It’s no secret that the regulatory environment is challenging for companies that license patents – in our case, patents that are deemed essential to wireless standards and that our company, InterDigital, has developed in-house over the course of multiple decades, and continues to develop today. Some of the companies that dominate the wireless market today had little or nothing to do with the development of the standards that have contributed so much to their success, so they make every effort to devalue standards participation. And many in Washington lend them a willing ear, and take up arms to wage their battle for them.
One of the greatest frustrations for me is that so much of this rests on a bedrock of total miscomprehension of how standards are developed, the enormous cost and risk of investing in standards development, the value that standards provide, and the kind of licensing practices that have made the market successful, benefitting everybody. Late last year in New York, I met with a reporter for one of the primary tech websites in the world, and he dismissed standards development. It became apparent he didn’t understand how the process worked at all. When we asked him how he thought these things got developed, he said that he “figured there must be an engineering organization somewhere that did it.” And this is from the legal correspondent of a major tech website, someone whose articles influence debate!
He didn’t realize that it was private sector companies – companies like ours – that committed significant engineering time and resources, and competed to develop the best solutions, and in so doing committed to licensing them fairly. So – for his benefit, should he read this, and for the benefit of anyone involved in the debate – I’ll describe our company’s story, and draw some conclusions about what should and shouldn’t be done to protect, foster and incent innovation that benefits everybody.
Governmental infringement of our privacy has been a hot-button issue in recent months, with the public discovery and outcry over the U.S. National Security Agency’s mining of private citizen data. The government claims that by mining all of this information we are safer, although it is hard to evaluate those claims given the cloak of secrecy. Whether we like it or not, surveillance technologies are proliferating due to the dangerous world in which we live.
Last Sunday we saw one of the most scrutinized public events of the entire year: the National Football League’s Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t as entertaining as it could have been, but there was certainly much attention being paid to security for the event, both not he day of the game and in the days and weeks leading up to the game. Effective crowd surveillance is an important part of any large scale event such as the Super Bowl, but was perhaps even more important this year as the Super Bowl was played in New Jersey not far from New York City.
The security measures at MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl included a 2.5-mile chain link fence surrounding the stadium, helicopter and boat patrols, thermal cameras and more to secure the stadium and prevent any threats that might try to use the surrounding marshlands to access the game. Video feeds recorded by cameras at the event will be processed by an artificial intelligence system capable of spotting unusual or suspicious behaviors.
We’re always interested in profiling new and interesting technologies, so we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some surveillance technologies that could be utilized to keep a venue like MetLife Stadium secure on a day when the entire world is watching.
Arnold & Porter‘s Washington office is seeking a mid-level registered patent associate for the Intellectual Property Practice Group to work on USPTO inter partes matters. Qualified candidates should have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in patent prosecution and preferably exposure to inter partes matters and evidence of excellent writing skills. Candidates must have a PhD in the life sciences, material sciences, or biomedical engineering fields. DC bar or ability to waive into DC bar required.
A PhD in either the life sciences, material sciences, or biomedical engineering fields
A minimum of 3 years experience in patent prosecution
Must have excellent academic credentials
Must have excellent writing skills
Must be able to supply Arnold Porter with excellent references
Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings became an option for challenging validity of a patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on September 16, 2012. IPR proceedings allow for a petitioner to challenge the validity of a patent under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103 on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications. They are supposed to be completed quickly in a maximum of 18 months under 35 U.S.C. §§ 326(a)(11), and the availability of IPR proceedings provides a cost-effective option in litigation tactics. Despite the benefits provided, an Inter Partes Review is not without risk, and just how much risk is not yet known.
There is a time limit for preventing certain petitioners from initiating an IPR proceeding against a patent, and there is currently a petition for writ of mandamus to the Federal Circuit as to the scope of petitioners covered by the time bar. This issue arises because 35 U.S.C. §§ 315(b). 35 U.S.C. §§ 315(b) states that “[a]n inter partes review may not be instituted if the petition requesting the proceeding is filed more than 1 year after the date on which the petitioner, real party in interest, or privy of the petitioner is served with a complaint alleging infringement of the patent.” Unfortunately, the critical question regarding who exactly is covered by “privy of the petitioner” is not defined by the statute and is subject to great debate.
Marla Grossmanis an attorney and partner with the American Continental Group,where she represents clients before the White House, US federal agencies and the US Congress. In other words, Grossman is a lobbyist, but not just any lobbyist. Her clients are a whose-who among the elite in the entertainment industry.
In part 1 of our interview we discussed the prospects of patent litigation reform, the likelihood that Congress will open up the Copyright Act and pursue legislative reforms, and how to get a message heard on Capitol Hill. In part 2 of our interview, which appears below, we pick up where we left off discussing how to take a message to Congress, and then we transition into discussing how quickly legislation can be derailed, as was the case with SOPA, and the unfortunate need to continue to fight the same policy battles time after time. We end generally discussing the political climate in Washington, DC, and how it has changed over the years.
Without further ado, here is the finale of my interview with Marla Grossman.
QUINN: I also think that there is a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of many. I wonder whether it’s an intentional misunderstanding or whether it’s just that they don’t know any better, but there are a lot of people who seem to think that putting out a product is innovation. While it may be a new product to them, that’s not what innovation is about. What that is in many cases is about something you said earlier – many seem to want to be able to take the intellectual property of other people without consequence. How do we combat that kind of growing definition of innovation or growing understanding of innovation
Today, we delve into the databases of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to take our first look at Canon, a company that develops imaging and printing innovations that are used worldwide. In this edition of the Companies We Follow series, we’ve gone through and profiled a series of patent applications and issued patents assigned to this Japanese multinational corporation. Here at IPWatchdog, we’ve noticed some useful upgrades to existing printing technologies, as well as a series of intriguing devices for medical applications.
The featured patent application for this column describes a novel improvement for providing latent-image patterns for protecting secure documents. This system creates more effective watermarks for preventing unauthorized copies that are camouflaged but can transmit important data. We also discuss a series of patent applications for medical devices, including a few upgrades to X-ray imaging devices and a design for a less cumbersome ophthalmologic device for creating an X-ray image of a patient’s eye.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Each year February is Black History Month, but this year we will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With this in mind we decided to do a series celebrating the important and innovative contributions of African-Americans. This article is the continuation of The Black Edison: Granville Woods. Mr. Guttag also wrote God’s Scientist: George Washington Carver as a part of this series. Later this month we also will take a look at recent innovations coming out of historically black colleges and universities. For more on this topic please visit black inventorson IPWatchdog.com.
Granville Woods, circa 1887.
Now we come to what I consider the “fun” part of this article: Granville Woods’ inventions and patents. There are some who say that the number of patents Woods obtained is at least 60, may be even much higher. But from Professor Fouché’s book, I’ve only identified 45 patents for Woods which is still a pretty awesome figure. These patents may be divided into essentially 4 technology categories: (1) induction telegraphy of which there are 8 patents; (2) electrical railways of which there are 20 patents; (3) other electrical devices of which there are 13 patents; and (4) 4 patents on “other inventions” that don’t fall into any specific category.
I’m going to address in this article only the first category of inventions, induction telegraphy, for which Woods is most famous for.So why is induction telegraphy important? Well, here’s a hypothetical problem, one that Woods would understand quite well: A train station needs to communicate with train #1 to prevent a collision with train #2 heading towards train #1. (By the way, like Woods, I’m very fond of trains and railroads.) If the train station doesn’t communicate with train #1 about this impending collision with train #2, you might get the unfortunate scenario shown in the illustration above: the dreaded telescoping train crash. What you see here is the “head-on” variety of such a crash, but an even more deadly version may occur when a following train crashes into the rear of another slower or stationary train. So if we want to avoid this “bad boy” of train crashes, our train station has got to communicate with train #1 and quickly.
How to Write a Patent Application is a must own for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. A crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more.
Without hesitation I recommend One Simple Idea and think it should be required reading for any motivated inventor. There is so much to like about the book and so much that I think author Stephen Key nails dead on accurate. The book is educational, information and inspirational. For the $14 cover price it is essential reading.
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.