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Amazon: We’re white behind you!

Originally posted 2014-05-13 12:06:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Whiter than white?

Whiter than white?

Yesterday I tweeted a link from IP Watchdog to a post called “The Story of How Patents Promote Innovation.”  Now, Gene Quinn loves patents, but he’s never been in denial about just how stupid the PTO can be in its patent decisions.  It’s a good thing, too, in light of how he would otherwise have to answer for his overall defense of the concept as against the “dumb patent of the week” — arguably the year or more — that’s making all the rounds.  (Not that he hasn’t already written that piece.)

Anyway, notwithstanding the merits of that forced segue, here’s the story, Via TechDirt:

The US Patent and Trademark Office is frequently maligned for its baffling/terrible decisions… and rightfully so. Because this is exactly the sort of thing for which the USPTO should be maligned. Udi Tirosh at DIY Photography has uncovered a recently granted patent for the previously-unheard-of process of photographing things/people against a white backdrop… to of all companies, Amazon. . . .

Some patent examiners will buy anything

Some patent examiners will buy anything

Chalk up another loss in the USPTO’s column and a baffling, oblique “win” for Amazon’s IP legal team, which now “owns” an obvious method.

Can LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® possibly add to this?  Usually when everyone’s writing about something I do one of three things: (a) Ignore it on purpose; (b) ignore it by accident (i.e., miss the story even though everyone else is writing about it — hey, it’s like that around here); or (b) round up what everyone’s saying it about it and see if I see something.

This one, however, is a challenge. Read More…

Patent trolls (NB: this is not about patent lawyers)

Originally posted 2010-04-13 09:52:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Dean Esmay has a link, and then some, on patent trolling, including an ethnic angle of interest.

Design patents at the Supreme Court: A picture is worth…

D 593,087

D 593,087


FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS…Or maybe the three pictures on this page are worth that much?

Two pics


                                                                D 618,677                                                                              D 604,305

 In August of 2012 a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion in patent infringement damages against Samsung in one of the legion lawsuits in the ongoing smart phone war between these two competitors. On May, 18, 2015, the Federal Circuit, the appeals court that reviews determinations of the federal district courts in patent cases, upheld the award of nearly $400,000,000 by a California jury against Samsung for infringement of Apple’s three pictured design patents. A design patent can be awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for “any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.”

Design Patents at the Supreme

The method of calculating damages for infringement of a design patent is found in Chapter 35 of the United States Code at Section 289: Read More…

Meater meets antimeater

Originally posted 2006-03-23 23:45:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


Something about antimatter, right?

Wired News: Finding Humor in Meat Patents:

“Meat patents”?

Taken individually, patents can be humorous in themselves. But taken as a whole, Wright finds that patterns in the patent application pipeline reveal absurd and disturbing truths about society’s attitude toward its security, its pets and its meat.

Sounds good to me!

Originally posted 2013-02-20 14:00:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Hello?  Walter Olson:

The patenting of software, in contrast to the patenting of chemical and pharmaceutical compounds, generates relatively high litigation costs and low benefits . . .

What’s with the low benefits? It says relatively high litigation costs! What’s not to love?

Oh. You mean low benefits for companies, shareholders, innovators and consumers?  Them?

Oh, oh. Never mind.

Where nobody knows your name

Originally posted 2014-05-29 01:48:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Different from you and me?

I subbed for a more important lawyer on a panel for the American Intellectual Property Association Spring Meeting in New York today.  This is an outfit I joined years ago until I realized that they’re pretty much all patent lawyers.  Nothing personal, of course, but if I’m going to join another big IP law organization in addition to INTA I’d rather hang out with the oddballs of the AIPLA than, well, patent lawyers.

I kid.  These people are really good, and they know their stuff.  My stuff, on the other hand, they’re not so interested in.  Trademark is kind of a throwaway at the AIPLA, but I don’t turn down speaking engagements without a good reason, and that wasn’t a good reason.  And in truth I got a few smiles from the handful that remained at the end of our three-hour panel–all spent by the eight or something of us sitting on a dais for each other’s presentations.  No breaks.  Hey, I told you–they’re patent lawyers!

And very good ones.  Here’s what I tweeted until I ran out of battery on my laptop.  (Why was I the only one on the dais with a laptop if they’re all the engineers?):

  • John R. Lane of Frommer firm describes litigating IP in EU. No discovery on Continent –> very cheap. But…. no discovery! #aipla
  • Steven P. Caltrider from Lilly reminds US litigators that typical discovery demands violate EU privacy legislation; plan accordingly! #aipla
  • Bayer’s Jacqueline De Gagné presents excellent rundown of contrasts between US and Canada IP litigation at #aipla panel — Expert “hot tub”

No, I couldn’t include the Twitter handles of any of these distinguished attorneys because, as far as I could tell, not one of them had one.

They really are different from you and me, aren’t they? Read More…

The Only Good Patent

Originally posted 2015-05-03 11:08:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

… is a smiley patent! (Most aren’t.) I got a heads-up on this one from the editor of Blawg Review, but before I could slip into shooting-pixels-in-a-barrel mode my own adopted general-topic blog beat me to it.

“That must be exhausting!” (Guest post)

Patents ARE different from copyrights!

In a case distinguishing overseas inks (that is, ink on the printed page, on the one hand, versus ink in a cartridge, on the other), the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, today upheld its prior rules on when patent rights have been “exhausted.” In the face of more recent, and seemingly contrary, decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and in a decision extremely favorable to the enforcement rights of US patentholders, the majority of the appeals court in Lexmark International v. Impression Products held:

  • that the sale in the United States of an article covered by a US patent that is subject to certain reuse and resale restrictions does not exhaust the rights of the patent holder as against the purchaser of that article, notwithstanding the 2008 decision of the Supreme Court in Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics; and
  • that the sale outside of the United States of an article covered by a US patent does not exhaust the rights of the patent holder as against the purchaser of that article on the purchaser’s importation of that article into the United States, notwithstanding the 2013 copyright decision of the Supreme Court in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons.
Impression Products screen shot

Last Impression?

Lexmark, well known for its seemingly ubiquitous printers and ink/toner cartridges, holds many US patents and employs its patent rights to the fullest through a bifurcated sales program for its cartridges. The patented cartridges at issue were sold domestically under a “Return Program Cartridge” program at a discounted price subject to a single-use, no-resale restriction, as opposed to its “Regular Cartridges” program by which cartridges were sold at undiscounted prices.

In the underlying litigation, among other things, Lexmark accused Impression of reselling the discounted Return Program Cartridges domestically and of importing both Regular Cartridges and Return Program Cartridges that Impression had purchased directly from Lexmark abroad. Read More…

Talk about your business method patents!

Originally posted 2010-05-26 12:48:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Sander Gelsing, Canadian Patent and Trademark Trade Mark Lawyer, picks up on a doozy.

We make those?

Originally posted 2014-10-06 09:52:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


When is too much quality control over licensees a bad thing? When a trademark licensor gets sued for a defective product with its trademark on it. The trick, according to this article by two Chadbourne attorneys, is to exercise enough to quality control to appropriately manage your goodwill, without having liability imputed to you because of your supposed hands-on involvement.