Facebook sued over ‘like’ button (BBC News)
Facebook is facing legal action over its use of the “like” button and other features of the social network… It is being sued by a patent-holding company acting on behalf of a dead Dutch programmer called Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer.
It was the late Steve Jobs’ worst nightmare. A powerful Asian manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , uses Google Inc’s Android software to create smartphones and tablets that closely resemble the iPhone and the iPad. Samsung starts gaining market share, hurting Apple Inc’s margins and stock price and threatening its reign as the king of cool in consumer electronics. Jobs, of course, had an answer to all this: a “thermo-nuclear” legal war that would keep clones off the market.
Tim Cook, Jobs’ successor as Apple chief executive, was opposed to suing Samsung in the first place, according to people with knowledge of the matter, largely because of that company’s critical role as a supplier of components for the iPhone and the iPad.
Innovation Nation at War (The New York Times)
America’s patent system is a mess. The United States Patent and Trademark Office, understaffed and overwhelmed, issues too many needless patents. Patent trolls buy or create patent portfolios whose only purpose is to extort fees from the companies that actually make the things that the patents supposedly cover.
This is a good little insight into what’s going wrong for Apple in the patents case against Samsung. They’re winning the battles in court: they’ve won a $1 billion damages award against Samsung for example. But that’s not enough to be winning the war really.
Appeals Court Considers Software Patents (IDG News Service)
U.S. companies shouldn’t be able to get patents on abstract ideas when they combine those ideas with a computer process, a lawyer argued in an appeals court Friday.
On February 8, 2013, the Federal Circuit held oral arguments en banc in this important subject matter eligibility dispute that focuses on the extent that software can be patented. Under Federal Circuit rules, en banc rehearings include all of the regular circuit court judges as well as any other judge who sat on the original panel. For this case, the nine regular members of the court were joined by Senior Judge Richard Linn who sat on the original panel and penned the opinion of the court that has offended so many anti-software-patent advocates.
I hope you were not expecting too much from today’s en banc hearing by the Federal Circuit on CLS Bank v. Alice. A split decision is the best we can hope for, according to Bloomberg’s report on the day’s festivities.