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Posts Tagged: "efficient infringement"

Massive Jury Verdict for VLSI Sets Stage for ‘Efficient Infringement’ Debate

On Tuesday, March 2, a jury verdict  entered into the Western District of Texas awarded $2.175 billion in damages to VLSI Technologies for patent infringement committed by multinational tech firm Intel. The verdict, which includes one of the largest damages amounts ever awarded for patent infringement in a U.S. district court, comes less than two years after VLSI began the lawsuit and arguably marks an important milestone in the effort to address corporate business models employing “efficient infringement” techniques to earn dominant market positions, not as innovators, but as tech implementers.

More Dreck on Patent Trolls from Attorneys Cozying Up to Silicon Valley

Principe and Rudroff unfortunately regurgitate much of the misguided dialogue, which has done nothing to serve this country except to decimate its patent system in recent years. In the view of the authors, patent trolls, or patent assertion entities (PAEs) (which the authors note is the less pejorative term), provide no market value and often enforce software or business method patents which have questionable validity. Of course, it is worth noting that in its 2016 study on PAEs, the Obama Federal Trade Commission called the term “patent troll” both unhelpful and prejudicial, and also specifically recognized that PAEs can and do play a valuable role in the market. So the conclusions of Principe and Rudroff are not supported by even an FTC study commissioned for the purpose of condemning patent trolls. 

Amazon CEO Bezos is Knowingly Complicit in Online Sales of Counterfeit Goods, According to Report

Although Amazon is typically quick to reference its anti-counterfeit policy as proof of its commitment to weeding out inauthentic products from its retail platform, watchdog groups continue to point at major concerns regarding Amazon’s true intentions regarding the sale of counterfeits. Most recent among these is a press release issued on June 5th by The Counterfeit Report which strongly suggests that Amazon and Jeff Bezos have every intention of skirting the rules to continue the financial benefits they receive from the sale of counterfeits. The Counterfeit Report received multiple e-mail responses to counterfeit product issues it presented to Amazon. Those official Amazon e-mails indicate that Bezos received e-mails from The Counterfeit Report and that the e-mail sender was answering on Bezos’ behalf. Amazon’s official stance, as outlined by these e-mails, counterfeit products will continue to be listed on Amazon’s website in countries where the trademark covering the brand isn’t registered.

ECCO Accuses Skechers of Stealing Soles, Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit in Delaware District Court

Recently, Denmark-based footwear maker ECCO filed a suit alleging claims of patent infringement against Manhattan Beach, CA-based shoemaker Skechers. The suit, filed in the federal district for Delaware, asserts a series of patents owned by the Danish shoemaker which cover aspects of golf shoes which have been commercially successful for ECCO in recent years. According to ECCO’s complaint, the alleged claims of infringement by Skechers involve the particular cleat arrangement as well as the structure of the cleats used in the sole in the golf shoes, which are covered by ECCO’s patents.

Google Changes Its Code of Conduct After Years of Being Evil Towards Patent Owners

However, in intellectual property circles, it would be easy question whether Google has lived up to the goal of not doing, or being, evil… Google’s efforts to devalue patent rights is foundational to the company given its long-running penchant for copying the technologies of others for its own business success. Google’s entire targeted advertising operation, which provides upwards of 90 percent of the companies revenues, relies on technologies invented by B.E. Technology in the early 2000s. After B.E. Tech filed a patent infringement suit against Google in 2012, Google filed for inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the PTAB to challenge those patents.

Lofgren Supported Eliminating BRI Before She Was Against It

Congresswoman Lofgren seems quick to forget that she was one of the original co-sponsors of the Innovation Act when it was introduced into the House back in February 2015. Had the Innovation Act passed, it would have required patents challenged in IPR proceedings to be construed in the exact same manner that a district court would have required in a civil action to invalidate the patent. So, it seems Lofgren was for the Phillips standard and eliminating BRI before she was against it.

Tech Giants Maintain Dominance By Copying Technologies

Although it’s not illegal to earn a profit, unfair business practices in the pursuit of holding a monopoly over an entire industry led to the breakup of Standard Oil, especially the rebates from railroad companies for oil shipments which substantially lowered Standard Oil’s transportation costs relative to its much smaller competitors. Recent academic research has suggested that, while the U.S. government acted appropriately to stop the cartelization of an industry, Standard Oil was engaging in typical capitalist activity in securing better deals which optimized oil shipments. This would seem somewhat less nefarious than an outright copying technologies from smaller competitors in an effort to stave off competition.

Tech Super Giants Maintain Standard Oil Sized Monopolies

Between 1882 and 1906, this market dominance reportedly brought Standard Oil a total of $838,783,800 in net income. On an annual basis, that would mean that Standard Oil earned nearly $35 million in net income each year, which equals approximately $969 million in 2017 dollars when adjusted for inflation… To some of the tech super giants of today, $1 billion in profits is nothing more than pocket change… If Standard Oil remains the benchmark for what it means to be a monopoly, which many believe it does, it is difficult to understand why U.S. Antitrust regulators are not at least asking very serious questions about the market dominance of the tech super giants and the associated suppression of smaller, truly innovative enterprises.

What is on the Horizon for Patent Owners in 2018?

One of the questions that gets asked this time of year, when the world is busy flipping the calendar from one year to the next, is “What are you looking forward to in the new year?” For patent owners operating in the U.S., however, it may be better to ask, “What are you looking ahead to in 2018?” Looking forward would seem to denote a sense of optimism and such optimism has been in short supply among those in the tech space who don’t have the deep wallets to withstand the costs of pursuing infringers, including those costs incurred by the efficient infringer cartel’s use of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

A Modest Patent Proposal

Just as Swift’s solution to the crises of his day was abhorrent, i.e., eating the children of the poor for nourishment, eating the issue of our Founders is also abhorrent, as well as ill-advised. Our Founders recognized the value of patent and copyright systems, and inculcated this philosophy into the Constitution itself – and our nation has benefited thereby. Likewise, trademarks provide considerable benefits to us all. A societal reward for innovation and creativity is a small price to pay to assure our greatness for generations to come.

Misrepresentations in Service to Efficient Infringer Lobby

The world of intellectual property law has been abuzz in recent months leading up to oral arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, a case which will determine whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) operates in violation of both Article III of the U.S. Constitution and…

Confessions of a Frustrated Patent Attorney: The Telephone Call

I used to receive telephone calls, quite frequently, asking about the procedure for preparing and filing a patent application. Today, I no longer receive these calls. I suspect the main reason is that inventors are giving up an expectation that patent protection is even worthwhile. And I get it. If I were to get a call these days, I could no longer paint a rosy picture for would-be patentees… But these days, I fear the conversation would have a different tone. It might go more like this… “for a mere $2,625,000 you can disclose your most important innovation to your competitors, and they can use it and make sure that you actually have no rights to it.”

A patent without enforcement value has no licensing value

Enforcement of patents through litigation occurs when licensing has failed to result in an arms length negotiated resolution. In other words, patent owners resort to litigation when there is a market failure… When Keller says that the value of a patent is inextricably tied to the value obtainable through litigation that is just an economic truism. If the patent has no value when enforced in litigation, whether because the subject matter of the innovation has become patent ineligible, or because of a bias that tends toward finding practically everything obvious, the patent has no enforcement value. These litigation realities spill over into the business dealings because a patent that has no enforcement value will have necessarily have no licensing value.

Theftovation: Facebook ‘Likes’ Copying Ideas

The Wall Street Journal explains ithat the Silicon Valley culture has long regarded copying as a good thing and necessary for rapid growth, first to market, first mover advantage, network effects, world domination, liquidity for early investors and Founders, etc. What complete and total garbage. When you live in a culture that tolerates and even promotes copying that is, in fact, what you get. When everyone copies everyone that means no one is innovating. Many studies and articles in recent years have highlighted how we have a net loss of startups over the past 30 years and that companies are no longer innovating.

Congressman Darrell Issa: A well-financed ally of the efficient infringer lobby

With all of this money, it seems the efficient infringer lobby has managed to find an unlikely ally in Congress — someone who made his money as an innovator who defended his patents as a patent plaintiff, which apparently makes him a patent troll. At the end of the day, it may not be entirely fair to characterize Congressman Darrell Issa as a patent troll. Instead, he seems more of a swamp creature of the type that President Trump campaigned against. An individual who has fed from those who are actively trying to muck up the U.S. patent system in favor of large, entrenched entities and to the disadvantage of small, innovative patent owners who have previously always been the driving force of innovation and job creation in America.