Blog Posts

EU Competition Authorities Fine Qualcomm While DoJ Says “No Problem”

Yesterday, EU Commissioner for Competition Margarete Vestager announced the Commission’s decision to fine Qualcomm for using pricing and contract terms to force a rival out of the market.  This fine follows another EU fine issued last year for Qualcomm’s use of exclusivity payments to avoid competition. If that sounds familiar, it’s because earlier this year,…

STRONGER Patents—Bad Legislation

Yesterday, the STRONGER Patents Act of 2019 was introduced by Senators Chris Coons and Tom Cotton, along with a House companion bill introduced by Reps. Steve Stivers and Bill Foster.  The bill looks much like the last two times it was introduced [1][2], but there have been a few changes.

What Are We Really Talking About When We Talk About § 101?

After the Senate’s recent § 101 hearings, Senators Tillis and Coons seem to have remained steadfast in their belief that patentable subject matter is a real problem for U.S. innovation.  (It’s not.) But there’s a particular flaw in their belief. In a recent article penned by the two Senators, published in Law360, they state that…

Christmas (Tree Patents) In July

It’s the week of the Fourth of July and that means that it’s time to talk about Christmas trees.  Or at least about patents for creating an electric connection between different sections of artificial trees. In a pair of decisions yesterday [1][2], both dealing with a dispute between two companies over artificial Christmas trees, the…

NPEs at the ITC Illustrate Flaws in U.S. Trade Court

This week, an Irish non-practicing entity (NPE)’s lawsuit against multiple U.S. companies got the go-ahead from a U.S. trade court designed to protect U.S. companies from unfair foreign competition.  No, that sentence isn’t backwards. That’s exactly what the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has done in the Neodrón investigation. Should the NPE win, the…

Huawei Moves Ahead With Aggressive Licensing Posture

Reports emerged today that Huawei has demanded over $1 billion in patent license payments from Verizon for its cellular network patents. As I wrote in April, Huawei has the potential to abuse its strong position in cellular network patents.  As required by international agreements, the U.S. patent system doesn’t discriminate between domestic and foreign patent…

Sunshine: Eclipse Promises Not To Sue Californians

Remember Shipping and Transit?  The notorious NPE went bankrupt last year after its campaign against everyone from transit app developers to city transit authorities hit a few potholes.  Following a decade-long licensing and litigation campaign leveraging the high cost of patent litigation, including one year in which it filed more patent suits than anyone else,…

Judge Koh: Qualcomm’s Licensing Practices Destroyed Competition, Harmed Consumers

Late yesterday evening, Judge Koh issued her anxiously-awaited ruling in the FTC v. Qualcomm litigation.  The 233-page opinion extensively describes Qualcomm’s anti-competitive conduct, how it has harmed both existing and potential competitors as well as consumers, and how that conduct has ultimately harmed competition in the LTE and 5G markets.  It would normally be hard…