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.
Apple has applied to patent a wireless ordering system that would allow shoppers to place orders from, for example, their iPhones as they approached, oh, let’s say a Starbucks, bypassing an ordering line altogether and going straight to the pick-up counter. The system would also allow stores to keep data on repeat customers to speed up future transactions.
Will Vonage’s troubles ever cease? They’re now being sued by Nortel for infringing not one, not two, not three—but twelve patents.
RC2, whom you probably know as the company that makes the lead-tainted Thomas & Friends toys, has filed a lawsuit against rival Munchkin, INC for allegedly infringing on a spill-proof sippy cup patent.
Vonage has settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Sprint, agreeing to pay $80 million. Vonage has also struck a deal with Sprint to license their technology, a move that helped boost Vonage’s stock, according to the NYT.
A U.S. federal appeals court today invalidated the patent on Altace, a widely prescribed drug to treat high blood pressure. This clears the way for low-cost generic versions of the drug to hit the market immediately. King Pharmaceuticals, the company that makes Altace, is asking for a rehearing, but in the meantime it may lose its window of opportunity to “upgrade” Altace patients to a reformulated (and newly patented) version it was it planning on introducing in 2008. [Reuters]
“We have substantially completed the deployment of workarounds for the two name translation patents and have completed the development of the wireless patent workaround,” said Vonage chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Citron, in an e-mail message. “This is a significant step toward moving ahead with our business in the wake of the Verizon litigation.”
Good news for customers who want to stay with Vonage. Will their ‘workaround” defeat Verizon’s team of robotic super-lawyers? Only time will tell.
Abstract: A system and method for allowing a consumer to search a database containing used vehicles from a variety of sellers that can be queried to provide search results that include only vehicles having clean title histories.
We’re surprised that Verizon doesn’t already hold this patent. They patented the internet back in 1996. —MEGHANN MARCO
The U.S. International Trade Commission has banned Qualcomm from importing cellphone chips that infringe on a patent held by rival Broadcom. The chip in question, which is found in almost 80% of Verizon phones, uses a patented process to save power in the absence of cell coverage.