Bits & Bytes from Jonathan Hummel

#1. Victory in Sino-US IP Relations?

Grant Ross, at IDG News Service reports that Chinese officials have agreed to “crack down on software and other piracy” and to “take steps that state-owned organizations use legal software.” The specifics of what steps the Chinese Government will take are as of yet forthcoming, leading the US Chamber of Commerce to describe any “progress” as being “incremental.” Regardless, should the promises hold true, this may be an important step in the relationship between the two countries as DRM moves closer to the center of the media industry in the years to come.

#2. Medtronic Loses Patent Fight in German Court

Michael Flannelly at The Dividend Daily reports that on Friday, the District Court of Mannheim, Germany ruled against the medical giant when it held that Medtronic’s (NYSE: MDT) transcatheter heart valve technology infringes a patent owned by Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW). Shares of Edwards were up 3.7 percent at $68.25 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while shares of Medtronic were down 1.4 percent at $53.01. In November, the US Court of Appeals decided similarly and awarded Edwards $74 million.

Read more:

#3. Interview with a TROLL

David Segal, at the New York Times sat down with Erich Spangenberg, owner of IPNav (a full service “Patent Monetization” firm) and talked about his work as a Troll. According to a recent report by RPX, a patent risk management provider, over the past 5 years, IPNav has sued over 1,600 companies, the most by any “entity” in the patent field.

Read the article here.

#4. Washington Redskins QB, RG3 Hits Gets Blocked in Pursuit of Trademark.

Mandour & Associates, APC, reports a hiccup in Robert Griffin III’s bid to trademark his nickname, RG3. Griffin, the rising NFL star formed Thr3escompany, LLC in January 2012 to develop a label and start producing merchandise bearing his nickname, RG3. However, an Irivine, CA based motorcycle company, Research Group 3 asserts that Griffin is infringing their RG3 trademark used on merchandise.

#5. London Olympic Opening Ceremony Raising More IP Issues

Oliver Wainwright at The Guardian reports that in addition to the Olympic Torch raising IP eyebrows, the glowing duvets used in the Opening Ceremonies might have infringed somebody’s property rights. Rachel Wingfield claims to have invented a similar bed covering 10 years before the opening of the London Games. 


Design Patent Associate – Law Firm – Washington, D.C.

  •   NSIP LAWis a prospering boutique intellectual property law firm located in downtown Washington, D.C.

Director, Mechanical Engineering Team – Small Corporation – Alexandria, Va. or Southfield, Mich.

  •   Landon IP Inc. is a leading provider of professional legal and business support services throughout the intellectual property (IP) lifecycle.




  • The World Congress present Keynote speaker Judge James Donald Smith, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Patent Trial and Appeals Board
  • July 24-25 in New York City

30 thoughts on “Bits & Bytes from Jonathan Hummel

  1. 26

    I suspect that the real George has never read this blog, MD. The post from “George” was most likely planted by the web search optimization firm that George hired. MM was probably right to put “George” in quotes.

  2. 25

    But perhaps any such collateral damage is a necessary price to pay, for the freedom of England?

    Without touching the merits of any such action, note the slippery slope of when a police state takes actions to preserve itself which actions themselves call into question the propriety of preserving that government.

    That’s a lesson from way back in 1776.

  3. 24

    MM, Here’s why George might be so hot under his collar.

    George is a specialist in “identity theft”. Some people are currently saying that this is a speciality of the police force in England. As identities for their undercover cops they routinely appropriate (with the active help of the UK Government’s Interior Ministry) the identities of persons who died in childhood. That sort of thing might be very upsetting if you were, say, a parent of one of those children. But perhaps any such collateral damage is a necessary price to pay, for the freedom of England?

    Three questions George. First, in your book, would that count as “identity theft”? Second, is it the behaviour of a “civilised” country? Third, what is so interesting for you, in the Dennis Crouch patent law blog?

  4. 23

    It’s amusing that Malcolm feels the need to put George’s name in quotes implying that George is a svckpuppet while that very name is hyperlinked to George’s law web page. The same Malcolm that QQ’s a storm about svckies being the ‘worst thing ever’ at the same time dissembling with a new moniker virtually every time he posts over at PatentDocs.

    C’est La Vie

  5. 22

    There is little difference between stealing tangible personal property and intellectual property.

    Sure, “George.” I can think of one big difference: when a person is starting a new business in this country, it’s a trivial matter to avoid stealing someone else’s tangible personal property.

    But that’s definitely not true in the case of “intellectual property”, particularly the j–ky “intellectual property” that the incompetents at the USPTO hand out every week to the pathetic hustlers who seem to love to refer to themselves as “little guys” in spite of the fact that they are wealthier than >95% of the people in this country.

    That took me two seconds, “George.” Try harder next time.

  6. 21

    Seems to be a distinction without a difference.

    I suppose it might seem that way if you believe that the “inefficiency” of the courts is something that Spangenberg finds troubling. That conclusion isn’t very realistic, however, for the reasons I already gave you. In short, the courts are an excellent place for the “business deals” that Spangenerg specializes in and the “inefficiencies” he speaks of are features, from his perspective, not bugs.

    When the rules are fixed such that skummy bottom feeders like Spangenberg are swatted away and penalized more “efficiently”, then Spangenberg will very likely be singing a different tune. Watch and see.

    “what I do won’t even exist.”

    We can all rest assured that “what Spangenberg does” has existed for a very, very long time and will continue to exist for the forseeable future. The key is to turn that “existence” into something trivial, obscure, and loudly derided by the public on the rare occasions when its ugly head rises from the muck to inhale some clean air.

  7. 18

    MM you are so right, Spangenberg did not say verbatim that the courts are not the right place to make business deals

    But MM quoted Spangenberg as saying: “The courts are intermediaries for patents right now, and the courts are extremely inefficient. Patents will trade as a commodity in the next five to six years, and what I do won’t even exist.”

    Seems to be a distinction without a difference.

  8. 16

    Spangenberg is exactly right that the courts are not the right place to make business deals.

    Where did he say that? In fact, his words and actions suggest that exploiting weaknesses in the legal system, through the filing of patent infringement complaints, is a wonderful way for him to make sure he has the fancy car he needs to make him feel “big”. There is no “right” or “wrong”, there is only money to be taken from people who don’t deserve it as much as Spangenberg does.

    the little guys

    The zombie myth that refuses to die. What’s a “little guy”? Someone in the top 1% income bracket as opposed to the top 0.1%? And I suppose that the 1600+ companies IPNav has sued over the past five years were all “copiers” hoping to “steal” the ideas of “little guys” without anyone noticing.

    Still laughing at Spangenberg’s attempt to blame his appalling gluttony on “a midlife crisis.” Too funny.

  9. 15

    link to

    JPMorgan Chase is aiming to settle accusations it devised “manipulative schemes” that transformed “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” according to people briefed on the matter, a deal that is expected to cost the bank, the nation’s largest, about $500 million.

    An scheme that created “poweful profit centers” for a corrupt bank? Sounds like a great subject for a patent claim. Promote the progress!

    F.B.I. Banking regulators are also weighing new enforcement actions against the bank for the way it collected credit card debt.

    Schemes for collecting credit card debt, too? Clearly more patents are needed in this area.

    JPMorgan and the regulator of the nation’s energy markets are still negotiating a potential fine

    Negotiating a fine? Why, what subject could possibly be more appropriate for a method patent (using a POWERFUL COMPUTER BRAIN, of course). Promote the progress!

  10. 14

    Spangenberg is exactly right that the courts are not the right place to make business deals. They are to be negotiated like all other deals.

    The problem is that the big moneyed folks think they can steamroll the little guys and refuse to negotiate with them. The little guys have the choice of either rolling over and dying or suing.

    And that is why you wind up in court. Then the big moneyed guys call the little guys nasty names and run to their hired politicians to make it even harder on the little guys.

  11. 13

    as long as the system exists, Mr. Spangenberg is going to exploit its ambiguities and pokiness for all it’s worth.

    This is the kind of d00sh who pays thousands of dollars to import an exotic animal so he can “release it” on his ranch and shoot it. Because its so much fun, you know.

  12. 12

    Breadwinner: Hi honey, I’m home, what’s for dinner?

    Homemaker: Why it’s Yum-chum MM QQ stew.

    Breadwinner: (under the breath – again???)

  13. 11

    Shrimpy: “In our system, you can’t duel, you can’t offer to fight in the street, which would be fine with me.

    What a pathetic t 0 0 l.

    He earns about $25 million a year, he says, which is at least a couple of million more than the country’s top bank executives. Until recently, he lived in a 14,000-square-foot home in Dallas; it is now on the market for $19.5 million. He often flies on a company jet, and at one point he owned 16 cars, six of them Lamborghinis.


    This has given him a lifelong h-tred of bullies, which explains, he says, why he wound up in a job where he often stands with a small company assailing a larger one.

    “Often”? I wonder how often. I’m guessing this “h-ter of bullies” is just as often playing the bully.

    IPNav sued over 300 companies last year (consistent with its behavior over the past five years). How many of those companies were smaller than IPNav?

    Mr. Spangenberg agrees that the United States system is deeply flawed. “We’re using the courts as a marketplace, and the courts are horribly inefficient and horribly expensive as a market,” he said. But as long as the system exists, Mr. Spangenberg is going to exploit its ambiguities and pokiness for all it’s worth.

    I thought the answer was “better patent examination”? LOL. He’s a shining beacon to Patent T–b-ggers everywhere.

  14. 9

    Here’s Shorty making a prediction in 2009:

    Spangenberg predicts a day when corporations and trolls will live in relative harmony. … He explains: “The courts are intermediaries for patents right now, and the courts are extremely inefficient. Patents will trade as a commodity in the next five to six years, and what I do won’t even exist.”

    Uh….no. It might be the case in the near future that what Spangenberg does now (troll) “won’t even exist” but it won’t be for the predicted reason.

    “I make an unbelievable living. It’s insane, but I’m not going to apologize for it.”

    Nope. And he won’t apologize for supporting the political careers of quintessential Texas goobers like George Hindman and Ted Cruz (yes, Shorty has severe Republican tendencies — nobody could hae predicted!).

    On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening that they would filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require background checks on sales at gun shows.

    Great work, everybody!

  15. 8

    Any time Malcolm talks about others and their issues is always a trip to the pot/kettle comparison shopping extravaganza.

    (I am surprised that his latest moniker at PatentDocs isn’t FriendS of the Court)

  16. 7

    link to

    He stands about 5-foot-6 and was bullied as a child because of his height. He always fought back, he says, and he usually lost; his nose has been broken by an assortment of fists. This has given him a lifelong hatred of bullies, which explains, he says, why he wound up in a job where he often stands with a small company assailing a larger one.

    Nobody could have predicted that Shorty Spangenberg has a few “issues.” There’s probably a serious “mommy” issue lurking in there, too.

    “This guy sues us,” he recalled. “I brought in a law firm and they do a presentation about how we’d litigate, which will cost us something like $3 million to $5 million. I know it’ll be way more than that.”

    So he called his adversary, who invited him to his office on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

    “It’s like walking into Versailles,” Mr. Spangenberg recalled. “This enormous space, and these puffy chairs you sit in and your feet don’t touch the floor. I said: ‘I get it. I love the setup. I took a psychology course.”

    Did you learn anything about s0ci0pathology in that course, Shorty?

    Mr. Pratt followed up by e-mailing a patent that predates Parallel Iron’s and which, he suggested, was quite similar. As Mr. Pratt put it, “There’s virtually no chance that ’662 and its family could survive a full-scale re-examination by the Patent Office, because there are a lot of things that could disable or destroy it.”

    Mr. Spangenberg was unimpressed by this analysis. Before he signs up clients, he spends $100,000 to $250,000 on experts who take a month or more to study both the validity of a patent and whether anyone is infringing it. The findings of these experts, he said, were highly encouraging.

    LOL. “Experts”. Shorty pays them a lot to tell him what he wants to hear.

  17. 5


    Hasn’t “patents for financial services” become an oxymoron?

  18. 3

    Saw this quote this morning, and I immediately thought of all my little circle friends:

      The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn

    – Alvin Toffler

  19. 2

    Which means three people get arrested and prosecuted and sent to prison. Probably pick the a few people they don’t like.

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