SSH Communications Enters Cross-License Agreement with Sony After Losing Patents at PTAB

14 02 2018

On Monday, February 5th, Finnish enterprise cybersecurity solutions firm SSH Communications Security announced that it had entered into a patent cross-license and settlement agreement with Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE). The agreement reportedly resolves all patent disputes between the two companies after Sony successfully challenged the validity of two U.S. patents owned by SSH Communications at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

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NuCurrent Alleges Patent Infringement After Samsung Feigns Interest in Business Relationship

14 02 2018

Chicago, IL-based wireless power solutions provider NuCurrent filed a complaint alleging trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement against Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930). The case, filed in the Eastern District of Texas, alleges that wireless charging technologies incorporated by Samsung into their Galaxy S7 and S8 product lines copies technology which was presented to them by NuCurrent under the terms of a confidentiality agreement.

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Federal Circuit Upholds Thales Motion Tracking Patent Asserted against U.S. Government for Second Time

14 02 2018

The recent Federal Circuit decision in Elbit Systems of America, LLC v. Thales Visionix, Inc. affirmed a final written decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which upheld some claims in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding challenging the validity of Thales’ U.S. Patent No. 6474159, titled Motion-Tracking and issued in November 2002. The patent claims a system for tracking the motion of an object relative to a moving reference frame using a first inertial sensor mounted on the tracked object, a second inertial sensor mounted on the moving reference frame and an element that receives signals from both inertial sensors to determine an orientation of the object relative to the moving reference frame. The resulting invention enables the use of inertial head-tracking systems for platforms including flight simulators and other vehicular applications.

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Jury finds Corel willfully infringed Microsoft Office patents

14 02 2018

Microsoft argued that Corel willfully infringed the ’828, ’036, ’237, ’140, ’532, and ’865 patents. The asserted Microsoft patents are directed to graphic user interfaces used in Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office. Microsoft asserted that it has given its interfaces, including menus and toolbars, a distinctive look and feel, which Corel copied into the accused products, including WordPerfect X7. WordPerfect X7 even includes an option to use the product in the “Microsoft Word mode.” See Complaint para 3-5. Similarly, Quatro Pro X7 offers the option to use the product in the “Microsoft Excel mode.” See Complaint para. 6-8.

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Top Patent Blogs for 2018

10 02 2018

IP Watchdog

By James Yang
February 8, 2018

This is an update for the Top Patent Blogs post that I published back in 2011… In preparing for this Top Patent Blogs post, I reached out to the writers (patent attorneys and patent professor) from the Top Patent Blogs post and asked them a few questions about why they maintain their blogs. Not all responded but from those that did, I got a sense that their blogs are more than just another means of attracting new business. For example, a few use blogging as a reason for reading cases and briefing them to keep up with the current state of patent law. The reasons varied far and wide. To summarize or to get to the essence of their differentiation, I asked them how they felt their blog was different from the others on the list. For their answers, see the Comment by Blog Manager column below in the ranking list.

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U.S. Patent System Falls to 12th Place in Chamber Global IP Index for 2018

10 02 2018

While the United States continues to do well overall, patent protection continues to be problematic. In 2017 the U.S. ranked 10th worldwide in terms of offering patent protection to innovators. This year, the U.S. fell out of the top 10, tumbling to a tie for 12th with Italy… With a decrease in the score relative to patent protection from 2017 to 2018, the United States joins a handful of other countries that are not thought of as being at all intellectual property friendly. Those countries having a weaker performance relative to patents in 2018 include the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, Columbia, Chile and Australia. See page 22 of the Chamber report.

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IP and Sovereign Immunity: Why You Can’t Always Sue for IP Infringement

3 02 2018

The overlap between sovereign immunity and IP issues is not something that comes up all of the time. However, when it does, the impact of the immunity can be significant. The law for certain matters, such as lawsuits in Federal court, is fairly well resolved. However, its application when new procedures are made available, such as for IPRs which were established in 2012, has provided new challenges and opportunities… So can the Federal or State government be sued for infringement under Federal patent, trademark, or copyright law? The answer often depends on the particular facts and specific legal issues of a dispute. That said, in most cases the answer is Yes for the U.S. Government and No for states and Tribal Nations, unless they have taken a specific action to waive immunity for that matter. A brief summary follows.

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TiVo Files Patent Lawsuits against Comcast, Only Major U.S. Pay-TV Provider Without a TiVo Patent License

3 02 2018

TiVo files patent lawsuits, the latest steps TiVo has taken in the hopes of resolving the renewal of a long-term licensing agreement that TiVo has already has already finalized with other major pay-television providers in the United States… TiVo’s recent litigation campaign against Comcast stems back to an unresolved licensing agreement that expired in April 2016 and which TiVo has attempted to renew with the major American pay-TV provider. Rovi first signed licensing agreements with the top pay-TV providers in the U.S., including Comcast, Dish Network, DirecTV and Time Warner, back in 2003 and 2004 with each deal lasting for a period of 12 years. In 2015 and 2016, around the same time that Rovi acquired TiVo for about $1.1 billion, the company began proactively engaging in licensing talks, again striking long-term deals like 10-year agreements with both AT&T and Dish. Of the top 10 pay-TV providers in the United States, Comcast is the last holdout who has not signed a licensing deal with TiVo.

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A Patent For Geotagging IP Packets Raises Important Internet Law Questions (Guest Blog Post)

16 01 2018

by guest blogger Marketa Trimble

On September 12, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent on a technology that could significantly affect the functioning of the internet and the course of internet-related law and policy, and achieve an ultimate territorialization[FN] of the internet.

[FN: “Territorialization” is the action of territorializing, i.e. “mak[ing] (something) territorial; to organize on a territorial basis; to associate with or restrict to a particular territory or district.” Oxford English Dictionary, 3d ed., 2011.]

Patent US 9,762,683 B2 covers the “use of packet header extension for geolocation/geotargeting.” The patented technology should enable the insertion of geolocation information into an IPv6 packet and the transmission of that geotagged IPv6 packet into a communication network.

Packets are the carriers of data on the internet; they consist of user data (a payload), and also of control information about where the data should go (a header). A packet identifies its sender and addressee by their IP addresses but (currently) does not include any information about the sender’s or addressee’s physical location (geolocation); while IP addresses may indicate, generally, a geographical location, they are not an exact and perfectly reliable determinant of the location – for reasons that include, among other things, the possibility of spoofing IP addresses.

The patented technology makes it possible to tag packets with information about the physical location of the sender’s device; the location could be determined based on various data from the sender’s device, such as “a GPS, cellular or other source.”

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[Eric’s note: I have a strong view on that normative question, and I wrote a brief post about it in 2007.]

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PTAB Errors Fatal to Hundreds of Legitimate Patents

11 01 2018

There have been 220 patents upheld as valid in real courts and also subject to a final written decision in the PTAB. The PTAB only agreed with the real courts on 52 patents, while disagreeing with them on 168 patents. If the U.S. legal system is the gold-standard, that means the PTAB is erroneously invalidating patents 76% of the time… In the PTAB, generally only two grounds of attack are available – 35 U.S.C. §102 for novelty and 35 U.S.C. §103 for non-obviousness. But in the real court four grounds are available as a defense – along with §102, §103, accused infringers are also afforded validity challenges under 35 U.S.C. §101 for basic patentability and 35 U.S.C. §112 for specification. So how is it that the PTAB invalidates three times as many patents with only half as many grounds available? The only answer is because it is specifically designed to help infringers by bypassing due process protections afforded to inventors in real courts. Apologists will go on to argue that the PTAB had better evidence, better prior art, better experts, better judges – nonsense! The real courts have rules and procedures which are tremendously more thorough, developed, proven, and fair. The PTAB has not and cannot measure up.

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