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Microsoft Seeks Pay-As-You-Go Computer Patent

Microsoft is trying to patent a metered pay-as-you-go computing experience, which would give Microsoft exclusive rights to giving away computers for free, or virtually for free, and then charging a user fee for every hour the computer is used. What makes this application scary is not just the fact that Microsoft filed it, but that Microsoft has such a dominant position in the market that this could realistically become the future standard.

Reform Suggestions for the Patent Office

I hope and dream of the day when we get leadership at the PTO that will try and solve problems and reach out to the Patent Bar and see us as a part of the solution instead of the problem.  But as I said in my post yesterday on 7 reform suggestions for Congress, I doubt any of these will be…

7 Patent Reform Suggestions for Congress

After being told that patent reform in 2008 was all but a done deal, once again nothing happened.  I am happy that patent reform died in 2008 because the reforms that were being proposed were largely bad ideas, and they would have done absolutely nothing to address the many real and substantial problems that are facing the US patent system…

False Patent Press Release Leads to Sanctions

On November 17, 2008, I found a press release on Business Wire issued by AutoClear LLC discussing what allegedly transpired in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by American Science & Engineering, Inc. (ASE) against AutoClear in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  The trouble with this particular press release was that it was apparently completely false,…

The RIAA Ends Music Download War

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) fired MediaSentry, the Recording company it used to help it gather evidence for mass lawsuits it filed against people it claimed were illegally uploading copyrighted music. It would seem that the RIAA is finally coming to its senses and realizing that the way forward is not…

Popeye Falls into Public Domain in Europe

Popeye the Sailor, one of the most recognizable of all comic book characters, has recently fallen into the public domain in Europe, which means that anyone can use the image of the popular cartoon character throughout the European Union without having to pay royalties.  Of course, as with virtually any intellectual property news story the popular press did not get…

Will Obama PTO Director Be Good Choice?

So far no one knows who President-Elect Barack Obama will appoint to be the Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, a position known in the industry as the Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office.  Right about now the appointment of a new PTO Director is likely the farthest thing from Obama’s mind given that recent reports suggest…

NY Times Faces Frivolous Copyright Lawsuit

On Monday, December 22, 2008, Gatehouse Media, Inc. filed what can only be charaterized as a ridiculous and frivolous lawsuit against the New York Times alleging copyright infringement by the New York Times because one of the papers owned by the Time, namely the Boston Globe, was linking to original articles owned by Gatehouse Media.  The complaint filed by Gatehousealleges that the Boston Globe is…

Patent Wishes for the New Year

It is that time of the year when everyone makes their resolutions, most of which are sure to be broken almost immediately in most cases, particularly when the resolution deals with losing weight or exercising.  Not to be deterred, I have made both of those resolutions myself and I am cautiously optimistic about the likelihood that I will stay the course…

Why Patent Reform Didn’t Happen in 2008

The reason for what appears to be a strange assortment of collaborators is the fact that tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Apple and others are facing what they characterize as a huge patent troll problem, and this so-called patent troll problem comes disproportionately from business method patents and software patents. So it is easy to see why the banks and tech giants have formed an alliance to go after these types of patents that impact technology, communication and software.

Patent Troll Sues Google, Apple & Microsoft

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Google, Microsoft and Apple! On Monday, December 23, 2008, Cygnus Systems, Inc., sometimes referred to on the web as Troll Systems, sued three of the largest patent troll targets there are; namely the aforementioned Google, Apple and Microsoft. Perhaps you tech giants might want to move to the top of your 2009 resolutions the idea of getting a clue and developing a strategy to deal with patent trolls because whatever it is that you think you are doing is failing miserably and only wasting shareholder resources, which in these economic times ought to be practically treasonous.

Merry Christmas: Christmas Patents 2008

There were 21 US patents issued with the word “Christmas” in the title during 2008, with 7 being utility patents and 14 being design patents.  Without further ado, here are some of the better Christmas patents for 2008, and a few that just kinda made me scratch my head. Christmas tree Design Patent No. 578,034 Issued October 7, 2008 Modified…

The Santa Claus Detector and other Santa Patents

This Santa Claus Detector patent is one of my all-time favorites, and one of the more ingenious holiday patents that I have ever seen. In addition to some very cool patent art, the invention is explained as including a Christmas stocking having illumination means that light up upon the arrival of Santa Claus. According to the invention, the Christmas stocking has a light source on the exterior of the stocking and a power source with a switching mechanism, which is preferably contained in the stocking itself. The toe of the stocking has a hole that will allow for a slide pin. The stocking is hung by the chimney with care, and a decorative pull cord is tied to the ring at the toe of the stocking. The other end of the decorative pull cord is tied to either another stocking hung opposite or secured to a decoration on the other side of the fire place.

Happy Hanukkah, Hanukkah Patents

It is that time once again for us to remember family and friends as we are about to usher out the year of 2008 and bring in a new year.  With this in mind and looking for some fun, uplifting things to write about in the waning days of 2008 I thought it might be a good idea to take…

Google Notebook Scores Patent Victory

On Thursday, December 11, 2008, in iLOR v. Google, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit awarded Google a victory in the patent litigation brought against the Internet giant by iLOR, LLC. iLOR had sued Google in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky alleging that Google’s Google Notebook product was infringing upon…