Tuesday, January 31, 2006

BlackBerry Fiasco Leads to Patent Licensing Scrutiny

As seen on cio.com:
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said the lawsuit over licenses for Research In Motion’s (RIM) popular BlackBerry handheld device, brought by licensing firm NTP, may lead to a reform in how the government issues patents, Government Computer News reports. Davis, who is the chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said in a letter dated January 27, 2006 that the case spotlighted inefficiencies in how the Patent and Trademark Office operates. Davis also requested the opinion of PTO Director Jon Dudas."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Patent spat forces businesses to upgrade Microsoft Office

As seen on news.zdnet.com:
"Microsoft has begun e-mailing its corporate customers worldwide, letting them know that they may need to start using a different version of Office as a result of a recent legal setback. The software maker said Monday that it has been forced to issue new versions of Office 2003 and Office XP, which change the way Microsoft's Access database interacts with its Excel spreadsheet. The move follows a verdict last year by a jury in Orange County, Calif., which found in favor of a patent claim by Guatemalan inventor Carlos Armando Amado. Microsoft was ordered to pay $8.9 million in damages for infringing Amado's 1994 patent. That award covered sales of Office between March 1997 and July 2003."

Sunday, January 29, 2006

IBM Acquires INFICON's ARGUS Semiconductor Software

As seen on itnewsonline.com:
"IBM has acquired INFICON's ARGUS semiconductor software and related intellectual property, a system for lithography advanced process control for semiconductor manufacturing. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.INFICON's ARGUS software is an advanced process control system used to control the lithography process for semiconductor manufacturing. The software provides users with real-time run-to-run capability to control processes using measurement results from upstream and downstream processes, which can help to improve process yield, reduce lithography rework and improve the production ramp up."

NSA offers patenteds for licensing

As seen on military-information-technology.com:
"The National Security Agency is actively seeking venues to advance its Technology Transfer program and make more patented NSA technology available for licensing. One of those technologies, a method for determining the geographic location of Internet users, represents a nascent but promising market that has proved useful for financial institutions to combat criminal fraud and could help in the NSA's collection and production of foreign signals intelligence."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Microsoft to License Windows Source Code

As seen on online.wsj.com:
"Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it will license some of the source code, or technical blueprints, for its Windows software to other companies, as it tries to resolve a long-running antitrust dispute with European regulators. Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the Redmond, Wash., company's chief counsel, Brad Smith, called the move 'a bold stroke.' The source code provides the building blocks of the operating system that competitors need to make products compatible with server computers running Windows."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

GPL 3 draft draws mostly positive response

As seen on computerworld.com.au:
"The open-source community and lawyers have greeted the Free Software Foundation's (FSF's) first take on a major update to its GNU GPL (general public license) with more bouquets than brickbats. While there is concern about some areas of the initial draft of version 3 of the license, notably software patent protection and DRM (digital rights management), the general IT industry response to GPL 3 so far is positive. Last fully revised in 1991, the GPL gives users the right to freely study, copy, modify, reuse, share and redistribute software. The FSF estimates that the majority of all free and open-source software (FOSS) is distributed under the GPL, including the Linux operating system, MySQL AB's database and the Samba file and print server project. "

TCS Enters Into Strategic Alliance With Ocean Tomo to Monetize Patents

As seen on marketwire.com:
"TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS), a provider of mission critical wireless communications, has engaged Ocean Tomo to assist in monetizing some of TCS' intellectual property. Ocean Tomo has investigated TCS' patent portfolio using its proprietary database and valuation tools, and has been engaged to initially sell or license patents covering technology that the company does not currently plan to use in active product lines and services, such as prepaid wireless. These assets represent about 20% of the overall portfolio of awarded patents."

Conference: Maximizing Returns on Your IP Portfolio

As seen on blackenterprise.com:
"Intellectual Property: Maximizing Returns on Your Intellectual Property Portfolio will take place January 26-27, 2006 in New York City. This conference is the Super Bowl for Intellectual Property professionals. The summit presents a unique opportunity to listen to leading IP professionals discuss best practices for managing, monetizing, defending and valuing intellectual property. Further information about this conference is available at www.twst.com/conferences or by contacting Naomi Barazani at 212-952-7400 ext. 126 or Naomi@twst.com."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Advantages of Licensing (Not Selling) Domain Names

As seen on gigalaw.com:
"Summary: Domain names can become quite valuable, and some have even sold for more than $1 million. But rather than selling a domain name, it may be wiser -- and ultimately more lucrative -- to 'license' the domain name. This article explains what a domain name license agreement is and why you should consider using one. Author: The author of this article, Jonathan Bick, is the author of '101 Things You Need to Know About Internet Law,' the book from which this article is excerpted. Bick practices Internet law with Greenberg Traurig and teaches and writes about Internet law."

IP Gone Astray... Worldwide?

As seen on digitaldivide.net:
"A U.K. judge has questioned whether software patents should be granted, and has criticized the U.S. for allowing 'anything under the sun' to be patented." Sir Robin Jacob, a judge at the U.K.'s Court of Appeal who specializes in intellectual-property law, spoke about the potential problems surrounding software patents at a seminar for the Society for Computers and Law on Thursday evening in London."

CrossOff Sells Certain IP Rights for $2.5 Million

As seen on ag-ip-news.com:
"CrossOff Incorporated announced on Wednesday that it has signed an Intellectual Property Asset Purchase Agreement with ESI International, a Virginia corporation, whereby ESI will acquire from CrossOff the ownership of various Business Analysis programs and materials in exchange for a cash payment of $2.5 million (approximately Cdn $2.9 million). According to a press release by CrossOff, it retains a perpetual, royalty-free license to these programs and materials in Canada. The deal is expected to close on, or about, February 4, 2006. CrossOff acquired the rights to the Business Analysis program through the recent acquisition of the assets of CDI Education that was completed effective November 1, 2005."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Axela Biosensors Inc. acquires exclusive license to broad Kimberly-Clark IP portfolio

As seen on prnewswire.com:
"Axela Biosensors Inc. announced that it has completed a significant exclusive in-licensing agreement with Kimberly-Clark. The agreement includes exclusive rights to approximately 150 world-wide patents and applications, as well as transfer of significant immunodiagnostics assay technology. As part of the agreement, Kimberly-Clark will also be acquiring an equity interest in Axela."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

USPTO Releases Annual List of Top 10 Organizations Receiving Most U.S. Patents

As seen on uspto.gov:

"The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today the 2005 top 10 global private sector patent recipients. Listed below are the 10 corporations receiving the most U.S. patents for inventions in 2005, along with their 2004 ranking."

Preliminary Rank>>>>>>>Preliminary # >>>>>>Organization
in 2005>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Patents in 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
1 - 2,941 - International Business Machines Corporation
2 - 1,828 - Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
3 - 1,797 - Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
4 - 1,688 - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
5 - 1,641 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
6 - 1,561 - Micron Technology, Inc
7 - 1,549 - Intel Corporation
8 - 1,271 - Hitachi, Ltd
9 - 1,258 - Toshiba Corporation
10 - 1,154 - Fujitsu Limited

Sunday, January 08, 2006

USPTO Pending-Patent-Application Backlog at Historic Proportions

As seen on mondaq.com:
"In the Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2005, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reported 406,302 patent applications were filed in fiscal 2005, while only 165,485 patents were granted. Even when considering the disposals, (e.g., abandonments) the total number of pending applications has now reached 885,002. According to Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Jon Dudas, 'In 2005, the number of patent application we received continued to grow at a rapid pace. Our office now receives many patent applications on CD-ROM, containing millions of pages of data. In short, the volume and complexity of patent applications continues to outpace current capacity to examine them. The result is a pending and growing application backlog of historic proportions. Patent pendency the amount of time a patent application is waiting before a patent is issued now averages more than two years. In more complex art areas, such as data-processing, average pendency stands at more than three years.' "

Monday, January 02, 2006

Delays hit the inauguration of CAFTA

As seen on taipeitimes.com:
"Central American and US officials had hoped the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) would take effect January 1, 2006. But none of the region's countries has passed the necessary legal and regulatory reforms, delaying the start date for the historic union that will tear down trade barriers between the US, Central America and the Dominican Republic. CAFTA proponents fear the delay will cause costly business and trade losses in a region that could use an economic boost, for example in its growing textile and assembly-for-export industries."