious risk of facing a claim for inducing infringement. Merely linking would be highly unlikely to subject us to a claim of direct infringement. I asked about MP3, and it was stated that unless we are specifically aware of the MP3 patent holders asserting a claim against the technology, we are still okay.
by: zoobabzoobab
09 Nov 2007 19:37
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Specifically, IBM - which collects more than $US1 billion in patent royalties every year - describes a new process for licensing patents. Instead of smaller companies licensing technologies from patent holders like IBM in a plodding, one-by-one manner, IBM envisions a more dynamic system with "floating privileges," in which patents could be licensed quickly, as needed. The application says this floating privilege, once purchased, could be activated by a patent-infringement lawsuit. In other words, companies would buy the right to use a patent portfolio like IBM's as a legal shield for themselves - "just like purchasing a fire insurance policy," IBM's application contends.
by: zoobabzoobab
09 Nov 2007 19:12
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This is really the year of the patent troll. Last year, approximately 6,000 defendants were sued nationwide in about 2,800 patent cases. This year, the 6,000th defendant was sued sometime in early October. With the number of cases up nationwide probably 5% over last year, we're still projected for at least a 30% increase in the number of defendants sued. More on that data in a later post. Why? It's because of the numerous multi-defendant patent litigation cases being brought by non-practicing entities and patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas.
by: zoobabzoobab
09 Nov 2007 17:00
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