Blog Posts

A Different Bite At The Subject Matter Apple

Utility patents aren’t the only form of patent, much less the only form of intellectual property.  While not a frequent subject of discussion in comparison to its much better known cousins, the utility patent and the design patent, the plant patent is still relevant and provides a useful example of how to protect subject matter…

Qualcomm’s Petard: Apple Acquires Modem Business From Intel

Yesterday, Apple officially announced its acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem unit.  Apple will receive a variety of assets from Intel, including patents, as well as a significant portion of Intel’s employees dedicated to wireless modem technology.  Intel retains the ability to develop 5G systems for non-smartphone applications like PCs, Internet of Things devices, and autonomous…

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…