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Posts Tagged: "infringer"

Facebook drops efficient infringement clause from its React software license

In late September, an official blog post published by Menlo Park, CA-based social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and penned by Adam Wolff, the company’s engineering director, announced that the company would be adopting a software license agreement known as the MIT License for many of the company’s open source projects. This includes Facebook’s React platform, a Javascript library for building front-end user interfaces on hardware products. The use of the MIT License moves Facebook away from a prior software license known as the BSD + Patents License that included language which put patent owners using the React platform at a serious disadvantage.

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.

Patent Quality Relies on a Fictitious Narrative

The facts are that the quest for the golden patent is misplaced. The real problem has been the shifting and artificial criteria of patentability, inventiveness and “obviousness.” In effect, the changing law on patent validity standards has essentially shifted the goal posts. The idea of a golden patent was originally rebutted because it is cumbersome, expensive and unworkable, with all of the burdens placed on the inventor as a sort of huge regressive tax.

Patent troll narrative returns to Capitol Hill as relentless push for patent reform continues

The beauty of the patent troll narrative was it took little time to absorb and instantly painted a pejorative picture in the minds-eye of the listener. It became easy to repeat. Its bumper-sticker simplicity lead to widespread usage, which ultimately (and quickly) became accepted as fact without much, if any, critical thought. Most important, the strategy by-passed the arcane complexity of its convoluted subject matter by shifting the burden of Congressional persuasion to its victimized and under-resourced opponents… Expect big tech and its leftist bed-fellows to exert more effort to “de-propertize” patents on Capitol Hill and in the courts… Expect proponents of reform to mischaracterize patent reform as a step towards tort-reform, which is nearly comical given that the tortfeasor in the equation is the party that is trampling on the property rights of patent holders through infringement, which is many times purposeful and willful.

Northern District of California revises local patent rules, requires damages disclosures early and often

Damages discovery in patent cases is usually contentious, expensive, and non-uniform in application by the courts. The patent owner, on one hand, wants to discover all possible revenue streams for settlement and resource allocation. The accused infringer, on the other hand, wants to minimize disclosure, because of the sensitivity of financial information and the belief that the suit is meritless. And the courts are caught in the middle. Compounding these issues, fulsome damages contentions typically are not defined until expert reports are presented, meaning the parties (and the court through a Daubert motion) will not know whether there is sufficient basis for the damages sought until late in a case.

Obama’s Anti-Patent Bias Led to the Destruction of His Legacy

Barack Obama came to office with the suspicion that patents caused higher prices and created market inefficiencies. He set a mission to disassemble the patent system, which culminated in the America Invents Act… Obama supplied power to the market incumbents, thereby fortifying their monopoly power, while depriving market entrants of critical tools. By strengthening incumbents and their industrial oligopolies, he harmed competition from market entrants, policies that generated the slowest growth in history.

Patent infringer lobby pushes Trump Transition Team to aggressively pursue patent reform

Several weeks ago Internet Association President Michael Beckerman sent a letter to President Elect Donald Trump and the Trump Transition Team. The Internet Association is made up of companies that are by and large openly hostile to the U.S. patent system and innovators. The letter touched upon issues ranging from copyright safe harbors under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to recommended reforms to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to open access to the Internet and, of course, patent reform. I will confine my comments (see below) to the Internet Association’s patent reform commentary… Not that it should come as any surprise to anyone who follows the patent reform debate, but what the Internet Association says here is a lie.

If patent laws were correctly calibrated to spur innovation the efficient infringer would pay

Ashley Keller: “However, when you do infringe a patent, even if it was efficient for you to do so, the upshot should be you have to pay. You have to pay a reasonable royalty associated with that infringement so that the innovator who came up with the innovation can also be compensated for the research and development that they did to generate that innovation in the first place. So efficient infringement existence, in and of itself, is not the concern for me. The concern is it is now legally possible, I think in many circumstances, for someone to not only be an efficient infringer but also to get away with infringing and never paying and that is problematic from a societal perspective because it will dramatically reduce the returns to R&D and society will lose out on the advancement of technology that R&D inevitably produces.”

Patent Reform at all Costs: Desperate reformer resorts to lies

It is pure nonsense to say that opponents of patent reform never offer specifics, cite or discuss textual language of the bills. Utter fiction and complete fantasy. Frankly, Lee’s claims are as comical and insulting as they seem to be uninformed. Only the most disingenuous partisan could suggest that opponents of patent reform do not offer specific explanations citing to textual language of the bills. Indeed, quite the opposite is true. Opponents of patent reform make far more detailed and nuanced arguments. These intellectual, detailed, nuanced arguments have lead those fighting patent reform to lose the linguistic battle time and time again. So not only is what Lee saying false, but it is 180 degrees opposite from reality. So spurious are Lee’s claims that at first glance the article comes across as a piece of patent satire published by The Onion.

Bias in Both Directions: Patent Reform Should Protect Both Accused Infringers and Inventors

What’s stunning about this list is that almost nobody talks about reforming patent law to correct these biases! In general, the only biases that are socially and politically acceptable to correct are biases in favor of patent owners. It is profoundly unfair to correct biases in the patent system to protect accused infringers if we do not also correct biases in the patent system to protect inventors. It is interesting to ask why modern patent reform overwhelmingly protects accused infringers without also protecting inventors. I worry that the patent reform asymmetry fits within a larger trend of decline in the great Western traditions of innovation, due process, meritocratic competition in the race to invent, reliance on property rights and business investments, and strong support for intellectual property as distinct from real and personal property.

How the U.S. is Killing Innovation and why it Matters for Entrepreneurs

The engine that made America a greatest economic power was a patent system that led to tremendous innovation by incentivizing entrepreneurial inventors.

Will the Supreme Court bring balance back to the patent market?

Patent damages generally, and enhanced damages specifically, are a patent political powder keg because there are so many corporations that are users of technology. These technology using, or technology usurping, corporations would rather not have to worry about the consequences of infringing patents. This has caused the so-called infringer lobby to put a premium on the issue of damages, specifically advocating positions that would minimize patent damages. Indeed, the infringer lobby has done an excellent job weakening patent rights and impairing the enforceability of patents over the last decade, both in the federal courts and on Capitol Hill. The Supreme Court has even several times mentioned the patent troll problem without the issue being before the Court and neither party being accused of being a troll.

A toxic concoction of myth, media and money is killing the patent system

In the past decade, the patent system has been turned on its head. Inventors are now villainized as cartoon characters called patent trolls simply because they assert their hard-earned patent rights against corporations who steal their inventions. These infringing corporations have cleverly cultivated the myth that all patent owners are patent trolls by engaging high-powered lobbyists and public relations firms to loudly attack inventors. This toxic concoction of myth, media and money has gagged opposing voices effectively creating political cover for the government to make rapid and fundamental changes to patent law that skew the field toward big corporations at the expense of inventors and small innovation companies, including those high tech start-ups that are responsible for creating high paying jobs.

Akamai v. Limelight: Defendant may directly infringe where steps performed by a third party

The en banc Court reversed the previous panel, and expanded the circumstances under which an alleged infringer may be liable under §271(a). In addition to circumstances identified by the panel, liability may arise if “an alleged infringer conditions participation in an activity or the receipt of a benefit upon performance of a step or steps of the patented method, and establishes the manner or timing of that performance.” When that standard is satisfied, the actions of a third party may be attributed to the alleged infringer, who thereby directly infringes under §271(a), even though there was no “mastermind” acting though a formal agent.

Does Stealing Intellectual Property Boost Innovation?

Confiscating other people’s property is hardly the way to stimulate prosperity or creativity. If it were, Venezuela would be one of the richest, most innovative countries in the world instead of a place where you can’t buy toilet paper. It’s not a coincidence that the handful of countries developing new drugs and the wonders of biotechnology are also those with strong patent systems. Patents and licenses are the life blood of many start-up companies that drive our economy. Rather than being a “tax on innovation,” a strong patent system is even more important today than when the Founding Fathers gave the protection of intellectual property a prominent place in our Constitution, preceding the Bill of Rights.