Blog Posts

Lessons from Apple v. Motorola in Wisconsin

The FTC’s recent consent order in its merger review in In the Matter of Robert Bosch GmbH – a combination of manufacturing companies that make air conditioning recycling, recovery, and recharge products that are essential for repairing and servicing the coolant systems on motor vehicles – contained an interesting twist.  While reviewing the merger, the FTC…

The SHIELD Act Is a Step in the Right Direction

The SHIELD Act is an important step in the process of common sense patent reform where it is most needed: computer hardware and software patents.  The Act introduces a “loser pays” rule in computer hardware and software patent litigation when a court determines that a plaintiff did not have a reasonable likelihood of success.  The SHIELD…

Life after David Kappos: What should President Obama look for in the next head of the US Patent and Trademark Office?

Numerous outlets reported Monday that the current head of the Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), David Kappos, would be stepping down.  While we have disagreed with Kappos at Patent Progress, especially over his positions on software patents in his recent speech at the Center for American Progress, Kappos has moved the USPTO in the right…

Vanishing Licenses – How International Bankruptcy Rules Could Threaten the Networked Patent Economy

Why should the patent community care about developments in cross-border insolvency law?  Though the topic seems esoteric, there are some important practical reasons to pay attention to what’s happening in the bankruptcy courts.  Recall bankrupt Nortel Networks’ sale last year of 6,000 patents to an Apple/RIM/Microsoft-led consortium for $4.5 billion.  The Nortel patent sale gave…

FTC and DOJ Looking at Trolls under Antitrust Authority

A Sunday article in the Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are devoting “huge energy, particularly at a senior level” to assess the impact of non-practicing entities (a/k/a patent assertion entities, or PAEs) on competition in high-tech markets.  The agencies also intend to host informal hearings on…

Patent Progress at Patent Prom

Today is the Santa Clara Law High Tech Law Institute  “Solutions to the Software Patent Problem” Conference.  (#HTLI is actually trending on Twitter!)  Josh has been live-tweeting it on @PatentProgress, and Dan on @DisCo_Project.  A great Who’s-Who of patent law and policy is in attendance—it’s even been nicknamed #patentprom—and while the goal of coming up…

Patent Troll Business Models

How Non-Practicing Entities are Adapting The idea of a patent assertion entity (PAE) (or non-practicing entity, patent troll) has become fairly well-known.  These firms adopt a business model of monetizing patents rather than practicing the technology covered by the patents; acquiring patents that enable them to target entire industries; and driving up the costs for…

Why an Antitrust Lawyer Cares About Patent Reform

Since the advent of antitrust enforcement in the United States through the Sherman Act in 1890, antitrust law and patent law have endured an uneasy relationship.  Initial cases treated patents as superior to competition.  Patentees once were “the owner of a monopoly recognized by the Constitution and by the statutes of Congress.”  Gradually throughout the years…

The Continued Challenge Posed by Abstract Patents

What is the state of the patent system?  In 2009, scholars framed the question as whether it was failing.  In 2011, the question was whether it was in crisis.  Now, Wired Magazine’s “Patent Fix” series sees experts debating whether it is entirely broken.  Judging by titles alone, we’re losing ground.  The mounting tide of patent research provides more empirical…