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Commil USA v Cisco- Belief of Invalidity Doesn’t Matter

On May 26, the Supreme Court finally drew a line in the sand on indirect patent infringement defenses. Enter: COMMIL USA, LLC v. CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. Previously, the Federal Circuit held that “evidence of an accused inducer’s good-faith belief of invalidity may negate the requisite intent for induced infringement,” Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 2012-1042, slip … Continue Reading

“When Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin patented their invention, they expected our legal system to protect their intellectual property.”

Heh, heh, heh…ho, ho, ho,…whatever lead them to believe THAT? The Federal Circuit, perhaps spurred on by the hysteria over “patent trolls,” continues to systematically extract whatever worn down, yellowed and decaying teeth remain in the patent laws.  Their recent decision in Akamai v. Limelight reaffirms the recently created “single entity” rule that essentially requires … Continue Reading

Mann Law Group Gets Jury Verdict in Patent Case

We’ve been exceptionally busy lately, so this is the first time we’ve had some time to actually take a look at what we’ve accomplished. The Mann Law Group, now with a new associate Timothy Billick (bio and press release to come later), partnered up with John Whitaker to obtain a unanimous jury verdict award in … Continue Reading

Who you calling a “troll”?

This recent article from the Wall Street Journal brought a chuckle.  Seems the Obama Administration just stepped in to veto an ITC ruling, won by Samsung, that barred importation of certain Apple iPads and iPhones.  What’s interesting is some of the language used to justify the veto: U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the decision … Continue Reading

Why pay for the cow…

This interesting article in the New York Times regarding a so-called "patent troll," raises the obvious question:  If the patents are obviously no good and the claims of infringement clearly frivolous, how is it that supposedly top-notch lawyers must charge millions to show that to a judge?  I found this statistic from the article telling:  … Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Wish For…

The eyes of the patent world were on Seattle this week as an Order denying injunctive relief was handed down in the ongoing Microsoft v. Motorola heavyweight title bout. While I will leave it to others to discuss the minutiae and determine the implications for the industry, the main question on my mind is whether … Continue Reading

I Resemble That Remark

It is always amusing to watch the intellectual gymnastics of clever people trying to defend the intellectually indefensible.  Seventh Circuit Appellate Judge Richard Posner’r recent, article, "Patent Trolls Be Gone" (You talkin’ to me, Judge?) is entertaining in this regard, as we watch the good judge try to "clarify" the "problems with our patent system, … Continue Reading

And the beat goes on…

A few years back I wrote about what I saw as a developing  "War on Juries" in patent cases.  A couple of recent incidents suggest that the war continues. Last week we lost a hard-fought case on summary judgment.  That happens, it’s part of the game, and the lawyer who never loses most likely never … Continue Reading

Houston, We Have A Problem…*

Count me among the latest to question whether the Eastern District of Texas is still THE venue for bringing plaintiff’s patent cases.  A "Rocket Docket" it ain’t. We’ve filed a fair number of cases in the Eastern District over the years.  Although things used to move with dispatch, in one of our latest, the first … Continue Reading

Signs of things to come?

Just when it appears things can’t get much worse for patent plaintiffs, the Federal Circuit surprises us with a modest string of decisions actually finding in favor of patent holders. Just one week after Muniauction, Inc. (pdf) took it on the chin by having its $77 Million jury verdict reversed (that’s reversed as in “you … Continue Reading

The Ultimate Monopoly

Competition in an open market is a good thing, or so we’ve been told. And, in an admittedly counter-intuitive way, the patent system itself promotes competition and choice by enabling small players with better ideas to compete effectively with the big boys. So why, then, shouldn’t healthy competition be brought to the realm of jurisprudence? … Continue Reading

Promote the Progress?

A recent blog entry at Patently-O discusses the economics of so-called “patent thickets” (which, I gather, is the new name for what used to be called “a crowded art”). There’s quite a bit of detailed and fascinating discussion concerning, among other things, the recent ebay decision and how patent owners in such a “thicket” will … Continue Reading

Citation To “Non-Precedential” Opinions To Be Permitted. It’s About Time.

One of my pet peeves has been the rule against even mentioning so-called “non-precedential” or “unpublished” opinions in briefs filed with federal appellate courts. Dennis Crouch and Law.com are both reporting that the Supreme Court has now voted to change long-standing rule and allow citation to such previously off-limits decisions. It’s about time. This whole … Continue Reading

Mr. Bolt Speaks His Mind

Hmmm, here’s an interesting comment I received today from concerned reader, john.bolt@gmail.com: “And how does your view relate to the millions you spent of LizardTech’s money on patent litigation, which was unjustified to begin with and a complete loss anyway? Can you spell hypocrisy?” Well, I can spell a number of words, but I don’t … Continue Reading

Anyone else…

getting the sense that the patent system is facing serious problems these days? When I got into this game in 1983, the then-newly-formed Federal Circuit was supposed to bring uniformity, predictability and even respectability to the patent system. And it did — for a while. Under former Chief Judge Markey, the Federal Circuit’s decisions made … Continue Reading

Thoughts on Lemelson

So the Federal Circuit has spoken. The late Jerome Lemelson gets his comeuppance. And companies around the country breathe a sigh of relief. Whether Mr. Lemelson goes down in history as a modern day Thomas Edison (and I’ve sometimes had my doubts about Tom) or as just a shrewd manipulator of the legal system, remains … Continue Reading

Reform, Reform, Reform

Yet another article on “Patent Reform” today. To listen to some of these guys, you’d think the Microsofts, Intels, Googles and IBMs of the world are at risk of being bankrupted by small patent holders. In case you missed it the first time, let’s try this again.… Continue Reading

Have We Made Ourselves Clear?

Who says claim construction is difficult? Who says it’s unpredictable? Nonsense! Claim construction is easy! Anyone can do it. You simply follow the clear guidelines set out by the Federal Circuit. And where do you find those? That’s easy too. The Federal Circuit has helpfully set them out in today’s en banc decision in Phillips … Continue Reading

The Empire Strikes Back?

Well, things have been quite busy around here the last month or so, with an oral argument before the Federal Circuit last month and a case going to trial in a couple of weeks. Although I haven’t posted in a while, I still find time to keep up with the so-called “patent reform” efforts currently … Continue Reading

“Do as I say, not as I do.”

Well, well, well. After calling for “patent reform” and denouncing those who license patents without actually making a product, it seems Microsoft is hedging its bets. At least that’s how it appears to a cynic like me. Oh, I get it. This is different. They are “providing technology,” while those who enforce patents without actually … Continue Reading

Let’s Hear it For Dr. Myhrvold!

Dr. Nathan P. Myhrvold’s recent testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on patent reform makes a strong case for the rights of small inventors and businesses in the patent arena. Coming from a now-wealthy man who could easily join the forces of big business, it’s refreshing that Dr. Myhrvold has not rewritten history or otherwise forgotten … Continue Reading
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