Ten years ago, Amazon sued Barnes & Noble for allegedly infringing the now-infamous “1-click” patent. This suit created a frenzy among techno-geeks who vomited up a mountain of prior art and vituperative rant in an unsuccessful attempt to invalidate the Amazon patent. Now, Amazon is being sued by Cordance Corp. which has a patent on – you guessed it – a “1-click” ordering system. Cordance claims that its patent predates the Amazon patent.
Recently, a small software company, i4i Limited Partnership, won a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation. i4i was awarded Two Hundred Million Dollars ($200,000,000.00) in compensatory damages plus Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00) in post-verdict damages, prejudgment interest and post-judgment interest. Yes indeed, folks, a quarter of a BILLION dollars. This, in itself, is a joyous and newsworthy item.
The ever increasing incidence of unauthorized uploading and downloading of copyrighted material on the internet has given rise to a very significant question, namely: ‘what court has jurisdiction over the offending parties?’ Stated in law school terms, if party A, in State B, enters an unauthorized copy of a copyrighted work onto the internet and party C, in State D, where the copyright owner resides, prints a copy of this material, can the copyright own
Who is an inventor or, more specifically, a co-inventor? The law provides that “each inventor must contribute to the joint arrival at a definite and permanent idea of the invention as it will be used in practice.” Inventors A and B had jointly developed a belief that, under certain circumstances, stem cells would transdifferentiate into various other types of cells (the nauseating details are unnecessary).
Large corporations are constantly railing against the alleged unethical conduct of NPEs (Non-practicing Entities, also pejoratively known as “trolls” and “those X!#?Z”) which have the temerity to sue when their patents are being infringed.
In elementary school and Sunday school, we were repeatedly instructed that it was good – maybe even a religious obligation – to share what we had. Unfortunately for Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the federal court in Minnesota takes a decidedly different view. Capitol Records Inc. et al. v. Thomas.
In litigation, failure to meet a deadline may sometimes be excused if the tardy party can show “good cause” for its untimeliness. In a recent case, Hill v. Abercrombie & Fitch, the plaintiff sought leave to amend its preliminary infringement contentions (PICs), explaining that the infringement theory upon which it was now relying was not previously available. The Court, not surprisingly, inquired as to the nature of this theory.
It has become the fashion these days to bemoan the poor quality of American public school education (occasionally correct), American popular music (mostly correct), and American political leadership (presently correct). Now, one percipient voice is addressing the poor quality of American patents (frequently correct).
As the reader undoubtedly knows – or should know – applicants for patents and their attorneys owe a duty of candor to the patent office. As part of this duty, they are obligated to disclose to the patent examiner all material prior art of which they are aware. That sounds fine, but exactly how far does that duty extend?
Back in the dark ages, when I was in high school, my English literature class studied The Catcher in the Rye. Since at that time I planned to be an engineer, I made a point of showing no interest in literature. As the semester ended before we finished studying the book, I never did find out how it ended.