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Posts Tagged: "Electronic Frontier Foundation"

CAFC Affirms-In Part District Court’s Refusal to Seal Uniloc’s Confidential Information

On July 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed in-part and vacated in-part a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Apple, Inc.  In particular, the CAFC concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Uniloc’s requests to seal its own confidential information. However, the CAFC concluded that the district court failed to properly assess whether third-party information, including licensees’ names, addresses and royalty rates, should be sealed.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Still Believes in Fairy Tales

Joe Mullin, a policy analyst at the the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), recently penned a misleading article about the Inventor Rights Act  (H.R. 5478). He says it will promote and protect patent trolls. To unravel what he really means, it is first necessary to understand early stage investment, and from there, to define what a “patent troll” truly is. Through organizations like EFF and their companion organization, Engine, Big Tech often writes scary stories about how patent trolls hide under bridges for no other reason than to utterly destroy innovation. Very scary stuff. Scary because this fantasy has misled the courts, Congress, and multiple administrations, convincing them to change the law in ways that destroyed America’s startup engine. Scary because early stage investment is fleeing to China at the expense of American startups. Scary because it has created perpetual Big Tech monopolies with no allegiance to the United States that are immune to American competition and taxes. These forces now control what we read and say, how we vote, and even what we believe to be true.

Federal Circuit Affirms District Court Decision for CBS in Light of PTAB Invalidation

Last Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court decision that found for the CBS Corporation in its defense against infringement and invalidity as to three claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,112,504 owned by Personal Audio, LLC. While the jury initially found for Personal Audio, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) later invalidated the ‘504 patent and the district court ultimately entered final judgment for CBS. The ‘504 patent describes a system for organizing audio files, “by subject matter, into ‘program segments.’ The patent utilizes a “session schedule,” which allows a user to navigate through the schedule by skipping the remainder of a segment, restarting a segment, listening to bookmarked “highlight passages,” or switching over to a “cross-referenced position” in another segment.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Patent Troll Defamation Case

On August 16, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire issued an opinion in Automated Transactions, LLC v. American Bankers Association affirming a lower court’s decision to grant a motion to dismiss claims of defamation alleged by an inventor whose legitimate patent licensing business was decimated by a collection of entities and individuals deriding that inventor as a “patent troll.” The decision is certainly unwelcome news to any inventor concerned by the prospect that large entities could infringe upon their intellectual property and escape any chance of facing justice simply by hurling the “patent troll” epithet.

Pinning False Blame of Lack of Enablement In Issued Patents On the USPTO

Last week, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, held an oversight hearing on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with Director Andre Iancu as the sole witness. A particular inquiry from Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) regarding the USPTO’s allegedly lax examination quality under 35 U.S.C. § 112 caught my attention. She remarked [at 1:33:30]:  “Theranos, the blood testing company whose founder is being investigated for fraud, was granted nearly 100 patents based on an invention that didn’t work; and it concerns me that a patent application for an invention that doesn’t work gets approved.”  She generally questioned examiners’ attention to Section 112 requirements. Rep. Lofgren’s statement was no doubt primed by information from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in the Ars Technica blog post titled “Theranos: How a broken patent system sustained its decade-long deception.” In this article, the author, who was introduced as holding the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents” at EFF, declares with no evidence or proof, that the “USPTO generally does a terrible job of ensuring that applications meet the utility and enablement standards.” The article cited no study, identified no patent, nor any claim to any “invention that didn’t work.” This outrageous, baseless allegation is outright reckless and irresponsible.

Opt-Out Provision Could Undermine CASE Act’s Small Claims Solution for Copyright

On May 1, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA) officially reintroduced H.R. 2426, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act, into the U.S House of Representatives. The bill was originally introduced in 2017 during the 115th Congress but expired after committee review. Along with the House bill, S. 1273, the U.S. Senate version of the bill, has been introduced by another bipartisan group including Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The proposed legislation seeks to establish an alternative forum for resolving disputes involving small claims of copyright infringement. If passed, the CASE Act would create the Copyright Claims Board, which is served by three full-time officers and two full-time attorneys who are appointed by the Register of Copyrights. The Board would be able to render determinations on copyright infringement, declarations of non-infringement or claims for misrepresentation in association with claimed infringement, and would also be able to award damages up to $30,000 to aggrieved parties. The bulk of the bill’s language deals mainly with how the Board will operate as an alternative forum to U.S. district court, with final determinations ultimately reviewable by district court.

‘Bad Patents’ Are Just Another Big Tech False Narrative

Over the last 15 years, Congress, the courts and the USPTO have gutted the patent system. Fortunately, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu has been taking important steps to reverse some of the damage, with revised 101 guidance and changes in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). But the most important thing Iancu is doing is silencing the big tech “patent troll” narrative. False political narratives condense complicated issues into an object and then villainize the object. Once a villain is created, its evil can be expanded to encompass anything you don’t like. When you have pushed enough bad stuff into the moniker, you can simply state its evil name, add a few campaign contributions, and Congress will magically pass laws in your favor to kill the villain. The “patent troll” narrative has been valuable to big tech. It bought the laws they needed to perpetuate their monopolies. With Iancu silencing the “patent troll” narrative, big tech created a new one: “bad patents”.

New Reports says Engine, EFF are Shills for Google on Patent Reform

Google’s efforts to decimate the U.S. patent system to protect its own interests is a fact of life that is becoming more clear day by day. The latest scathing report, published in May by the watchdog organization Campaign for Accountability, highlights Google’s unscrupulous activities in supporting the efforts of organizations like Engine Advocacy and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), organizations portraying themselves as advocates for smaller entities but instead attempt to influence the political debate on Google’s behalf in many areas, including patent reform.

Tom Brady and a Ruling over Embedded Tweets Could Change the Internet and Online Publishing

Of all of the things NFL quarterback Tom Brady has been accused of ruining over the years, the internet is not necessarily at the top of the list, and certainly not based on an alleged copyright infringement that he had no part in perpetuating. Yet, a photograph of him and Danny Ainge, the general manager of the Boston Celtics, could in fact forever change the internet and online publishing as we know it.

When Universities Patent Their Research

A few months ago, a judge ordered Apple to pay the University of Wisconsin $506 million for infringing one of its tech patents. Last year, Carnegie-Mellon University won $750 million in a patent infringement lawsuit against Marvell Technology Group. With such big-money patent cases in the news, you might think that owning a patent can create a major windfall of profit for universities. While this has proven true for a handful of institutions, the truth is that most universities actually make little or no money from licensing the inventions they produce.  

Federal Circuit upholds PTAB invalidation of podcasting patent despite district court infringement finding

On Monday, August 7th, a judicial panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit entered a decision in Personal Audio, LLC v. Electronic Frontier Foundation which is being widely hailed by the anti-patent crowd. The three judges on the panel issued a majority opinion, authored by Circuit Judge Pauline Newman, upheld a final written decision issued by…

Federal Circuit says non-profit EFF has standing in IPR appeal

In an IPR brought by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Personal Audio appealed a Board determination that invalidated its patent for storing and distributing episodic media files. Personal Audio challenged the Board’s claim construction, but the Court affirmed the Board. Before reaching the merits, the Court addressed whether EFF had standing to participate in the appeal in view of Consumer Watchdog v. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. In that case, a non-profit organization representing the public interest did not have standing to appeal a PTAB decision, because it did not meet the Article III case-and-controversy requirement.

Incorporation of EME into HTML5 standard will keep the World Wide Web relevant

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) unveiled a proposed recommendation that would extend the Internet standards organization’s HTML5 standard to incorporate Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a specification which provides a communication channel between web browsers and digital rights management (DRM) agent software. The proposed new standard has raised a bit of controversy among Internet industry groups despite a reasoned argument from W3C founder and Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee… Some industry organizations, like the Free Software Foundation (FSF) or the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), are religiously opposed to DRM and are zealous in their conviction that the W3C’s proposal “is simply a back door for media companies to require proprietary player software.”

President-Elect Trump Says the TPP is Dead, but What Now for IP?

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced that he will withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on his first day in office. So ends more than five years of often heated negotiations led by President Barack Obama’s administration as part of an overall strategy to strengthen the US position in the Pacific Rim region… Pulling out of the TPP is a missed opportunity for the US to pursue its IPR agenda in the Pacific Rim economies.

Commercialization of University Research Threatened by Proposed State Legislation 

EFF’s Reclaim Invention Act, Draft Model Statute may seem an odd approach to folks in DC but when lined up with a state-level lobby of IP-uninformed and angry local businesses lobby, state legislators will be impressed. So notwithstanding EFF’s effectiveness on the Hill weakened by its issue multitasking, it will have stronger standing in state legislatures. Its research university troll-targeted sanctions proposal therefor must not be taken lightly. Beyond the law’s ironic fiscal resemblance to patent troll “do what I say or pay” troll conduct, the Model Law’s enactment will add even more uncertainty to private sector investment in early stage innovation. Worse, because of its open-man-hole patent nullification mechanism stationed at costly commercialization’s successful endpoint, pure licensing firms like Qualcomm, and research universities will be exposed to expanded freeloader accessibility as another nail of uncertainty is pounded into the coffin of patent exclusivity.