June 2011

E-Commerce Times - "Apple Lengthens Laundry List of Patent Complaints Against Samsung"

GPC's Alex Poltorak was interviewed regarding the current lawsuit between Apple and Samsung ("Apple Lengthens Laundry List of Patent Complaints Against Samsung", MacNewsWorld/E-Commerce Times, June 20, 2011).

Although the two sides appear close to a settlement, Apple has added a number of Samsung products to its complaint that weren't originally mentioned. In the following excerpt, Dr. Poltorak predicts the likely outcome of the Apple-Samsung case.

Hot Dogs

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 06/20/2011 - 21:47

As any true aficionado knows, a “Chicago-style” hot dog is served on a poppy-seed bun, garnished with mustard, green-relish, a pickle spear, chopped onions, tomato wedges, sports peppers, and celery salt. Chicago may no longer be the “hog butcher to the world,” but Chicagoans still take their hot dogs quite seriously, as evidenced by a recently filed lawsuit. (Vienna Beef, Ltd. V. Red Hot Chicago, Inc. and Scott D. Ladany)

Rest Easy

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 06/17/2011 - 21:51

Some weeks ago, we wrote (see Waving the Flag) of the sterling efforts of Thompson/Center Arms Company to protect American jobs and America’s technological lead in the critical field of muzzle-loading firearms by suing foreign companies which had the temerity to infringe Thompson/Center’s patents.

Public Service

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 06/16/2011 - 22:01

Some time ago we wrote about a tiff concerning “Never Ending Shrimp” (see Bon Appétit). The argument concerned not the shrimp, but trademark rights in the term. The owners of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurant chains alleged that use of the term by a T.G.I. Friday’s franchisee would cause confusion with the Olive Garden’s “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” and Red Lobster’s occasional all-you-can-eat shrimp promotions.

AppleInsider - "DOJ approves Google bid for Nortel patents, still in talks with Apple"

Alexander Poltorak was quoted in an AppleInsider article ("DOJ approves Google bid for Nortel patents, still in talks with Apple", June 14, 2011).

Commenting on the upcoming Nortel patent sale, Dr. Poltorak said that the winning bidder would have "a very important stockpile of weaponry to countersue," which would "keep a lot of potential aggressors at bay."

Judge Rules Righthaven Lacks Standing to Bring Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

Submitted by patentwebadmin on Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:33

June 16, 2011 - Righthaven LLC, a company that has been described by its critics as a "copyright troll" for filing over 300 copyright infringement lawsuits over newspaper articles posted on websites, was dealt a blow by a judge who ruled that the company lacked standing (meaning the right) to bring suit.

Reexamination Costs Inventor 4 Years of Patent Life and Millions in Legal Fees and Foregone Royalties

Submitted by patentwebadmin on Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:33

June 16, 2011 - Larry Lockwood received patents in 1994 and 2001 on e-commerce systems for searching, retrieving and displaying goods and services. Then he set up a successful licensing campaign from his La Jolla, CA home, signing patent licensing deals with companies large and small. It seemed that he was truly getting his money's worth from his patents.

Judge Rules Rambus Doesn't Have to Mention Shredding in Upcoming Patent Infringement Trial

Submitted by patentwebadmin on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 07:36

June 15, 2011 - A California judge ruled that jurors will not be informed by the court that Rambus' opponents have already proven that Rambus shredded documents as patent infringement litigation loomed. Instead, Micron and Hynix will have to present evidence that the shredding of hundreds of boxes of documents was a deliberate part of the company's legal strategy.

Just last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled that Rambus was wrong to shred the documents.

Thomson Reuters - "Federal judge: If incorporated in Delaware, litigate there"

GPC's Alexander Poltorak was quoted in a Thomson Reuters article about the issue of whether companies that are incorporated in Delaware - despite being headquartered elsewhere - should be required to litigate in their state of incorporation. ("Federal judge: If incorporated in Delaware, litigate there," Thomson Reuters, June 10, 2011).

Article excerpt:

Unanswered Questions

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 06/10/2011 - 17:48

Some time ago, we wrote of Lawrence Lockwood and his tireless efforts to convince a court – any court – that two attorneys formerly at the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLC are racketeers who filed and prosecuted “sham” re-examinations of two of his patents, thereby causing a four-year delay in his patent enforcement campaign and diminishing the value of his intellectual property (see Still A Potent Weapon).

A New Low

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 06/10/2011 - 16:14

We have, from time to time, written about ethically-challenged lawyers, but a recent case from Illinois reaches a new low. (In the Matter of Ellen Frances Lang)

While most dishonest lawyers defraud strangers, Ms. Lang preyed on her own family. When handling a real estate closing for her mother – yes, her own mother – who was purchasing a suburban Chicago home, Ms. Lang put the title in her own name. She then took out a mortgage on the property, pocketing $150,000.

The Latest Episode

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 06/10/2011 - 16:07

In the last, suspense-filled episode of this long-running (7 years) daytime legal soap opera, the jury had returned a verdict in favor of MGA, awarding it custody of the little Bratz and $88.4 million in damages (see previous blog posts Pass the Popcorn and Soap Opera Summary). In the closing moments of the show, Mattel, professing “disappointment” with the verdict, vowed to appeal.

Microsoft Loses Patent Suit to i4i in Appeal Before Supreme Court

Submitted by patentwebadmin on Fri, 06/10/2011 - 07:36

June 10, 2011 - Microsoft received a major blow on June 9 when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected its appeal in its patent infringement lawsuit with i4i, a Canadian company that first sued the software giant in 2007. The Court upheld the rulings of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - along with the $290 million judgment against Microsoft.

Trolls Beware

Submitted by patentadmin on Tue, 06/07/2011 - 07:48

There was a time when the Eastern District of Texas was the preferred venue of plaintiffs in patent infringement cases. Well, as the song says, “the times they are a ‘changin” – at least with respect to so-called “patent trolls.”

Interesting Wrinkles

Submitted by patentadmin on Tue, 06/07/2011 - 07:32

One of the most profitable – if not culturally elevating – new movie releases this season is “The Hangover Part II,” which includes a character, played by actor Ed Helms, who wakes or sobers up to find that he has a tattoo on his face identical to the one on the face of boxer Mike Tyson. While movie-goers may consider this hilarious, “tattoo artist” S. Victor Whitmill, the creator of Tyson’s tattoo, has failed to see the humor in it. Indeed, he sued Warner Brothers for copyright infringement and filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction barring the release of the movie.

Wall Street Journal - "U.S. Probing Tech Giants' Patent Deals"

Alexander Poltorak was quoted by a Wall Street Journal reporter regarding the sale of patents belonging to bankrupt telecom giant Nortel Networks Corp. ("U.S. Probing Tech Giants' Patent Deals," June 4, 2011 - subscription required). The U.S. Justice Department is taking a close look at the companies who are likely to bid on the Nortel patents amid antitrust concerns.

Supreme Court Rejects Stanford's Claim to Ownership of Disputed AIDS-Test Patents

Submitted by patentwebadmin on Mon, 06/06/2011 - 07:36

June 6, 2011 - The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Stanford University's attempt to revive its lawsuit against Roche Holding.

The litigation centered on who owned patents developed by a Stanford researcher - Mark Holodniy - who had signed agreements with both Stanford and a company called Cetus that was later acquired by Roche. Stanford had sought to invalidate Holodniy's patent agreement with Cetus/Roche.