Rockstar Bidco: Where Are They Now?

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:51

Last year, as everyone familiar with the term "patent auction" is aware, a consortium of Big Tech's heavy hitters (well, except Google) and calling itself Rockstar Bidco paid $4.5 billion for the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks. Where are they now?

Rockstar is still around, but now calling itself the Rockstar Consortium. The company has control of 4,000 of the 6,000 patents and patent applications purchased in the Nortel auction.

Losing the Jury

Submitted by patentadmin on Tue, 05/15/2012 - 14:30

Jury trials, statistically speaking, are usually a good thing for patent owners. But as patent litigation becomes ever more complex, and the technology underlying the patents ever more mind-boggling, what happens if the case in question goes right over the jurors' heads?

Upholding a Great American Tradition

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 17:08

This week, we finally see the conclusion of a trademark infringement lawsuit that began nine years ago. That's enough litigation to drive anyone to drink, so it's appropriate that the two parties involved were the Maker's Mark bourbon distillery and the maker of Casa Cuervo tequila.

This blog has followed the lawsuit for the past couple of years (see our most recent entry on the subject, In Defense of Good Taste).

Take It Down a Notch

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 11:46

Well, that's one way to curb the patent wars a bit: Judge Lucy Koh ordered Apple and Samsung to reduce the number of claims in their patent litigation against each other. Between the two companies, they have sixteen patents, six trademarks, five "trade dress" claims and an antitrust case, all of which disputes are spread over 37 products.

And that's after both companies already scaled their claims down a bit.

Microsoft Flips Most of the Patents Bought from AOL to Facebook

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 04/30/2012 - 15:42

By Alexander Poltorak

When speculators start flipping properties, you know that the real estate market is hotter than hot. But we haven’t seen much property flipping in the intellectual property market — until now. In an unexpected move, Microsoft unloaded much of the patent portfolio it has recently acquired from AOL to Facebook. But was it really that unexpected?

An Expensive Mistake

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 04/05/2012 - 12:50

Seven isn't always a lucky number: A patent lawsuit that's been in the works for seven years, and which was supposed to go to trial May 7, ground to an abrupt halt this week when the judge found that the seven patents-at-suit were invalid. (Anvik Corp. v. Nikon Precision Inc.)

Too Abstract to Patent?

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 14:27

Almost two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in the infamous Bilski case) that the "machine or transformation" test was not the only measure of patentability, the debate over whether software or business methods should be patentable still rages. And the waters have gotten even murkier, with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruling differently on software patents in different cases.

Inventor of World Wide Web vs. Inventor of "Interactive Web"

Submitted by patentadmin on Sun, 02/12/2012 - 15:21

A pretty exciting scene took place in Tyler, Texas recently. In a lawsuit brought against some big Internet names including Google, Amazon and Yahoo by Eolas, a company with a patent on the "interactive web," the star expert witness was the guy who actually did invent the World Wide Web. (And no, it wasn't Al Gore!)

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web back in the early 1990s, was that witness. But when asked by Jennifer Doan, the attorney for defendants Yahoo and Amazon, if he'd applied for a patent on the World Wide Web, he replied that he hadn't.

Whose Name Is It, Anyway?

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 01/26/2012 - 12:11

Jill and Burt Kohler opened a cosmetology school in Scottsdale, Arizona...and a whole can of worms along with it.

The Kohlers were sued for trademark infringement by the Kohler Company. Kohler (the company) is probably best known for their faucets, toilets, bathtubs and other plumbing-related items, but holds over 30 trademarks that also include spa and salon services, as well as "guitars, pianos, candy, candles and horse breeding and stud services."

Blogger's Job Change Causes a "Lode" of Trademark Problems

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 01/04/2012 - 11:22

Writer Lisa Belkin used to pen a blog on parenting issues for the New York Times called "Motherlode." When she left the NYT to work for the Huffington Post, the "Motherlode" blog continued but with guest bloggers. Belkin, meanwhile, continued blogging in much the same vein for HuffPo but named her blog there "Parentlode."

More Than Meets the Eye

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 12/28/2011 - 14:36

What do you think of when you hear the phrase "Transformer Prime"? If you grew up in the 80s, you probably immediately think of the Transformers cartoon and the character Optimus Prime. (Admit it: Now you're trying to get the Transformers theme song out of your head.)

Hasbro holds the trademark for "Transformer" for its line of toy robots that change into vehicles and back into robots. The brand is still going strong, fueled by a recent series of live-action movies, more toys and, of course, a new generation of little boys to collect them.