NYY Times: Does the Patent System Need an Overhaul?
Two professors conclude in a new book that a couple of unrelated and seemingly innocuous administrative reforms of the patent system have caused a shift away from encouraging innovation in favor of exploiting patents largely for lawsuits.
Josh Lerner and Adam B. Jaffe have written a book with a title: “Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What To Do About It,” to be published in November by Princeton University Press.
Jupiter analyst Gary Price wonders if NetZero has really been granted a patent for adware: NetZero patents…AdWare?
NetZero filed for the patent in April 2000 and, last month, was granted a patent for High volume targeting of advertisements to user of online service
Disclosed is an ad server and local device that interface for selecting advertisements to be viewed by users of an online service based upon user activity. The local device preferably stores a targeted activity list of activity identifiers and associated advertisements in memory, preferably in cache memory. The local device monitors the activity on the local device and compares the activity to the identifiers in the targeted activity list. If the activity matches one of the identifiers, the local device causes one or more advertisements to be played.
Will this lead to patent infringement litigation against Claria and WhenU in addition to copyright and trademark (the IP trifecta)?
In a Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia working paper, James Bessen (Research on Innovation and Boston University) and Robert M. Hunt (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia) find that software patents do not lead to an increase in software inventions: An Empirical Look at Software Patents
The authors found that during the 1990s, all else equal, firms who increased their focus on software patents tended to reduce their R&D intensity relative to their peers. This suggests that in the 1990s, software patents substituted for R&D. This negative relationship was found only in certain industries, specifically those industries noted strategic patenting.
Full Text (pdf): An Empirical Look at Software Patents (Mar. 2004). See also the less technical The Software Patent Experiment from the same authors.
NY Times: Kodak Accuses Sony of Patent Violations on Digital Imaging
In a suit filed Monday in Federal District Court in Rochester, Kodak, which is struggling to make its brand name synonymous with digital photography, just as it once was with film, charged Sony with infringing on 10 patents that were issued to Kodak from 1987 to 2003. The patents covered various aspects of capturing, storing and displaying both still and moving digital images.
Does an enterprising reader want to spend a few minutes digging through the USPTO site to find out what these patents are for extra credit? I’m mildly curious, but otherwise occupied with some initial interest confusion issues…
Reuters: Feds reject Eolas browser patent
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has invalidated a claim to Web browser technology central to a case against Microsoft, a move that could spare the software giant from paying more than half a billion dollars in damages, according to documents obtained on Friday.
NY Law Journal: Federal Circuit Dismisses Suit Over Painkiller Patent
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a patent infringement suit initiated by the University of Rochester against pharmaceutical companies over a widely used painkiller.
Greenpeace and two Indian NGOs are challenging Monsanto patents on wheat. EU patent EP0445929 was granted to
Monsanto and covers Nap Hal, the wheat used for making chapati – the flat bread staple of northern India.
Financial Express: 3 NGOs File Petition Against Wheat Patent For Monsanto
Houston Chronicle: Patent holder has major bone to pick with ham rival: “Logan has invested tens of thousands of dollars to protect his patented ham product, even as the patent’s expiration date spirals closer.”
(via How Appealing
News.com: AT&T sues eBay, PayPal over patent
The suit, filed in federal district court in Delaware, claims that eBay and PayPal’s online payment systems infringe on AT&T patent No. 5,329,589, “Mediation of transactions by a communications system.”
That patent, according to an AT&T release announcing the suit, describes “transactions in which a trusted intermediary securely processes payments over a communications system such as the Internet. The use of a trusted intermediary ensures that one party will not have to disclose sensitive information, such as a credit card number or bank account number, to the other party to the transaction.”