We have frequently decried the actions of patent infringers (slimeballs). Now, it seems that even when they take a license, the actions of some companies may remain questionable. Discovision Associates v. Toshiba Corporation. Discovision granted a patent license to Toshiba and its subsidiaries.
A previous blog post discussed the eBay decision, about which we will not comment further, except to note that it effectively removed one weapon from the arsenal of the NPE – the dreaded “non-practicing entity” (also, pejoratively known as a “troll”). No longer could the NPE threaten a patent infringer with the legal equivalent of a neutron bomb – a permanent injunction.
If a patent claim is indefinite, it is invalid. The key question, of course, is what constitutes indefiniteness. Well, patent draftspersons, rejoice. In a rare, precedential opinion, Ex parte Kenichi Miyazaki, the U.S.
Under the common law, intellectual property, created by an employee in the course of his employment and pertaining to the business of his employer, belongs to the employer. Nevertheless, in order to leave no question as to this, most employers require employees to sign an agreement to this effect (the well known Employee Invention Assignment Agreement).
Patent licenses typically allow the licensee to “make, use and sell” the patented product. Often, they are silent as to the right of the licensee to have the licensed product made by a third party. In such a circumstance, does the license also include the right to “have made,” i.e. the right of the licensee to use third-party contractors to manufacture licensed products for its own use?
A recent blog commented on a case where the defendants were lawyers. We now have a case, Tailored Lighting Inc. v. Osram Sylvania Products, Inc., where the lawyers for the defendant are deposing lawyers for the plaintiff. Yes, indeed. It seems that the lawyers have reached a point where they only need lay persons (f/k/a “laymen”) to pay their bills.
The Bilski decision is to patent attorneys what politics is to late night television – an unending source of material.
A school of barracudas, having entered into a feeding frenzy, will turn on their own weakened or injured members, when the original prey has been consumed. Apparently, it is the same with land barracudas, i.e. lawyers.
Quickie LLC v. Greenberg Traurig LLP et al.
In patent law, a “product” or “article” claim covers (well, duh) a product. A “process” claim covers a method of doing something – like making a product. A product claim is infringed by the unauthorized making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the patented product. A method claim is infringed by the unauthorized practice of the patented process.