The president has some opinions on the subject [TechDirt]:
Obama: A couple years ago we began a process of patent reform. We actually passed some legislation that made progress on some of these issues. But it hasn’t captured all the problems.
The folks that you’re talking about are a classic example. They don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them. Sometimes these things are challenging. Because we also want to make sure that patents are long enough, and that people’s intellectual property is protected. We’ve got to balance that with making sure that they’re not so long that innovation is reduced.
But I do think that our efforts at patent reform only went about halfway to where we need to go. What we need to do is pull together additional stakeholders and see if we can build some additional consensus on smarter patent laws.
The term “space marine” dates way back in sci-fi writing, but Games Workshop says it’s now a trademark [Popehat] “Site plagiarizes blog posts, then files DMCA takedown on originals” [Ars Technica; related, Popehat]
D.C. suburban school district: “Prince George’s considers copyright policy that takes ownership of students’ work” [WaPo]
Backed by big-firm lawyers, a non-producing company that claimed its patents underlay the online shopping cart sued dozens of retailers and extracted tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts in the Eastern District of Texas and elsewhere — until an appellate ruling declared its patents invalid. Despite its absence of products, the company’s website offered “tech support.” [Joe Mullin, Ars Technica]
Daniel Fisher notes that they had little to say about the inveterate patent asserter who claimed in court to have invented the revolutionary device [Forbes]:
But [Ropes & Gray attorney Jesse] Jenner has one suggestion: Require inventors to prove their technology works before giving them a patent. Most countries require inventors to provide a working model, he said, while the U.S. merely requires a description.
“One way to get rid of a lot of half-baked ideas would be to require that somebody make it first,” he said. If Lemelson had been required to do that, his record as an inventor might have been a lot shorter.
I suppose it will be said to “politicize” the Florida Supreme Court races to point out that Justices Quince and Pariente joined awful, politicized rulings on everything from liability suits to Bush v. Gore [Florida Current]
Courtesy of the taxpayers: “TV sitcoms to incorporate Obamacare pitches?” [Jazz Shaw, HotAir]
“Bringing out-of-state cases to Philadelphia simply for … filing fees is a wrong-headed policy.” [WSJ Law Blog]
This is getting serious: “Patent troll targets Minecraft” [Rob Beschizza, BoingBoing] Are mainstream tech companies joining the patent-troll brigade? [WSJ Law Blog] Bessen-Meurer have another study of patent trolls out, this one suggests their direct costs to economy $29 billion a year [Joe Mullin, Ars Technica]
London Olympics games: you may link to our site only if not in a “derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner” [Popehat]
“Fan Fiction vs. Copyright – Q&A with Rebecca Tushnet” [Reason.tv]
Are the logos similar? Apparel maker Under Armour sues maker of “Body Armor” sports drink [Baltimore Sun]
“U.S. Patent System is Broken, Declares Judge in Android v. Apple Cases” [Posner; DailyTech] Posner “on Why he thinks There Are Too Many Patents in America” [Atlantic]
Startups: “Why do investors want founders to spend money and time on bogus patents?” [Cory Doctorow]
Jones doesn’t actually develop or sell any technology relating to real-time vehicle tracking, but that hasn’t stopped him (and his two offshore firms, ArrivalStar and Melvino Technologies) from punishing anyone who does. To date, he’s filed more than 100 lawsuits against anyone who uses such technology—everyone from Ford to Abercrombie & Fitch to American Airlines to FedEx. He’s now one of the top 25 filers of patent infringement suits, according to PriorSmart.com.
Prominent among ArrivalStar’s recent targets have been municipal transit agencies, at least ten of whom it has sued, with another eight getting demand letters. Several have settled, including the New York City, Boston, Chicago and Maryland authorities; critics say the settlements are typically for less than the cost of defending the suits and are accompanied by nondisclosure clauses in which the transit operators agree not to talk about their experience.
As patients suffer: “The War Over Prescription Painkillers,” start of a Radley Balko series [HuffPo parts one, two so far]
Richard Epstein on federal fiat and Yale disciplinary procedure [Defining Ideas] Under new-style rules at Yale, will a professor even be aware he’s been accused and henceforth is to be “monitored”? [KC Johnson]
This article makes several findings about this litigation [patent litigation by non-practicing entities (NPEs)]. First, by observing what happens to a defendant’s stock price around the filing of a patent lawsuit, we are able to assess the effect of the lawsuit on the firm’s wealth, after taking into account general market trends and random factors affecting the individual stock. We find that NPE lawsuits are associated with half a trillion dollars of lost wealth to defendants from 1990 through 2010. During the last four years, the lost wealth has averaged over $80 billion per year. These defendants are mostly technology companies that invest heavily in R&D. To the extent that this litigation represents an unavoidable business cost to technology developers, it reduces the profits that these firms make on their technology investments. That is, these lawsuits substantially reduce their incentives to innovate.
Ted Frank vs. Brian Fitzpatrick on class action fees [PoL, David Lat on Federalist Society panel]
Orange County keeps mum about partnerships it’s entered with plaintiff’s attorneys Robinson, Calcagnie and Thomas Girardi [Kim Stone, Fox & Hounds] Maybe like “private attorney generals”? Fannie/Freddie genre of government-sponsored enterprises called “monstrous moral hybrids” [Mark Calabria, Cato]
Posner: lawyers appeared more likely to run junk-fax suit for own interests than clients’ [Beck, Trask (Creative Montessori Learning Centers v. Ashford Gear LLC)]
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