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Powerpoint Presentations

IPWatchdog.com founder Gene Quinn has recently spoken at several events. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, he gave the ethics lecture at the PLI Patent Litigation 2014 program in New York City. On Monday, November 17, 2014, he gave a presentation titled Dark Days Ahead: The Patent Pendulum at the Orange County Bar Association in Newport Beach, California. These powerpoint presentations are available below. If you would like Gene to speak to your group or at your event let us know by using this contact form.

 


Most Recent Articles on IPWatchdog.com


Xbox 360, the Kinect and the Future of Microsoft Gaming

Posted: Sunday, Nov 23, 2014 @ 1:36 pm | Written by Gene Quinn & Steve Brachmann | No Comments »

The Xbox video gaming console developed and sold by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is perhaps one of the world’s most successful and least profitable products created in recent memory. Millions of Xbox consoles have been, from the original through Microsoft’s latest release, the Xbox One, although the past year has proven to be somewhat trying for this product. Some industry commentators see the inability of the Xbox to outsell Sony’s PlayStation 4 in March and April of this year, despite a reduced Xbox One price tag and bundling the console purchase with popular game titles, as a sign that Microsoft is quickly ceding ground to Sony in video gaming. The company only recently was able to address issues with Xbox Live, the Xbox’s incredibly popular online content service, that Xbox One users had been experiencing. A new update to the console coming in November will enable users to upload images for custom backgrounds as well as share gameplay clips with others through Twitter.

As we approach the 2014 holiday season and Black Friday, we thought that it would be a good time to take a look at some of the most popular consumer technologies around right now. In 2009, the video game industry generated $9.9 billion in revenue. About two-thirds of all American households play video games and gamers averaged about 8 hours of video gameplay each week, according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Interestingly, debates over violence in video games will likely be influenced by recent findings that an increase in violent video games may actually be responsible for a decrease in real-life violence among youths; these findings have been published by researchers from Villanova University, Rutgers University and Stetson University.





A Rush to Judgment on Patentable Subject Matter

Posted: Friday, Nov 21, 2014 @ 2:16 pm | Written by Ron Laurie | 17 comments

Should a District Court decide the question of patent-eligible subject matter under Section 101 as a “threshold issue” at the outset of the case – i.e., without the benefit of expert testimony and/or claims construction?

_________________

Former CAFC Chief Judge Rader at AIPLA on 10/25/14.

On November 14, the Federal Circuit issued its third opinion on the question of whether the claims in Ultramercial v. Hulu & Wild Tangent describe patent–eligible subject matter under 35 USC 101. In the first two decisions, the panel consisting of Chief Judge Rader and Judges Lourie and O’Malley, reversed the District Court’s granting of defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss based solely on the pleadings, i.e., prior to any discovery, expert testimony or formal claim construction.

In the latest decision (“Ultramercial-3”), the panel reached the opposite conclusion and affirmed the dismissal. This apparent turnaround was based on two intervening events: (1) the Supreme Court’s Alice decision in June; and (2) the fact that Chief Judge Rader was no longer on the court, and his place on the panel was taken by Judge Mayer. Much has, and will be, written about the first of these factors, so I would like to focus on the second, and in particular, the diametrically opposed views of Judges Rader and Mayer on a very important procedural issue; namely, whether the lack of patent-eligible subject matter should be a basis for dismissing a case at the outset based only on the “intrinsic” evidence, i.e., the patent itself and its prosecution history in the USPTO, without any discovery, expert testimony and/or claim construction. Notwithstanding the importance of the substantive Alice holding re how to distinguish a claim to an abstract idea from one that has a practical application, the procedural question is at the heart of the reversal of the CAFC’s holding in Ultramercial-3. The two judges’ opposing perspectives can most clearly be seen by comparing Judge Rader’s opinion of the court in Ultramercial-2 with Judge Mayer’s concurrence in Ultramercial-3.





USPTO, NIST on Front Lines of Cybersecurity Partnership

Posted: Thursday, Nov 20, 2014 @ 12:16 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | 4 comments

Throughout 2014, stories of major data breaches and hacking incidents have dominated the mainstream media. Customers of major corporations like Target, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Neiman Marcus have been the targets of malware, phishing schemes and other malicious acts of cyber crime within the past year. As a result, hackers have gained access to private information pertaining to tens of millions of financial accounts. Here at IPWatchdog, we’ve provided some coverage of this growing threat to the technological infrastructures of companies and organizations all over the world.

Instances of cyber crime have been rising and the associated costs have exploded. Cyber crime has increased 10.4 percent this year over totals posted during 2013 according to the Ponemon Institute, an independent data protection research firm. By far, the United States bears the greatest brunt of the cost of cyber crime; American businesses lost a total of $12.69 billion so far this year as a result of computer crime.. Exact financial costs for each organization affected are tough to tally, but a PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that the average monetary loss among companies that could report financial statistics was about $415,000 per organization. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed weren’t able to estimate their losses in clear financial terms. Worldwide, cyber crime costs about $445 billion to the global economy every year, a figure that represents about one percent of annual income all over the globe. Again, it’s difficult to determine the exact financial cost of cyber crimes, and other estimates have varied as widely as just over $100 billion to about $1 trillion.

In this current tenor of the global discussion on cybersecurity, multiple U.S. governmental agencies are joining with academic institutions and industry leaders to develop more proactive measures of handling and responding to cybersecurity risks. On Friday, November 14th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hosted the nation’s first Cybersecurity Partnership meeting at the USPTO’s Silicon Valley office in Menlo Park, CA. A full day of events brought together officials from the PTO, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a variety of other stakeholders in cybersecurity development to talk about ongoing efforts to strengthen the cybersecurity response of American businesses and governmental agencies to the growing threat of computer crime. We were able to catch some of the day’s proceedings through a webcast provided by the PTO.





General Electric Patents: Medical Innovations and Energy Systems

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 @ 11:32 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »

There are few companies currently operating which have more impact on global development in energy and industrial technologies than General Electric of Fairfield, CT. The recent third quarter financial report published by the corporation indicated a better-than-expected 11 percent growth in profits, mainly owing to large increases in orders for industrial equipment like jet engines and rail locomotives from all over the world. GE may be looking to raise capital as a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that the company is looking to sell 75 million shares directly to the public for about $2 billion. General Electric is also making a foray into the growing world of 3D printing manufacture with its recent announcement that it would build a 125,000 square foot 3D printing facility for $32 million in Findlay, PA.

General Electric is a regular feature of the Companies We Follow series. What we saw today in the patent applications filed by this company with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office showed us that research and development at the company is very focused on industrial and medical sectors. Many of the technologies we discuss in more detail below pertain to railway and other vehicular technologies. A few patent applications discuss improvements to electrical utility systems, including one technique for monitoring plant activity near electrical grid components to identify exactly when to clear vegetation away from power lines.

The strong patent portfolio enjoyed by General Electric enjoyed a number of important additions in recent weeks. Some of the most intriguing that we saw today involve medical innovations, including systems for the synchronization of imaging data collected during a procedure to better guide a medical professional during a procedures. We’re also sharing a patent protecting a useful technology for locating defects in an underground cable to ensure consistent delivery of electrical utilities. Gas turbines and another innovation regarding railway tech is also explored more deeply in today’s column.





Debt vs. Equity – The Financing of Patent Monetization

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 @ 12:42 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 3 comments

Harvey Sener (left) and Eran Zur (right)

On November 6, 2014, at the IP Dealmakers Forum there was a particularly interesting and entertaining discussion about financing patent owners. The discussion was, in my opinion, one of the most insightful and informative presentations over the two day event. That is typically what happens when you have intelligent, thoughtful individuals with strongly held but divergent viewpoints. Indeed, the discussion highlighted two distinct strategies for making money providing financing to patent owners who are seeking to monetize their patents. The panel discussion was largely dominated by Eran Zur, Head of IP Finance of Fortress Investment Group, and Ashley Keller, Managing Director of Gerchen Keller Capital. Zur and Fortress lend money to patent owners who pledge a portfolio, or subset of a portfolio, as collateral to secure the loan. On the other hand, Keller and GKC finance patent litigation, employing an equity model.

The panel kicked off in a spirited way when the moderator, Harvey Sener, who is a Partner with Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference, asked the panelists whether they would lend to or finance non-practicing entities or others who might be from a class of actors that has been vilified in the public — or in other words “patent trolls.” Zur explained that he and Fortress do not label potential borrowers, instead choosing to keep their eye on the assets and employing good, old fashion best lending practices. . “We focus myopically on the value of the patent — we are agnostic,” Zur explained. “If we think the assets are good enough to provide a loan based on the asset as collateral we will loan the money.”

As a debt provider they focus on the value of the patents and not what the borrower may want to do with the money obtained. On the other end of the spectrum Keller explained that he does care about whether they are financing a patent troll or non-practicing entity because who you are financing needs to be taken into account because financing is all about risk — when you finance a patent troll the litigation risk is much higher for a variety of reasons.





Patentability of Business Methods and Software In Australia – Full Federal Court Decides Much Anticipated Research Affiliates Case

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 @ 11:11 am | Written by Ernest Graff | 6 comments

The Australian Full Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents [1]. The decision is an important addition to Australian case law concerning the patentability of business methods and software.

Judges Kenny, Bennett, and Nicholas ruled that the Appellant’s claimed computer implemented method for generating an index for use in securities trading was unpatentable as an abstract idea. The Court held that “[t]he claimed method in this case clearly involves what may well be an inventive idea, but it is an abstract idea. The specification makes it apparent that any inventive step arises in the creation of the index as information and as a scheme. There is no suggestion in the specification or the claims that any part of the inventive step lies in the computer implementation. Rather, it is apparent that the scheme is merely implemented in a computer and a standard computer at that. It is no part of the claimed method that there is an improvement in what might broadly be called ‘computer technology’.”[2]

In our opinion this case does not present a major change in the law in Australia regarding the patentability of business methods and software, but clarifies that mere reference to computer implementation in patent claims will not be enough to satisfy Australia’s requirements of patentable subject matter. Otherwise, the patentability of business methods and software, where a computer is “inextricably linked with the invention itself”, appear to remain patentable in Australia.[3]





A Robot Future – Developing Technologies, Hopes and Fears

Posted: Monday, Nov 17, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 2 comments

As humans, all of our greatest dreams and biggest fears about technology seem to be provoked by the stirring topic of robotic technologies. Robots have the potential to eliminate a great amount of monotonous work, provide assistance to human workers and serve in highly specialized environments, like hospitals or factories. At the same time, people can be concerned with how this technology will change daily life and worry about increasing isolation among humans or the loss of a job as a result.

Even major names in technology development have showed signs of being spooked by robotics. In a talk given at a technology symposium held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called robots the “biggest existential threat” to the human race, even arguing for national and international regulatory oversight on artificial (AI) development. Musk is even an investor in robotics, having put money into the AI development firm Vicarious, making his unease over the negative potential of robotics all the more telling.

This holiday season, robots will likely have a much higher profile than they typically enjoy. Retail stores will prove to be a major testing ground for the consumer use of robotic technologies, as Lowe’s recently unveiled a lineup of robotic sales assistants, known as OSHbots, for certain stores. The robot can communicate in multiple languages and can direct customers to the exact location of an item they’re seeking in the store. Collision avoidance and autonomous navigation technologies are incorporated into these sales assistants, helping them travel across large stores safely.





Ultramercial Patent Claims Invalid as Abstract Ideas

Posted: Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 @ 11:46 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 48 comments

On Thursday, November 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its latest decision in Ultramercial v. Hulu, which deals with the patent eligibility of software related patent claims. The district court originally held that U.S. Patent 7,346,545 (the “’545 patent”), the basis for the complaint filed by Ultramercial, does not claim patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This decision was appealed to the Federal Circuit, which reversed, concluding that the district court erred in granting WildTangent’s motion to dismiss for failing to claim statutory subject matter. WildTangent filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court, which was granted. The Supreme Court vacated the Federal Circuit decision, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of its decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.

On remand the Federal Circuit once again found that the claims asserted by Ultramercial defined patent eligible subject matter. WildTangent again filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. While WildTangent’s petition was pending, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International. Ultimately, the Supreme Court once again granted WildTangent’s petition for a writ of certiorari, vacated the Federal Circuit decision, and remanded the case for further consideration, this time in light of Alice.

Ultramercial’s Federal Circuit luck has now run out. Gone from the original panel was Chief Judge Rader who retired and was replaced by Judge Mayer, which does not bode well for any patent owner. This time in an opinion written by Judge Lourie the Ultramercial claims were found to be patent ineligible because they constitute nothing more than an abstract idea. If Judge Lourie were trying to predict what the Supreme Court would do when faces with patent claims that are clearly NOT abstract, his decision makes sense. Still, it is extraordinarily troubling that patent claims are being invalidated left and right based upon the so-called “abstract idea doctrine,” where the critical term “abstract idea” has never been defined by the Supreme Court or the Federal Circuit.





Dow Chemical Patents: From Genetically Modified Organisms to Construction Barrier Films

Posted: Sunday, Nov 16, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »

The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) of Midland, MI, is one of the world’s largest developers and manufacturers of chemicals produced for industrial and commercial products. Dow Chemical has been recently experiencing a good deal of growth in its petrochemical businesses caused by large increases in North America shale fracking. At the end of October, Dow’s third quarter earnings report was higher than expected, which was owed mainly to cost reductions for raw materials like propylene and strong corporate operations for the production of ethylene, a feedstock plastic that is important for the development of a wide range of products. Dow CEO Andrew Liveris expects earnings at Dow AgroSciences to double within the decade thanks to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval of the Enlist Duo weed killer specifically made for use with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

A look into the recently published patent applications assigned to Dow from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization shows us that GMOs and herbicides have been a major area of focus for Dow and Dow AgroSciences, its chief subsidiary in agricultural chemical engineering. Plastics used for packing fragile items or for providing a barrier between soil and building foundations in construction projects.

The patent portfolio of Dow has also been increasing recently, incorporating chemical engineering innovations designed for a wide range of industrial sectors. One patent protects a method of developing fragrances for laundry detergents which evaporate less quickly, helping clothes to retain a fragrance for a longer period of time. Oil-in-water emulsions were the focus of a number of patents which we decided to share today, including one discussing a herbicidal composition for agricultural uses. Another patent we noticed protects a topically-applied pharmaceutical drug designed to treat bacterial infections or acne rosacea.





Wearable Gadgets: What is the Secret to Commercial Success?

Posted: Saturday, Nov 15, 2014 @ 10:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »

Over the past decade, the consumer world has experienced a revolution in mobile computing technologies which saw the cellular phone take on an amazing array of new functions through the use of electronic circuitry and computer-connected sensors. Considering the current ubiquity of smartphones, it’s amazing to think that this technology was still being developed in the early 2000s and had not yet reached widespread popularity and use.

The spurts and starts of wearable technology in recent days are reminiscent of that earlier period of smartphone development. We’ve all heard that wearable gadgets are a major part of the future of computing, but most of the consumer world is still waiting for a product that can appeal to the masses. Google Glass was released with a lot of hype earlier this year, for example, but it hasn’t reached a wide consumer base. A high price tag and an unfashionable look have been cited by some as reasons why the product hasn’t seen the sort of sales expected.

Developers of wearable technology haven’t exactly figured out the secret to commercial success with these products as of yet, but the time in which they will is soon coming. Holiday shopping forecasts for England show that sales of wearable gadgets will be 182 percent greater than they were during the 2013 holiday season. Other industry reports are predicting that global shipments of wearable tech devices will likely explode from 27 million shipments in 2014 to 116 million shipments in 2017. The demand for wearable tech is growing; as many of us saw with the meteoric rise of the iPhone smartphone device or the Android operating system, all it will take is a single functional and design improvement to unleash the power of wearable tech for practical and personal use. Today, we wanted to take a look at advances in this sector of technology well before the wave of its popularity crests, as well as some of the issues which have proven to be obstacles in the way of consumer acceptance of wearable tech.