July 2009

A Voice In The Wilderness

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 16:19

It has become the fashion these days to bemoan the poor quality of American public school education (occasionally correct), American popular music (mostly correct), and American political leadership (presently correct). Now, one percipient voice is addressing the poor quality of American patents (frequently correct).

First Impressions Can Be Misleading

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 07/29/2009 - 22:02

As the reader undoubtedly knows – or should know – applicants for patents and their attorneys owe a duty of candor to the patent office. As part of this duty, they are obligated to disclose to the patent examiner all material prior art of which they are aware. That sounds fine, but exactly how far does that duty extend? If a patent examiner has been directed to consider a certain apparently pertinent prior art reference, but inexplicably fails to do so, is it the duty of the applicant’s attorney to bring this failure to the examiner’s attention?

Teva and J&J Settle Patent Infringement Lawsuit over Oral Contraceptives

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 07/27/2009 - 00:00

July 27, 2009 - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced on Friday that it had settled its patent infringement lawsuit with Johnson & Johnson. Teva, the world's largest manufacturer of generic drugs, will pay J&J a royalty based on the sales of the generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen that it shipped.

A Disappointment

Submitted by patentadmin on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 11:19

Back in the dark ages, when I was in high school, my English literature class studied The Catcher in the Rye. Since at that time I planned to be an engineer, I made a point of showing no interest in literature. As the semester ended before we finished studying the book, I never did find out how it ended.

Tsera, LLC Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Apple, LG, Microsoft and Many More

Submitted by patentadmin on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 00:00

July 21, 2009 - Tsera, LLC filed its patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and many other defendants, claiming that their products infringe its patent, "Methods and apparatus for controlling a portable electronic device using a touchpad." The "click wheels" on the iPod classic and iPod nano, as well as the controls of the Microsoft Zune, LG Chocolate, and several other devices, are alleged to infringe the patent.

General Patent Corporation Licenses DTL Patent to SRT Communications and IT&E Overseas

Suffern, NY, July 20, 2009 − General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and patent enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its client, Digital Technology Licensing LLC (DTL), that it has licensed DTL's patent to SRT Communications, Inc. of Minot, ND, and IT&E Overseas, Inc. of Tamuning, Guam.

Google Faces Patent Infringement Lawsuit over Personalized Search

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 00:00

July 17, 2009 - Google is being sued for patent infringement by a company called Personalized User Model (PUM), which has patents issued in 2005 and 2008 which cover search personalization. The 2005 patent, "Automatic, personalized online information and product services," was expanded in the 2008 patent.

Tune Hunter Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Apple, Motorola, Amazon and More

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 00:00

July 16, 2009 - Tune Hunter, a Texas-based company, has filed an amended patent suit against Apple, Motorola, AT&T, and several other major vendors in the US District Court of Texas, accusing the companies of infringing its music identification technology that enables listeners to use mobile phones and other devices to identify songs.

New Opportunities Or How To Circumvent "eBay"

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 17:11

A previous blog post discussed the eBay decision, about which we will not comment further, except to note that it effectively removed one weapon from the arsenal of the NPE – the dreaded “non-practicing entity” (also, pejoratively known as a “troll”). No longer could the NPE threaten a patent infringer with the legal equivalent of a neutron bomb – a permanent injunction.

Consistency – No Longer The Hobgoblin Of Small Minds

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 11:16

If a patent claim is indefinite, it is invalid. The key question, of course, is what constitutes indefiniteness. Well, patent draftspersons, rejoice. In a rare, precedential opinion, Ex parte Kenichi Miyazaki, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (USPTO BPAI) has decided that if a claim term is not used or defined in the specification, and the meaning of the term is not discernable, the claim is indefinite. Moreover, any inconsistency between a claim term and the patent specification may make the claim indefinite.

Free At Last

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/10/2009 - 17:02

Under the common law, intellectual property, created by an employee in the course of his employment and pertaining to the business of his employer, belongs to the employer. Nevertheless, in order to leave no question as to this, most employers require employees to sign an agreement to this effect (the well known Employee Invention Assignment Agreement).

Former Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Joins GPC's Advisory Board of Directors

Suffern, NY - July 7, 2009 - Hon. Bruce A. Lehman, U.S. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks under the Clinton administration, has joined the Advisory Board of Directors of General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading intellectual property (IP) firm focusing on patent licensing and enforcement, IP strategy and valuation.

Giving (Or Getting) More Than You Thought

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 16:59

Patent licenses typically allow the licensee to “make, use and sell” the patented product. Often, they are silent as to the right of the licensee to have the licensed product made by a third party. In such a circumstance, does the license also include the right to “have made,” i.e. the right of the licensee to use third-party contractors to manufacture licensed products for its own use?

Abbott Labs to Pay J&J $1.67 Billion from Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 00:00

July 2, 2009 - In the most expensive verdict in US history, Johnson & Johnson announced on June 29 that its patent infringement lawsuit against Abbott Labs was successful and that Abbott had been ordered to pay $1.67 billion ($1.17 billion in lost profits and $504 million in royalties) for infringing the patent on J&J's drug Remicade with its own drug Humira.