Blog Posts

On Tacos

The taco. Whether you like ground beef with cheese and lettuce or chorizo with cilantro and onion, I’d be willing to bet that you probably like some kind of taco.  And (fortunately, or maybe unfortunately for our waistlines) no one owns a patent on the taco. Now, taco plates?  That’s another story. D574187 D574,187 is…

It’s The End Of The Podcast Patent And We Know It

In eagerly awaited news, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) determination that Personal Audio’s U.S. Pat. No. 8,112,504 is invalid based on an inter partes review petition from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). That’s right.  The podcast patent is dead.  And I feel fine. Stand(ing) Setting aside the merits of…

CustomPlay, Annotated

Near the end of July, CustomPlay sued Apple and Amazon.  CustomPlay is owned by Max Abecassis, who also owns Nissim Corp.  (Nissim has a long history of involvement with the DVD standard and nearly as long of a history of forcing companies to license its DVD patents; this is hardly Abecassis’ first go at patent…

The Cost Of Bad Patents: It’s Not Just The Lawsuit

Bill for $31,600 in legal services.

The cost of bad patents is not just the cost of lawsuits.   This may seem obvious, but apparently it isn’t. I’ve recently noticed a trend from the anti-reform lobby: someone testifies in front of Congress about patent reform, they complain that “they’ve only been sued once or twice, why are they being asked to…

The PTO’s § 101 Summary Report

One of the most important developments over the past few years is the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank – a decision that articulated a distinction between patent-eligible inventions, and patent-ineligible abstract ideas.  The Alice decision has enabled many companies, including small businesses, to defend themselves from baseless patent infringement lawsuits based on…

A Blackbird in Many Forms

You might recall a few months ago I wrote about Blackbird Technologies, an NPE with a novel approach to patent litigation.  Blackbird is a company owned by lawyers.  It buys patents from patent owners, apparently with a share of any litigation wins flowing back to the owner.  The lawyers who own Blackbird also litigate the…

If Qualcomm Wins At The ITC, We All Lose

This afternoon, CCIA filed comments on the public interest in the Qualcomm v. Apple case pending at the International Trade Commission (ITC).  Qualcomm sued Apple in the ITC as part of the large dispute between the two companies.  (The dispute continues to grow, having recently added a case in Germany and suits and counter-suits between…

Understanding The Questions Asked At The “Bad Patents” Hearing

The recent House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the Impact of Bad Patents on American Businesses addressed many of the points I made last week.  But it also highlighted a few issues where there’s some dispute or simply a lack of understanding. In particular, I think that the hearing’s focus on the (1) “broadest reasonable interpretation”…

Comments to the USPTO on AIA Trial Procedures

On July 6, the Computer and Communications Industry Association submitted comments on America Invents Act (AIA) trial procedures in response to the PTO’s ongoing request for such feedback, most recently at the PTAB Judicial Conference in June. Our comments, briefly summarized, are that: The inter partes review (IPR) procedure has been successful in providing an…