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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Citation To “Non-Precedential” Opinions To Be Permitted.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One of my pet peeves has been the rule against even mentioning so-called “non-precedential” or “unpublished” opinions in briefs filed with federal appellate courts.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 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, “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

The Lowdown on Patent Shakedowns???

Well, that’s the title of yet another article I came across — this time in The Motley Fool — that intentionally or unintentionally spreads lies, untruths and disinformation about the patent system. I’m shocked and outraged. Think of the possible effect on our young people. (Our young people!)… Continue Reading

Senate Hearings on Patent Reform

A Senate subcommittee held hearings today on proposed “reforms” to the patent system. IP bloggers J. Matthew Buchanan and Dennis Crouch have a lot of useful information posted for those who are interested. I just finished watching the hearings on C-SPAN earlier this evening and have a few views and thoughts of my own. Congress … Continue Reading

Here’s a strange one.

Dennis Crouch reports that the Federal Circuit has just affirmed a decision in favor of Reebok in a patent infringement lawsuit brought against it by a fellow named Kalman Gyory. Nothing terribly unusual about this disposition on the merits. What is curious is the Court’s denial Reebok’s request for fees.… Continue Reading

New “Rocket Docket” in Eastern Texas

MSNBC reports that the Eastern District of Texas may be the latest “rocket docket” for patent cases in the U.S. The Eastern District of Virginia, which has long been favored by patent plaintiffs for its comparatively fast track to trial, has apparently been getting bogged down in recent days. (I guess nothing lasts forever.) For … Continue Reading