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Page 1 of 3 Archive - February 2008

Software patent debate needs to be frank, fair and, above all else, honest

The 271 Blog reports on the launch of a new organisation in the US called End Software Patents, which does pretty much what it says on the label. As part of its launch process, the group has produced the first of what it says will be an annual report on the state of software patents in the US. Those looking for an even-handed discussion of the issues in the inaugural publication will be disappointed. But then no-one would expect otherwise. However, what we should expect is at least ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 29 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Commission hits Microsoft hard again

The European Commission's decision to fine Microsoft a further €899 million (that’s well over $1 billion) for antitrust violations will not surprise many who have been observing the stand-off between the Commission’s Competition DG and the software company since 1998. Equally, if further fines follow it is not going to be much of a shock. The European Commission clearly does not like Microsoft. Of course, it is not alone, which does make the company a relatively easy ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 28 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Chinese Supreme Court judge signals higher damages are on the way in IP cases

The vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court in China made a speech last week in which he made several important observations. While attending a national court conference, Cao Jianming stated that since Chinese accession to the WTO in 2001 the number of foreign companies involved in IP-related disputes in the country’s courts has surged. Back in 2001, Cao said, only 41 cases were heard at the first instance, while during 2007 the number had risen to 668. Something ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 27 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Law firm value-added actually means nothing more than being the best

I got a press release this morning announcing the publication of a new study on the 21st century law firm, commissioned by UK law firm Eversheds and researched by RSG Consulting. Headlined “Businesses call time on ‘unsustainable’ legal fees, says new report”, the release highlights some of the findings reported in the billings section of the study. It’s not online, so below is an edited version: Spiralling costs of legal fees are fast becoming a major ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 26 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Why In re Bilski will see the US move closer to Europe

It’s just over a week now since the Federal Circuit in the US announced that it would be hearing the In re Bilski case en banc. As everyone knows by now, what this means in effect is that the Federal Circuit as a whole will be revisiting the debate surrounding the patentability of software and business methods. Given the fact that it is extremely unusual for cases to be heard en banc – in other words with the full participation of every judge rather than just a small ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 23 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Jury still out on Asian innovation, despite WIPO figures

International patenting activity is surging in Asian countries according to the latest PCT filing statistics released by WIPO. During 2007, Korea saw just under 19% growth to take fourth spot in the PCT rankings, while Chinese activity surged by 38% meaning that China is now firmly entrenched in the top 10. Given the increasing number of domestic patent applications being handled by the Chinese patent office, you can only assume that China is going to keep on rising up the league ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 22 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Patent Reform Act goes down to the wire

I have just been speaking to someone who is pretty close to what is going on in Washington DC at the moment with regard to the Patent Reform Act. Apparently, it is still touch and go as to whether the legislation is going to pass. As we all know, it is the damages apportionment provisions that are causing the problems. Up to now I had taken the Administration’s steadfast opposition to the proposed new damages regime as an indication that were it to come to it, President Bush ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 21 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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Patent brokerage generates over $100 million in sales during 2007

It's not only in the UK where service providers are enjoying themselves. In the US, IPotential has issued a press release to announce that the company’s patent brokerage business raised $104 million from a total of 29 transactions during 2007. Clearly, the company’s July performance – announced in a previous press release – was no flash in the pan. "Our results demonstrate that patent owners – investors, corporations and individuals – are now ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 20 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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IBM leads from the front and puts green patents on the side of the angels

Yesterday the University of London’s Queen Mary IP Research Institute (QMIPRI, as it is more manageably known) held its first ever annual conference at the New Connaught Rooms in London. The day was a great success with a good turnout and many interesting and thought-provoking talks from speakers who ranged from academics to industry insiders. Among those presenting was Roger Burt, Senior IP Counsel for IBM in Europe. After his talk I had a chat with him during one of the coffee ...

Posted by Sara-Jayne Clover, IAM Magazine on 19 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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CPA to float? UK patent service providers report record profits

Recession, what recession? As I have been worrying about how any economic downturn might affect the IP community, in the real world British-based IP service providers seem to be going from strength to strength. One may be heading towards a $1 billion float, while two more are reporting record turnover and profit figures, and forecasting rosy futures. It looks like the CPA – the IP management company with its base in the Channel Islands – could be about to go public.

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 17 February 2008 @ 12:00AM
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