Microsoft’s Xbox One has already sold over 18 million units since its debut on Friday, November 22, 2013.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and we would like to spend time profiling some of the hottest developers of consumer technologies. Video gaming consoles are a major focus each year, but the impending battle between the latest generation, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, promises to be massive.
This week, we start our holiday focus by profiling Xbox developer Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, WA, for our Companies We Follow series. This multinational electronics and software developer is offering many consumer devices this Christmas, and even offers customers large discounts on its various tablets, computers and video games through its 12 Days of Deals sales. To get an idea of what kind of interesting new devices and technologies may be available to consumers these holidays, we’ve gone through the published patent applications and issued patents released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and have explored a couple of them in detail.
Microsoft already has a massive patent portfolio, but it has continued to increase in recent weeks. We’ve pulled up a trio of patents related to online gaming through Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE network, including methods of using gamer profiles on multiple consoles as well as validating untrusted games for inclusion on the LIVE network. Another Microsoft patent also shows the technology developer’s interest in improving means of advertising within multiplayer games online.
CHICAGO, December 12, 2013 – Soverain Software LLC announces that, after requesting an extension, Newegg Inc. today filed its Brief in Opposition (BIO) to the Supreme Court of the United States, demonstrating the importance of Soverain’s petition for certiorari in the case Soverain v. Newegg. This appeal has far-reaching ramifications on the issues of property rights, validity of patents, obviousness, and fundamental legal principles such as the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial and the burden of proof.
Soverain’s President, Katharine Wolanyk, says, “Newegg now denies that the appeals court decided disputed factual issues, despite their attorney conceding at oral argument that there were genuine issues of fact in dispute that needed to be decided by a jury. The reality is that this case is important enough for Newegg to file a response and we hope the Supreme Court will agree with our amicus briefs and grant certiorari.” Wolanyk adds, “The Court of Appeals’ ruling in Soverain v. Newegg is an egregious violation of our Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial, and invalidating our patents in this manner is both wrong and a damaging precedent to set for all inventors and patent owners.”
The original January 2013 opinion was authored by Judge Neman with Judges Prost and Reyna in agreement. In that opinion the Court identified claim 34 as representative of the “shopping cart” claims, and held claim 34 invalid on the ground of obviousness. The parties stated, on petition for rehearing, that the Federal Circuit ruling should have been for claim 35, which would conform to the judgment entered on the jury verdict. Ultimately, the rehearing was not successful and claim 35, like claim 34, was ruled invalid because it was obvious. See Soverain Software LLC v. Newegg, Inc. (Fed. Cir., September 4, 2013).
The Newegg brief in opposition to Soverain’s Petition for Certiorari was due on November 18, 2o13, but Newegg’s attorney requested an extension until Thursday, December 12, 2013, so we await the filing of Newegg’s opposition brief. I have been told that Soverain plans to file a reply to whatever Newegg files, so it will be some time before we know whether the Supreme Court will take this important case.
The Pioneering Technology
Before diving into why this case matters and everyone should pay close attention, allow me to point out that the technology involved in this case is THE original shopping cart technology. In fact, the ’314 patent matured from a patent application that was filed on October 24, 1994. Despite what you may have heard, this is not an example of a bad patent, nor is it something that wasn’t new or was legitimately obvious at the time it was invented, which would have been some meaningful time before October 24, 1994. This is an example of a pioneering invention that came about at the dawn of Internet as we know it today. The fact that it is ancient in Internet terms does not mean that the claims are bad, it merely means that the innovation embodied in the patent is fundamentally important. Indeed, the Soverain’s enterprise software product has been in use for nearly 18 years, and has been used by over 1,000 customers in over 25 countries, including companies such as Time-Warner, AT&T, Sony, Disney, BusinessWeek and Reuters.
Offit Kurman seeks one or more multi-talented patent attorneys to help grow its intellectual property group in their Northern Virginia, Maryland and/or Philadelphia locations. A successful candidate will have a portable book of business, strong interpersonal skills, solid academic credentials and years of experience with prosecution, licensing and litigation matters. A background in electrical engineering or computer science is preferred but not essential. Offit Kurman offers a competitive and attractive compensation package.
Must have at least 5 years of relevant experience
Must be registered to practice before the USPTO
Must be self-motivated and highly disciplined with excellent oral and written communication skills
Must be able to multi-task and demonstrate a strong commitment to delivering excellent client service
Dean Kamen accepts the Inventor of the Year Award.
Last night at the National Portrait Gallery, which is the modern day site of the Old Patent Office Building, the IPO Educational Foundation awarded Dean Kamen the 40th National Inventor of the Year Award, and recognized Doug Henderson with the 6th Distinguished IP Professional Award. Also honored were the teenagers who won the 3rd IP Video Contest in three separate age categories.
The evening started off earlier than typical, with the presentation of the Inventor of the Year Award taking place prior to the dinner because Teresa Heinz Kerry, a long time friend of Dean Kamen, was in attendance to present Kamen with the award. Secretary of State John Kerry was expected, but could not attend. In attendance, however, was Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who is the Junior Senator from Kamen’s home State of New Hampshire.
Before proceeding, it is worth noting that Senator Ayotte said all the right things about the importance patents play for innovation and pledged to thoughtfully consider patent reform now pending before Congress. Ayotte went so far as to say that she specifically wants to hear from all the stakeholders, including the innovators who were in attendance, before the Senate would take any action on patent reform that was passed by the House last week. Unfortunately, by the time Senator Ayotte was giving these remarks it had already been announced that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has scheduled a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Senate companion legislation for Tuesday, December 17, 2013, which suggests that the legislation will be fast-tracked in the Senate without much serious discussion, at least unless someone like Senator Ayotte stands up and uses her considerable powers to halt the legislation unless and until there really is meaningful consideration of the ramifications of the bill if enacted.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the appointment of Michelle K. Lee as the next Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Lee currently serves as the Director of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office and will begin her new role at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA, on January 13, 2014.
While Director of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office, Lee has served as the agency’s primary liaison with the innovation community in the Silicon Valley and West Coast, leading the establishment of a temporary office in Menlo Park and working creatively with California’s Congressional, state, and local leadership to successfully secure a permanent office location in San Jose. In that role, she has also been actively engaged in education and outreach initiatives, empowering the USPTO to more effectively develop programs, policies, and procedures to meet the needs of the West Coast innovation community. Beyond the Silicon Valley office, Lee has also played a broader role in helping shape key policy matters impacting the nation’s intellectual property (IP) system, focusing closely on efforts to continually strengthen patent quality, as well as curbing abusive patent litigation. Prior to becoming Director of the Silicon Valley USPTO, Lee served two terms on the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee, whose members are appointed by the U.S. Commerce Secretary and serve to advise the USPTO on its policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees.
If you’ve decided that a PGC is right for you, there are a few other related strategic considerations that you may want to evaluate before proceeding: preliminary response, joinder, stay, and amendment.
You may want to consider keeping your cards in your pocket by not filing a preliminary response. If you file a preliminary response, it may provide the petitioner a road map to cure their deficiencies via a second petition or reveal the defects of your position to them. So if the petition is sloppy in some respects it may be in your best interests to not file. On the other hand, not filing a preliminary response may work against you. For every petition the PTAB goes through the preliminary claim construction based upon the evidence given. So if you put in your preliminary response, that will give the APJs additional information to consider when doing claim construction. “I might [initially] be guided by the petitioner’s insights if there’s no patent owner response. If you don’t file a response some times you read between the lines, and assume petitioner[‘s argument] is better,” says Judge Michael P. Tierney, Lead Administrative Patent Judge of the PTAB at the PTO. Then again, APJs thoroughness will likely and generally trump any bias. Just to give you perspective on what other people are doing, eighty-one percent filed a preliminary response with IPR and CBM in 2013, and as of November 21st of this year 77 percent filed a preliminary response, according to a recent AIA Progress Statistics report.
Typically blog roll links are not helpful to a website's rank. To give some additional "link love" to those we think you might be interested in reading we have moved our blog roll and links to a dedicated page. Go to IPWatchdog Blog Roll & Links.