Category: General Counsel

Why patent defendants hate East Texas (Part 1)

Why do patent defendants say such bad things about the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas? I asked this question of Michael C. Smith, the noted lawyer and blogger from Marshall, Texas. To prime the pump, I noted Texas Monthly calls his hometown “the intellectual property equivalent of a speed trap, a […]

Of patents and prizes, or are your engineers smart enough to invent?

Let’s say you own a business that makes something, whether it’s a software product or a hardware device. Your success depends on filling your customers’ needs better than anyone else. You innovate to make your products better, faster, cheaper. You solve your customers’ problems. That’s what your engineers and coders do. But you’re stuck on […]

5 Ways to Protect Your Proprietary Software after Oracle v Google

Nine billion dollars. That’s what Oracle wanted from Google for the unauthorized use of 37 Java APIs in Android, which runs most of the world’s smartphones. Zero. That’s what Oracle has been awarded by a California jury, which decided on May 26, 2016, that Google’s use of the APIs is “fair use” and thus permitted […]

How long should a patent claim be?

House counsel for a large software company has written an open letter to me titled Pursuit of Extremely Short Patent Claims. He has thrown down the gauntlet in a public forum. Here’s what he said to me, followed by my response. 

Three Takeaways from Computer Chip Patent Wars

On April 25, 1961, Robert Noyce, then of Fairchild, was issued U.S. Patent 2,981,877 for the first silicon-based integrated circuit. The earlier-filed patent application of Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments (TI) was still in the queue at the U.S. Patent Office. In the end, Intel would become Fairchild’s heir and boast annual sales of over $50 billion, leaving […]

What everyone should know about Apple slide-to-unlock patent vs. Samsung

In the last inning of the Apple-Samsung game of smartphone hardball, Samsung slid into home. Apple failed to make the tag. “Samsung is safe!” cried the umpires. The inning was umpired by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which held Apple’s slide-to-unlock U.S. Patent 8,046,721 invalid. See Apple v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. Feb. 26, 2016). 

How to Profit from Patents While Apple, Samsung Weigh In At Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted Samsung’s appeal of a $500 million dollar judgment rendered on the latter’s infringement of Apple’s smartphone (iPhone) design patent. If your company owns patents, you may wonder: What effect will Apple-Samsung have on your patent program? More practically, how can you and your company make money on your patents starting now, in the “incubation period” of […]