Illinois Institute of Technology

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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 decided to ask around. Opinion was divided: for some, it was another confirmation that 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

17 Nov 2014

Rockstar gets a big boost from $188 million settlement with Cisco

In a call with analysts on 11th November, Cisco CFO Frank Calderoni revealed that the company had settled patent litigation with the Rockstar Consortium. In the transcript, provided by Seeking Alpha, he is quoted as saying: Our GAAP net income and GAAP earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 included a pre-tax charge of $188 million or $0.03 per share related to a patent litigation matter described in our most recently filed 10-K involving the Rockstar consortium. A term Read more

Joff Wild

16 Nov 2014

Members of the IP community who cite Bessen and Meurer to justify patent reform are clearly not interested in an honest debate

Not only are there significant questions to be asked of James Bessen and Michael Meurer about the methodologies they used and the figures they came up with in their two major papers – The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls (using a database supplied by Patent Freedom) and The Direct Costs of NPE Disputes (based on the results of a survey undertaken by RPX) - but recently their basic integrity has also been called into doubt. This follows the publication of a piece by the Boston Read more

Joff Wild

14 Nov 2014

More details revealed on Jay Walker’s Patent Utility - $1,200 to join, typical licence expected to generate $1k

  We wrote back in March about Jay Walker’s attempt to find a way of monetising the vast majority of US patents that get left on the shelf, unused. Earlier this month the beta version of the US Patent Utility went live and in a call with investors to announce Patent Properties’ third quarter results (Patent Properties is Walker’s NPE which is launching the new initiative), Walker and the CEO Jon Ellenthal revealed more details about the Utility which is due to fully Read more

Richard Lloyd

14 Nov 2014

Multi-million dollar deal demonstrates the strategic value of holding IP in China

Leadcore Technologies – a microchip-producing subsidiary of Datang Telecom – has agreed to transfer technology relating to its SDR1860 4G platform to Beijing Songguo Electronics in a deal worth RMB103 million (US$16.8 million). According to Guangdong newswire 21st Century Business Herald (and reported here by Want China Times), Beijing Songguo is a joint venture of Leadcore and smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, with the companies owning 49% and 51% of its shares respectively. Read more

Jack Ellis

13 Nov 2014

Lack of certainty on fees severely hinders the planning and budgeting process for the new EU patent regime

The latest draft of the rules governing the operation of the future Unified Patent Court regime have cleared up some of the major areas of uncertainty surrounding the operation of the new regime – in particular, with regards to bifurcation. However, as Bristows partner Alan Johnson discusses this week, there is still no news about the fees applicants for an EU unitary patent will have to pay. Until that changes, the ability to plan and budget is going to be severely curtailed.   Read more

Joff Wild

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