Bits & Bytes from Jonathan Hummel

RECENTLY 

#1. Minnesota becomes the first state to settle with a Patent Troll

Jennifer Bjorhus , of the Star Tribune reports that recently, the state of Minnesota reached a settlement agreement with MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC, a Delaware corporation. If the state discovers that any Minnesota residents or companies actually paid MPHJ Technology money for either a license or an alleged infringement, MPHJ will have to pay a $50,000 civil penalty and refund all money. Swanson’s office said it’s not clear how many Minnesota companies were targeted but estimated it to be hundreds.

 

#2.  The next phase in the Apple/Samsung Saga

Gene Quinn, at IPWatchdog, reports that Apple and Samsung, interestingly enough, wound up on the same side of the argument. See Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. (Fed. Cir., August 23, 2013).The two tech giants are arguing back against a district court decision to allow some sensitive information to become publicly available. Both parties filed motions to seal certain writings, and district Judge Lucy Koh denied the motions. Appeals joined at the Federal Circuit, that court issued an order staying the unsealing of certain documents.

 

#3. Intellectual Ventures opens a DC lobbying office

Christina Wilkie, at the Huffington Post, reports that Intellectual Ventures, the largest patent holding firm in the United States, is opening a lobbying office in the nation’s capital. This latest move for the Bellevue, Washington based patent holding firm will probably set a trend for other firms with similar business models. The recent outcry from the patent community and the general anxieties over firms with similar practices mean these companies are going on the offensive, trying to set the course for policy rather than react to it.

 

#4. New Zealand decides the software question

Reuven Cohen, for Forbes, reports that New Zealand has banned software patents. In a bill passed earlier today, the Government of New Zealand announced that software in the country will no longer be patentable. In taking the position, New Zealand joins many other nations. "For example, U.S. patent law excludes “abstract ideas”, and this has been used to refuse some patents involving software. In Europe, “computer programs as such” are excluded from patentability and European Patent Office policy is consequently that a program for a computer is not patentable if it does not have the potential to cause a “further technical effect” beyond the inherent technical interactions between hardware and software.”"

 

PENDING

#1. IBM Applies for a Virtual Shared Shopping Experience

Steve Brachmann, writing for IPWatchdog, reports International Business Machines’ recent application for a patent on a “a system for collaborative shopping” whereby users can see what is in other people’s carts and interact via computers and smartphones. The rise of online shopping in the past decade is marked, and this idea represents another way to make the often singular online experience more social.

U.S. Patent Application No. 20130211953

 

UPCOMING

1. October 4 Symposium and CLE on Resolving Patent Disputes

2. The World Congress 2nd Annual: Generic Top-Level Domain Names Summit

September 25, 2013 • New York City, NY

Tools to Protect Trademark Rights and Strategies to Prepare Your Company for the Launch of gTLDs

Event Website  |  Brochure  |  Set Reminder  |  Register

-       See more at: http://www.worldcongress.com/events/index.cfm?IndustryID=3#sthash.Km7egeE1.dpuf

 

3. ABA Trademark Fundamentals: Managing Your IP in a World of Social Media Sept. 12, 2013 Webinar/Teleconference

 

JOBS

Patent Prosecution Associate – Law Firm – Washington D.C.

-       Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack, L.L.P. is seeking a Patent Prosecution Associate to join our Mechanical group.

-       Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack, L.L.P. offers a competitive benefits package and an enjoyable work environment. Salary is commensurate with experience.

-       Apply on-line by e-mailing your cover letter, resume and transcripts to: recruiting@wenderoth.com.

IP/Patent Attorney – Law Firm – New York, N.Y.

-       Bruzga & Associates, a New York City boutique IP law firm seeks an associate patent attorney having an electrical engineering degree.

-       This is an opportunity to hone your advocacy skills, have meaningful client interaction, and significantly contribute to the firm, rather than just being a “cog in the wheels” of a big firm.

 

Contact jon.hummel@patentlyo.com with leads for future Bits & Bytes.

7 thoughts on “Bits & Bytes from Jonathan Hummel

  1. It’s a little more complex than ‘banning’. The form of wording used is almost identical to that used for the European patent system – software is not patentable ‘as such’. It’s therefore likely that European case law and in particular UK case law will be followed, and that patent protection will still be available for certain forms of software – e.g. embedded software, software that can be shown to have a beneficial result (technical effect) on the computer on which it is running, etc.

    Oh, and New Zealand is geographically about as far from being a ‘European country’ as it is possible to get while still remaining on the same planet.

  2. link to arstechnica.com

    The Internet Association has teamed up with the biggest trade groups representing restaurants, supermarkets, and retailers to launch a new ad campaign in print and radio outlets. The new campaign isn’t tech-centric at all, and it emphasizes how trolls hurt “Main Street”-type businesses.

    Restaurants, supermarkets and retailers — is that “the Left” or “the Right”? LOL.

    I can hardly wait for the Patent Apologist “response.” I can hear the ad now … “Imagine a world without computers, filled with dead and diseased children. A world without electricity or phones or relatively inexpensive cotton …”

  3. In other huge news:

    link to money.cnn.com

    Forget boring old phones and tablets. Smartwatches are the hottest trend in tech, and Samsung is jumping into the market with the new Galaxy Gear.

    The $299 Gear watch is not a phone. Instead, it links up with Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets to let users know when they receive a call, text message or e-mail.

    WOWOWOWOWOW! The key thing to remember here is that this is not a phone — it’s a watch — so all that smartphone and “handheld” technology is like totally not relevant to the patentability of computer-implemented wristwatch stuff.

    Samsung focused on features that would let users keep their phones in their pockets, or avoid having to touch either the phone or the watch altogether. Users can make hands-free calls directly from the Gear, as well as dictate e-mail, set alarms and check the weather solely with their voices.

    OMIGOMIGODOMIGOD. But can I share my shopping info through the watch? Can I share my shopping info through the watch?

  4. the often singular online experience

    Shopping is often “singular”? Huh. Seems like I do a lot of my online shopping based on information I’m sharing with others, including telling other people what else I’m buying. Of course, I’m somewhat selective about how I share the information with. What’s really weird is that I call those people “friends” — even before Fecebook! Can you believe that? It’s weird.

    Oh, but wait: this social shopping is “automated”, you say? I get it. That must be what makes it “special.”

  5. MPHJ Technology and a host of affiliates including BriPol agreed to stop their campaign and to not restart without approval from Minnesota’s attorney general.

    If the state discovers that any Minnesota residents or companies actually paid MPHJ Technology money for either a license or an alleged infringement, MPHJ will have to pay a $50,000 civil penalty and refund all money. Swanson’s office said it’s not clear how many Minnesota companies were targeted but estimated it to be hundreds. The settlement was approved Tuesday by Ramsey County District Judge Lezlie Marek.

    A lawyer for MPHJ called the agreement “pretty limited.”

    “The agreement does not allege any wrongdoing on the part of MPHJ,” the company said in a statement issued through the lawyer. “It also does not restrict MPHJ’s right to bring patent infringement suits against Minnesota companies.”

    So what are you waiting for, Mr. Rust? Put on your goofball cowboy costume and shoot up the town. You don’t want that awesome “scan to email” patent to “go to waste”, do you?

  6. Intellectual Ventures, the largest patent holding firm in the United States, is opening a lobbying office in the nation’s capital.

    Aw, that’s cute.

    “a system for collaborative shopping” whereby users can see what is in other people’s carts and interact via computers and smartphones.

    Wow, I can’t believe we’ve come so far since the caveman days of 1990 when people couldn’t see stuff or use existing devices to communicate information about stuff with each other. Promote the progress! Some really brilliant people at IBM worked on this, I’m sure. The best. The brightest minds.

    New Zealand has banned software patents.

    Excellent. More to come …

  7. “Reuven Cohen, for Forbes, reports that New Zealand has banned software patents. The European Country is certainly making headlines.”

    In other news, New Zealand voted today to relocate to northern hemisphere.

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