I’m just going to be blunt: Our patent system sucks. It’s terrible to deal with, protects ridiculous things, and encourages frivolous litigation. It’s about as popular as a leper in a nudist colony.
For 10 years, patent reform has had the backing of major corporations who, like everyone else, are sick of patent trolls and costly defensive IP purchases. Nobody—not consumer groups, business, or inventors—believes this system works. Despite all of this, Congress managed to punt on real change.
The patent battle between Apple and Samsung rages on around the world. Just as Samsung announced that it was going to begin selling modified smartphones in Netherlands in order to avoid a sales ban there, it suffered yet another setback, this time in Australia. Details await you after the jump.
Rambus found itself on the hot seat when a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court drilled into the company for destroying documents that could have weakened its patent infringement case against Nvidia. Rambus admitted to shredding documents, but chalked it up to business as usual. Furthermore, an attorney for Rambus said they provided all the documents that were requested of them. That's when Judge Kathleen O'Malley, one of three presiding over the case, tore into Rambus.
If you’ve never heard of Intellectual Ventures, get your confused face ready. This patent holding firm, which makes nothing but does hold about 35,000 patents, has filed suit against Motorola Mobility for patent infringement. IV says it has been in talks with Motorola for some time, but has been unable to reach a deal for licensing of the IV patent portfolio. Unwilling to allow “ongoing infringement,” the lawyers are gearing up.
While we’re talking patent trolling, let’s talk about the global Apple-Samsung battle. Apple has been suing Samsung in courts around the world, claiming that the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 rips Apple’s patented design of the iPad, which consists of, um, a rectangle with a screen on one face. How they got a patent for that is beyond us, but that template has prompted judges in Australia and other countries to block sales of the Galaxy Tab until the case is decided. Samsung’s getting pretty fed up with it all, and it today, it threatened to withdraw from Australia altogether if the injunction wasn’t lifted soon.
Think Apple’s patent war against Samsung is ballsy and ridiculous? You’re right – it is. But there’s an even worse patent troll sculking around, and it’s much more sinister; while Apple and Microsoft are busy targeting other megacorporations, the Deleware-based Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC, is busy suing any mom-and-pop restaurant or hotel franchisee that offers Wi-Fi to its customers.
VIA Technologies is unleashing its legal beagles at Apple for allegedly infringing on three microprocessor-related patents and has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. District Court of Delaware. The patent infringement allegations extend to Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Apple TV devices, as well as associated software.
Despite claiming that Linux infringes on over 235 of its patents for a number of years now, Microsoft has always promised to deal with competitors that make Linux-based products with a fair degree of restraint. Of course, this only applies as long as such competitors don’t “free ride on our innovations” and refuse to sign licensing deals (case in point: Motorola). Anyways, this approach seems to be producing the desired results as more and more companies are falling in line. The latest company to sign a Linux patent-protection deal with Microsoft happens to be Casio.
Microsoft’s protracted patent battle with 30-man strong Canadian company i4i is finally over. The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously turned down Microsoft’s appeal against a lower-court ruling ordering it to pay $290 million in damages for infringing one of i4i’s XML-related patents with certain versions of its popular word processing software. More after the jump.
Mosaid Technologies, an intellectual property and technology licensing firm based out of Canada, has filed a lawsuit against DRAM makers Eplida Memory, Buffalo Inc., and Axiontech in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. In the lawsuit, Mosaid accuses all three firms of infringing on six of its semiconductor memory patents.