Category: Licensing

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 […]

Billion Dollar Lego Patent

Fifty-eight years ago today, Kirk Godtfred of Lego filed his patent application on the basic building block, literally, of Lego’s billion dollar private fortune. Now, here’s the thing: A patent filed 58 years ago is long expired. The then-standard-17-year term ended in 1978. So how is it that Lego is still the only game in town?

Patents: Buy, Sell, or Practice? What Google Learned May Surprise You!

Google has made a big splash with its patent purchase program. It says it wants to keep patents out of the hands of those who might be tempted to assert them against Google. That sounds fair enough, but there is more at stake than meets the eye. Google is trying desperately to build a large patent portfolio. […]

High Court Bites Spider-Man Patent

A patent endows its owner with “superpowers,” but “only for a limited time,” held the U.S. Supreme Court in Kimble v. Marvel (June 22, 2015). The time-honored formula for action is “ready, aim, fire!” Here, as in many less-than-perfect business/legal cases, the parties reversed the last two steps. To their credit and profit, at least […]

Quick and Easy Intellectual Property (IP) Audit

To conduct a quick, easy, and effective intellectual property (IP) audit, start with the business, not with IP or legal considerations. IP has little value apart from the business. Legal issues have no meaning apart from the business. How does your company make money? Identify key products, revenues, and margins. Relationships. Customers. Key people. Market leadership. Competitors. Vulnerability. […]

#HIMSS15 Health IT, IP & Software Patent

As I write these words, I stand among 41,000 health information technology (HIT) professionals gathered in Chicago for  HIMSS15. As an intellectual property (IP) lawyer, I am here because my clients are here. If you’re at HIMSS15, you are probably engaged in electronic health records (EHR) software, hardware and/or medical devices. Your organization is likely to be active […]