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25 Nov 2014

Google on the cutting edge of corporate patent departments' embrace of big data

In the next issue of IAM we have an in-depth feature on Google's formidable patent operation that looks at how it has evolved since Allen Lo took charge in early 2012. As well as Lo himself, we also interviewed key players in the team, including litigation head Catherine Lacavera, head of transactions Kirk Dailey and Washington DC-based head of patent policy Suzanne Michel. What emerges is a fascinating story of how and why a company that once spurned patents as tools of strategic Read more

Richard Lloyd

25 Nov 2014

To BlackBerry investors: IP is a necessary operational cost – but can also be revenue generator

There has been debate over at the Seeking Alpha investment news site this week over the supposed $800 million that BlackBerry is expected to save in annual ‘intellectual property costs’ from this month. Much of the discussion there has, understandably, centred on the accuracy of this forecast, what it means for BlackBerry shareholders and, ultimately, what they should do with their stocks. This isn’t a fitting place to continue that line of enquiry (and it’s not Read more

Jack Ellis

24 Nov 2014

Lee confirmation hearings are the time to move the 101 debate beyond the US courts

Ultramercial v Hulu, opposing interpretations of which have been discussed here and here on the IAM blog over recent days, is the latest case in the post-Alice era where the patents in question foundered on section 101 ineligibility grounds. And as most readers of this blog and even casual patent market observers are probably aware, there is much confusion in large parts of the US IP community over the current standing of 101. Whichever way you view the Ultramercial decision, the fact that Read more

Richard Lloyd

21 Nov 2014

Software patent owners have nothing to fear from the CAFC's Ultramercial decision, says Microsoft's former chief patent counsel

This time last week, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Ultramercial v Hulu. Almost immediately, it seemed opinion in the US split down the middle: either it was the latest proof that software patents are now living on borrowed time; or it was a case-specific judgment that should have little broader impact. Yesterday on the blog, we published the views of Francis Rushford of RSL Holdings, who is very much in the former camp. Today, we move across to the other Read more

Joff Wild

21 Nov 2014

Indian court takes the lead on FRAND licensing in Asia

The Delhi High Court has ordered that smartphone manufacturer Micromax pay Ericsson royalties on all products it sells while a standards-essential patent (SEP) suit brought against it by the Swedish company – and an accompanying antitrust investigation – continues. The court issued an interim order last week stating that Micromax – which dominates the low-price end of the consumer smartphone market in India – should pay a royalty of close to 1% of the selling price Read more

Jack Ellis

20 Nov 2014

Claims that CAFC's Ultramercial decision could prove a catastrophe for companies that license software patents

Last week, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit delivered its decision in Ultramercial Inc v Hulu LLC. This was the first time since the Supreme Court’s controversial Alice judgment that the court had dealt with a software patent issue, so its ruling has been greatly anticipated. Not being lawyers ourselves, and therefore unqualified to assess the full implications of what was decided, we asked a few people who do have the credentials to make a call. As has become pretty usual Read more

Joff Wild

20 Nov 2014

Rockstar’s settlement with Google could mark the beginning of the end of the Nortel NPE

Following the news earlier this week that Rockstar had reached a $188 million settlement with Cisco, it has now emerged that the NPE has also settled with Google. According to a court filing in the Eastern District of Texas, the two sides have agreed to a binding term sheet that “settles, in principle, all matters in controversy between the two parties”. This settlement states that agreement was reached on 12th November, the same day as the agreements the NPE reached with Cisco. Read more

Richard Lloyd

20 Nov 2014

A decade ago the EU's Community patent plans fell on the issue of fees. It must not happen again

Last week, in his regular commentary slot on developments affecting the EU’s unitary patent and Unified Patent Court, Bristows partner Alan Johnson looked at the delay to the announcement of the fees relating to the patent.  This week, he focuses on the reasons for the delay and wonders whether the hold-up might be more significant than is apparent at first sight. In trying to work out what it is about sorting out unitary patent fees that is proving so difficult a task for the Read more

Joff Wild

18 Nov 2014

Reform legislation will be signed by the President soon, says Goodlatte

Representative Bob Goodlatte, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, has said that he expects to see patent reform signed into law in the near future. Following the mid-term elections, which handed control of the Senate and therefore the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee to the Republicans, Goodlatte declared that he welcomed the opportunity to work on the proposed legislation with Senators Chuck Grassley and the Senate leader in the next Congress, Mitch Read more

Richard Lloyd

18 Nov 2014

Samsung’s M&A strategy: you bring the know-how, we’ll handle the patents

This month, Samsung Electronics purchased US solid-state drive (SSD) caching company Proximal Data in an acquisition aimed at strengthening its R&D capabilities. Notwithstanding a recent sales slowdown, the Korean company’s success in the global smartphone marketplace has left it with a mountain of cash to spend – amounting to around US$39 billion net back in November 2013. However, the growing challenges from other manufacturers requires Samsung to continue to Read more

Jack Ellis

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