We’ve written before about the lowest level of patent troll, the kind that claims to have a patent on some widely used technology — like photocopying or scanning — and instead of targeting the companies that make products that allegedly violate those patents, they try to bully small businesses into paying thousands of dollars for the use of basic office equipment. [More]
Have you ever cracked open a bottle of Tropicana orange juice and thought to yourself, “I would drink so much more of this juice if it smelled even more orange-y”? Probably not, but the folks at PepsiCo are seeking to patent technology that would arouse the customer’s sense of smell from the moment the container is opened. [More]
When you purchase a digital download, do you actually own it? Some say yes, others say you’re just licensing its use from the copyright holder. This argument is only going to get more heated with news that both Apple and Amazon are looking into how to go about re-selling “used” digital content. [More]
Sick of going up against huge companies that have teams of experienced lawyers at their disposal, patent trolls are apparently turning to smaller companies and demanding bizarre royalty payments simply for using basic office technology on which the trolls claim they have the patent. [More]
That sound you hear? That’s Samsung rubbings its metaphorical hands together in gleeful anticipation after the United States Patent and Trademark Office smacked Apple’s patent for “pinch to zoom” technology down. That same patent helped Apple win its case against Samsung and win it $1.05 billion as a result. So if that patent should never have been granted, Samsung thinks there should be a whole new trial. [More]
A small Texas computer company won a $5 million district court judgment against Google, which a jury found in violation of a Linux-related patent due to proprietary code for storing and retrieving information that was found in Google software. [More]
TiVo and Dish Network are locked up in a never-ending lawsuit over the satellite provider’s alleged violation of TiVo’s DVR patents, and a U.S. Federal Court of Appeals ruling Wednesday only served to muddle the picture. [More]
Colchicine, a drug primarily used to treat gout, is an old drug. Very old. Extracts from the plant it comes from, colchicum, have been used in gout treatment for thousands of years. In pill form as colchicine, it’s been on the market in the United States since the 19th century and predates the Food and Drug Administration. A few years ago, the company that makes one brand of the drug, Colcrys, obtained FDA approval for their version, and the exclusive rights to sell it in the United States for three years. Who cares? Reader Nick does. He works in retail, isn’t wealthy, and the colchicine he takes twice a day for a serious medical condition shot up in cost from about $20 per month to closer to $400. [More]
Believing the Nook e-readers are ripping it off, Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble and the manufacturers over the devices, which it says infringe on several patents. [More]
This digital photography fad isn’t great for companies that built their empires on film, so Kodak seems to be grasping at legal straws to generate some revenue. The company filed a image-previewing patent claim to force smartphone makers such as Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Limited to pay it royalties. The United States International Trade Commission ruled that the phones don’t violate the patent. [More]
Call it “The Bad Gift Filter.” Amazon has patented a system that could intercept the yet another sweater Aunt Janice has sent you and automatically return it and exchange it for something you actually want. [More]
Ah, innovation! Bank of America was just awarded a patent for a process that lets it make sure any teller at any branch will know not to give you a refund on a disputed overdraft fee. According to Techdirt, the idea is to prevent “refund shopping,” where a customer might visit multiple branches hoping to find a sympathetic ear. [More]
A judge just invalidated the patents on two human genes whose mutations have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The genes were isolated by a biotech firm called Myriad Genetics, which argued that because it figured out how to isolate the genes outside of the human body then they were patentable. The judge called that “a ‘lawyer’s trick’ that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies.” The company sells a $3,000 cancer screening kit and has maintained a monopoly on the test because of the patents. [More]
A federal appeals court has ordered Microsoft to remove custom XML functionality from any copies of Word 2007 that go on sale after January 11th. The ruling struck down Microsoft’s appeal of an earlier verdict that technology used in Office 2007 originated with the Canadian company i4i Software. [More]
Thanks to a Texas judge’s ruling earlier this week, Microsoft has been prohibited from selling or supporting any more copies of Word that can edit XML-based documents. A Toronto-based company, i4i, sued Microsoft in 2007 over its XML editing patent, and the judge ruled in i4i’s favor. The ruling kicks in 60 days from now, unless Microsoft decides to appeal. We have a feeling it will.
A class action lawsuit has been filed accusing GlaxoSmithKline of lying to the Patent office and dickering with fake patent litigation against generic drug makers to fraudulently stymie generic versions of Wellbutrin from hitting the market. The lawsuit applies to people who directly bought Wellbutrin from GSK in 100 or 150mg hits between Jan 24, 2002 and June 30, 2006. Obviously, the long GSK could keep a generic version of their drug off the market, the more money they could make. People interested in joining could probably contact the firm of Roda and Nast, lead plaintiff team, for more information.
Not long ago Monster Cable sent a cease and desist letter to Blue Jeans Cable alleging that the small cable manufacturer was infringing on several of their patents. What they probably didn’t expect was that Kurt Denke, the president of Blue Jeans, “spent nineteen years in litigation practice, with a focus upon federal litigation involving large damages and complex issues,” after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1985.