Posts Tagged: "AT&T"

Restrictive IP Policies Could Limit Innovation Opportunity

In the wake of fraudulent IP applications from foreign nations—namely China—the United States has recently enacted or called for policies that require foreign entities to complete more thorough IP applications. For instance, in August, we heard about the new USPTO rule requiring all foreign trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by a licensed U.S. attorney when filing. According to the USPTO website, this is intended to “increase USPTO customer compliance with U.S. trademark law and USPTO regulations, improve the accuracy of trademark submissions to the USPTO and safeguard the integrity of the U.S. trademark register.” And then just last week, news broke that the USPTO had issued new instructions requiring trademark examiners to ask applicants for proof of legal residence in the United States to enforce this new rule (note: these instructions have since been rolled back). The reasoning behind these legislations, or proposed legislations, seems to be that by making the IP application process more involved and more challenging, the USPTO will limit the number of foreign IP applications received—and therefore the number of fraudulent applications received. This will undoubtedly work, but is it the right approach?

MIT Prior Art Archive: An Overstated Solution to Patent Examination

According to statistics provided by the USPTO, since the beginning of fiscal year 2012, the Office has received a total of only 1,584 third-party submissions of prior art for consideration by patent examiners. The high water mark occurred in 2016, when the office received a total of 329 third-party prior art submissions. This declined to 266 submissions in 2017 and in fiscal year 2018, the USPTO received a total of only 141 prior art submissions.

Open Invention Network: A Mission to Maintain Open-Source Status for Linux Systems

As Jaime Siegel, OIN’s Global Director of Licensing, notes, OIN is able to grant free membership to companies joining the consortium thanks to the efforts of eight full-funding member companies which have each funded $20 million to support OIN’s operations through an endowment. These companies include the first six companies to form OIN: Sony, Phillips, IBM, Red Hat, NEC and SUSE; joining those companies are Google and Toyota. OIN’s board consists of representatives from each of these full funding members. Every new member of OIN signs the same licensing agreement as the full-funding members, giving all members in the organization equal standing in terms of the cross-license agreement.

Enabling Technologies and the Underinvestment Problem

Certain innovations—known as enabling technologies—provide the foundation for progress across a range of industries. Enabling technologies include mobile wireless, the laser, CT scanners, the microprocessor, artificial intelligence, and freight containerization. Such technologies drive wealth creation throughout the economy. However, the difficulties associated with monetizing this type of IP, which I explore in this article, mean that private enterprise tends to underinvest in new enabling technologies. Public policy needs to be more supportive, and firms need to be willing to support more blue-sky projects. As a nation, we are harvesting the fruits of old enabling technologies without investing sufficiently in new ones. We are eating our seed corn.

TiVo Files Patent Lawsuits against Comcast, Only Major U.S. Pay-TV Provider Without a TiVo Patent License

TiVo files patent lawsuits, the latest steps TiVo has taken in the hopes of resolving the renewal of a long-term licensing agreement that TiVo has already has already finalized with other major pay-television providers in the United States… TiVo’s recent litigation campaign against Comcast stems back to an unresolved licensing agreement that expired in April 2016 and which TiVo has attempted to renew with the major American pay-TV provider. Rovi first signed licensing agreements with the top pay-TV providers in the U.S., including Comcast, Dish Network, DirecTV and Time Warner, back in 2003 and 2004 with each deal lasting for a period of 12 years. In 2015 and 2016, around the same time that Rovi acquired TiVo for about $1.1 billion, the company began proactively engaging in licensing talks, again striking long-term deals like 10-year agreements with both AT&T and Dish. Of the top 10 pay-TV providers in the United States, Comcast is the last holdout who has not signed a licensing deal with TiVo.

Three Outstanding IP Deals of 2017

These IP deals were not necessarily selected for their size, but for their indicative nature of a set of circumstances that exist in current markets that made these deals not only possible, but essential… The three trends highlighted by these patent deals: acquisitions by foreign buyers, Unicorns and other well-funded startups looking for assets, and various strategies to avoid the burden imposed by the PTAB, are likely to continue well into 2018. None of these deals would have been entered into if the parties involved did not deem U.S. patents valuable and critical for their relative business, and that is one positive message that all of us involved in the IP marketplace can take with us into the new year.

VoIP-Pal.com prevails in 7 separate IPRs, PTAB finds no evidence of invalidity

In two final decisions and five decisions on IPR institution, the PTAB panel of administrative patent judges (APJs) found that petitioners Apple and AT&T did not meet the required burden of proof to invalidate two VoIP-Pal patents. In the final written decisions, Apple and AT&T failed to prove invalidity of the challenged claims by a preponderance of the evidence. Similarly, the PTAB found that neither party had shown a reasonable likelihood of invalidity at the institution stage in the other cases. Along with last November’s denial of an IPR petition filed by Unified Patents, the VoIP-Pal patents have been unscathed through a total of eight IPR petitions.

AT&T Settlement Agreement Admissible in Sprint Patent Litigation

The Federal Circuit found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the AT&T settlement agreement for several reasons. First, the agreement covered the same patented technology at issue and thus was a reliable estimate of the technology’s value to Prism and potential infringers. Second, though both litigations were commenced the same day, the agreement came from an “earlier” case because it was entered into after all discovery was complete and on a fully developed record. This increased the likelihood that the settlement reflected the value of the patented technology rather than a desire to avoid a potential unfavorable judgment. Finally, the settlement was reached after a large share of litigation costs had already been expended, again reducing the role of litigation cost-avoidance in the decision to settle.

Sling TV unveils cloud DVR tech giving Americans more reasons to ‘cut the cord’

On Thursday, December 15th, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) subsidiary and over-the-top (OTT) television delivery service Sling TV unveiled a new cloud-based digital video recording (DVR) technology. Customers using Sling to access live television programming can store up to 100 hours of content including full-length movies, single episodes and entire television series. Automatic deletion of oldest-watched content and simultaneous recording options are also included with the service. Sling’s cloud DVR service appears to only be available to customers accessing Sling through Roku devices in this first rollout of the program and the DVR service only works with certain channels.

AT&T, Time Warner merger could trigger FCC rulemaking on zero rating practices

Another regulatory issue other than antitrust thatis likely to surface during review of the AT&T-Time Warner merger is zero rating, or the practice of providing content for free to consumers on a network. The way that the FCC has implemented net neutrality certainly would indicate that zero rating would likely be regulated at some point, even though it would do so to the likely detriment of the American consumer… This June, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler indicated that the investigation into zero rating practices was ongoing. In mid-October, a group of 76 organizations signed another letter urging the FCC to issue rules making zero rating illegal, so the momentum in this area looks like it’s increasing.

IAM Market provides patent marketplace for 22 top tech vendors, seeks to grow vendor base

With 22 vendors currently on the IAM Market, the online portal has seen about 50 percent growth since launching last year. “To be honest, my ambition is that we’d be further down the road than we are now with vendors,” Stewart said. Although he was pleased with the patent marketplace’s current status, he’d be “plenty more pleased” when they have 50 or more vendors on the site. Stewart also expressed some surprise as to the amount of information available in some of theportfolio presentations provided by vendor companies to IAM Market. “These are major corporations looking to monetize assets, we thought they would just have presentation packs that could be uploaded, but in many cases it’s not,” he said.

In BASCOM v. AT&T the CAFC says software patent eligible again

This case arrived at the Federal Circuit on an appeal brought by BASCOM from the district court’s decision to grant a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). In the majority opinion Chen made much of the civil procedure aspects of a 12(b)(6) motion, as well he should. Frankly, it is about time that the Federal Circuit notice that these patent eligibility cases are reaching them on motions to dismiss. This should be overwhelmingly significant in virtually all cases given that a motion to dismiss is an extraordinary remedy in practically every situation throughout the law. Simply put, judges are loath to dismiss cases on a motion to dismiss before there has been any discovery or any issues are considered on their merits. That is, of course, except when a patent owner sues an alleged infringer.

FCC’s Tom Wheeler looks to extend his chokehold on ISPs with broadband privacy rules

ISPs have increasingly come under the focus of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the agency’s chairman, Tom Wheeler. The FCC is fresh from a major victory on its net neutrality rules which were recently upheld by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. That victory has now placed some momentum on data privacy rules proposed this March by the FCC, rules which would further protect ISP consumers by ensuring that their ISP sees as little of their data as possible. Some industry analysts believe that the FCC will continue to take action, the proposed broadband privacy rules being one part of that action. Other rules proposed by the FCC would open up set-top boxes to third-party cable providers as well as prevent zero-rating of data services, which allows consumers to access dedicated apps without being charged for data.

Data center sector gets more crowded with names like IBM, Cisco, Microsoft and Qualcomm

The subsea data center operations will be cooled by the surrounding water and designs with turbines or tidal energy systems, which would further reduce electricity costs, have been considered. Although the data center’s aquatic environment is certainly a novel concept, the use of combined heat and power (CHP) plants to provide a cheap, dedicated power supply and temperature controls is being considered more often in recent months.

Avoiding Invocation of Functional Claim Language in Computer-Implemented Inventions

Functional claim language is increasingly being used by practitioners to capture the metes and bounds of an invention, especially in computer-implemented inventions. Sometimes using functional language in a claim limitation is unavoidable. Functional language does not, in and of itself, render a claim improper. However, as recently experienced in Williamson v. Citrix (en banc) and Robert Bosch, using functional language carries a significant risk of having the claim invalidated as indefinite following a determination that the claim invokes § 112(f) even when the patentee does not intend to have the claim treated under § 112(f).


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