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A US SEC report states that Timeline's patent infringement lawsuit filed against Microsoft, as owner of ProClarity, in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington has been settled. Microsoft has paid US$5M to Timeline in exchange for a license to a number of patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
09 Nov 2007 15:48
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I'm for software patents. If people cannot patent their software ideas, they will be less likely to research better methods without the ability to make money from their improvements. [...] Software patents don't hurt those who don't patent their ideas. If someone can prove the idea existed before a big company came up with the idea, the big company will be unable to patent the idea. In an ideal world, better algorithms will be shared without charging money, but we live in an imperfect world. We live in a capitalistic society, and we must follow the rules of that society if we are going to progress together. Too many people would take advantage of the system if everything was free, and society would not progress if everyone was a thief.
by: zoobabzoobab
07 Nov 2007 11:48
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Alcatel-Lucent set up a trust to hold patents for MPEG-2 technology in violation of an agreement to share the inventions in the patent-licensing pool, MPEG LA said this week in a Delaware Chancery Court complaint.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 16:19
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I am only posting this only because certain information needs to reach people’s attention, no matter how inconvenient it may be. Many times in the past we repeated the alarming argument that Novell is turning its Linux desktop into a .NET-rich platform. It appears to be a matter of strategy, based on some recent interviews with Novell executives. Is it a good strategy? Probably not. The main issue is not the fact that Microsoft controls and extends .NET. The main issue is software patents, which bring monetisation (or “taxation”) into the equation.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 15:21
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The U.S. patent and legal system has turned into a battlefield where companies and technology developers can be attacked. Open-source and free software developers have historically ignored this secondary battlefield, focusing instead on the primary battlefield of development and proliferation of their project. This omission leaves open-source projects and individual developers vulnerable to patent infringement lawsuits. By creating its own defensive patent portfolio as commercial companies do, the open-source community can arm itself for this battle.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 15:19
1  
The computer program exclusion from Article 52 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) proved impossible to uphold as industry moved over to digital technology, and the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) felt emboldened to circumvent the EPC in Vicom by creating the legal fiction of technical effect. This engineers solution emphasised that protection should be available for a device, a situation which has led to software and business methods being protected throughout Europe when the form of application, rather than the substance, is acceptable. Since the Article 52 exclusion has effectively vanished, it is timely to reconsider what makes examination of software invention difficult and what leads to such energetic opposition to protecting inventive activity in the software field. Leith advocates a more programming-centric approach, which recognises that software examination requires different strategies from that of other technical fields.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 15:18
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This week, former Red Hat General Counsel, Mark Webbink, discusses how Red Hat’s patent promise was developed to combat patent trolling. And two previous installments on the GPLV3 and Software Patents in general are available below the fold.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 15:04
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According to the complaint filed in the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware, Alcatel promised to make available to Licensees through MPEG LA's MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License all MPEG-2 essential patents which Alcatel can license or sublicense - and not take any action to subvert that commitment. But rather than abide by that promise, Alcatel and Lucent created the Trust to hold patents that Alcatel was and is required to place into the MPEG-2 License, and has taken the position that the essential MPEG-2 patents purportedly transferred to the Trust cannot be placed in the MPEG-2 License.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 15:00
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Such technically qualified judges would have university diplomas in scientific or technical disciplines and appropriate knowledge in patent law and litigation. Where necessary, training could be provided under the EU training framework. In each chamber legally qualified judges should be in majority (i.e. two out of three or three out of five). According to the proposal, judges could be recruited amongst members of the EPO or national offices' Boards of Appeal, patent judges, patent attorneys (!), etc.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Nov 2007 14:27
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Separately, Portugal, which holds the EU presidency, floated a revised proposal for a European patent litigation system. The draft, although seen by critics as much improved over earlier versions, leaves several key issues unresolved, said Kevin Mooney, a UK attorney with Simmons & Simmons and president of the European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW).
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Nov 2007 11:51
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"Wi-LAN has successfully negotiated patent licensing deals with a number of companies covering a broad range of patent families and technologies," said Wi-LAN president Jim Skippen on Thursday. "Our existing licensing agreements are a strong endorsement of the strength and validity of our valuable patent portfolio. While we prefer to resolve patent infringement through business discussions, we have consistently maintained that litigation was always a possibility when negotiations do not result in a licence within a reasonable time." The suit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas--the same district in which the Australian science organization CSIRO is suing various companies over Wi-Fi patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Nov 2007 11:50
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I'll talk about the negative impacts of software patents another time. But today I'd like to make the case that patents are irrelevant to software innovation, based on my 25 years of representing hundreds of startups, the largest number of which have been either pure software companies or other ventures whose value lay in the software at the heart of their businesses. That history tells me that if patents were to disappear tomorrow, the process of innovation wouldn't skip a beat...
by: zoobabzoobab
05 Nov 2007 11:47
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The deal was negotiated in a back room with no presence of any of the plantiffs, of which SAMBA is the sole remaining. This was a brokered deal between Balmer and an EU politico. The license that has already been released requires the patent license to get the interoperability info, you can't disclose source and you around bound to audits and other incomprehensible terms that completely exclude GPL software. The EU Politico that negotiated the "settlement" bent over and snatched defeat from victory while listening to the soft promises of Steve Balmer. Just like the US anti-trust was destroyed by political involvement so was the EU case. Mark my words, Samba will issue a statement saying the settlement offers them nothing.
by: zoobabzoobab
31 Oct 2007 11:59
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Microsoft Corp. will pay Timeline Inc. $5 million to settle a patent infringement lawsuit, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the Seattle patent-holding company. According to Timeline's SEC filing last week, Microsoft agreed to pay Timeline $5 million within 14 days as part of the settlement. Timeline, which describes itself as a "company ... solely focused on commercializing its patent portfolio," had sued the Redmond computer giant and its subsidiary ProClarity Corp. for patent infringement.
by: zoobabzoobab
31 Oct 2007 11:45
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Eben Moglen, Founding Director of the Software Freedom Law Center, today issued a statement regarding the Sun, NetApp patent lawsuit: "NetApp, in bringing this litigation, has announced that it wishes to prevent Sun from sharing ZFS with the community. This conduct is a misuse of questionable patents to prevent the spread of valuable technology. Using patent threats and litigation against free software and open source communities is an abuse of the public interest the law is supposed to serve."
by: zoobabzoobab
31 Oct 2007 11:33
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What's driving the debate are arguments that patent litigation in the US is out of control. Holston says HP will spend $US75 million this year defending itself against patent cases. Cisco spends more each year defending itself in patent cases than in salaries for 150 people, Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler says. "It has become a real tax on innovation because of the litigation," Chandler says. "Any one of those cases can be $US5 million or $US10 million in litigation fees," says Tim Crean, chief intellectual property counsel for SAP, the world's largest business software maker. "When you add it up, there's a substantial burden."
by: zoobabzoobab
30 Oct 2007 15:54
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The driving force behind the legislation has been complaints by tech companies of a sharp increase in patent infringement lawsuits over the past several years. Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler said the maker of communications equipment faced three lawsuits per year a decade ago, while today, the company has 30. Each can cost millions of dollars to fight.
by: zoobabzoobab
30 Oct 2007 14:30
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NetApp wants to win this case, so it filed the original lawsuit in the IP troll-friendly courts of the Eastern District of Texas. Right away, that puts NetApp’s claims in a negative light….Then you have Sun playing the open source card…
by: zoobabzoobab
30 Oct 2007 10:26
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Looking at the recent discussion around the patent issue between Sun and NetApp, I'm really wondering who is on the right side. Seeing the various reaction, it looks like a child play to me where no one really knows who started : especially, if you read this letter from Sun with a previous offer to NetApp for buying a cross-licensing. There is at least something clear to me, both are not using patents for defensive reasons… but maybe, I have another definition of a "defensive" patents portfolio than they have. Go back to work and stop this child play.
by: zoobabzoobab
29 Oct 2007 18:15
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Fresh off agreeing to pay Sprint Nextel $80 million earlier this month, Vonage has now agreed to compensate Verizon at least $80 million to settle their patent dispute, and the total could hit $117 million depending on the outcome of appeals Vonage has pending. 'If Vonage wins rehearing on either the '574 or '711 patent or if the injunction is vacated as to the '574 or '711 patent, Vonage will pay Verizon $80 million. If Vonage does not win rehearing on either the '574 or '711 patent, or if the stay is lifted reinstating the injunction, Vonage will pay Verizon $117.5 million.' And, of course, don't forget AT&T just recently opened charges against the company as well.
by: zoobabzoobab
26 Oct 2007 15:36
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