IP Market Updates
October 17, 2016
If patent laws were correctly calibrated to spur innovation the efficient infringer would pay
This past week saw one important development that could have had a major impact on the IP ecosystem, but will instead preserve the status quo. The US Supreme Court decided NOT to hear a case on the merits that was challenging the constitutionality of the USPTO’s Inter Partes Review process, which has been eradicating issued patents at a ~75% rate these past 3 years. This, after signaling the preceding week that it was not all that interested in hearing cases having to do with what constitutes patentable subject matter despite a definite malaise in lower courts on how to deal with its Alice decision.
The highest tribunal did hear however Samsung’s appeal of the large fine it has been ordered to pay Apple on a design patent infringement. During the oral hearing, the Court signaled that it did not think design patents (which protect the visual aspects of a product) were all that valuable. We will have to wait to see how the actual decision goes down but, all in all, this wasn’t a very good week for patent owners who have entrusted both the US patent office and the courts to protect the value of their inventions.
On a related note, as of Q3 of 2016, there were 1,182 patent lawsuits filed in different US district courts – down 16.5 percent from the Q2 total of 1,415. In terms of year-over-year comparison, we saw a 6.3-percent decline compared to the 1,261 cases filed in Q3 of 2015. IPR filing activity was up slightly in Q3.
Below are news of interest on these and other related topics.
IN THE NEWS
Patents have become increasingly weak over the last decade, first as the result of victorious patent owners losing the right to a permanent injunction ... (more...)
WIPR survey: Alice not death knell for software patents, say readers
World Intellectual Property Review
WIPR readers have disagreed with a federal circuit judge who said that Alice v CLS Bank “sounded the death knell for software patents”. Circuit Judge ... (more...)
The Future of Software Patents
What should we do with software patents? I've seen both sides of the debate, as I work a great deal in the context of standards bodies (particularly the ... (more...)
Supreme Court hears Apple-Samsung patent dispute
In 2011, Apple filed suit against Samsung in California, for infringing on both design and utility patents. Lawyers for Apple claimed that the iPhone was ... (more...)
Qualcomm files actions against Meizu over patent infringement in the US, Germany and France
The Indian Express
In June 2016, Qualcomm filed multiple actions against Meizu in China citing patent infringement and licensing terms. Now, the San Diego-based ... (more...)
Patent System Has Become 'Dead Weight' on the Economy
Overworked and misguided patent examiners issue patents for manifestly undeserving claims. An entire industry of patent trolls has sprung up to ... (more...)
The China Syndrome: How recent developments in Chinese patents affect US applicants
China lightbulb Chinese patents and patent applications are citable as prior art in most Western countries if they meet the usual criteria regarding ... (more...)
Apple-Backed Patent-Review Board Left Intact by U.S. High Court
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to question the legality of an administrative board that has invalidated hundreds of patents in a system that is dividing ... (more...)
Inventor urges govt. to speed up process of obtaining patents
An inventor, Mr Sam Bassy, on Tuesday decried the delay in getting patents, saying the process of protecting one's invention should be made faster ... (more...)
High court can halt big payouts that fuel patent trolling
Patent trolling, or at least abusive patent litigation, returns to the spotlight this Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the ... (more...)