If the remainder of her decision is any evidence as to what she was thinking, it seems pretty clear to me that if she were forced to have addressed that issue she would have said that as a result of Twombly and Iqbal the model patent infringement complaint no longer satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. She also found unpersuasive the argument that since Twombly and Iqbal are not patent infringement cases they offer no appropriate guidance or insight.
On Friday, August 27, 2010, Interval Research Corporation brought a patent infringement lawsuit against a who’s who of tech companies in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, specifically suing AOL, Inc., Apple, Inc., eBay, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google Inc., Netflix, Inc., Office Depot, Inc., OfficeMax Inc., Staples, Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and YouTube, LLC.…
Late yesterday Oracle announced in an exceptionally brief and direct press release that it has filed a lawsuit against Google. But someone at Google didn’t find this amusing and seemingly tampered with Google’s search algorithm and database by eliminating Oracle altogether. This was brought to my attention earlier today and then confirmed at approximately 3:00pm Eastern Time. By approximately 6:00 pm Eastern Time things seemed back to normal with Google search, someone apparently getting wind that some intentionally harmful and malicious behavior was engaged in by someone somewhere.
It is great to know that settlement has been achieved, and incredibly newsworthy to learn that the victorious party was “pleased with the outcome.” But really, sometimes I do stumble across rather interesting press releases that are newsworthy. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to write about everything I would like to. So I thought I might start a News & Notes column that collects some interesting news items that could be of interest, but which probably don’t warrant detailed treatment or analysis. With that in mind… here goes…
As so many run to condemn patent trolls and would like to compromise the integrity and strength of all patent rights to combat what they perceive as bad actors, I wonder whether patent trolls are really a drag on the high-tech industry. Are patent trolls really costing the industry, or is the industry making much ado about nothing? One theory holds that the tech industry is treating the patent troll phenomenon as nothing more than a nuisance, and a nuisance that is not worth doing anything about. I have for a long time stated that there are obvious strategies that could be employed, but they are ignored in favor of doing nothing. But earlier today I heard an interesting twist. What if they simply don’t want to do anything and they view the patent troll matter as simply a cost of doing business?
Perfect 10, Inc., the former publisher of Perfect 10 Magazine, is back at it with Google over whether Google’s display of certain images of scantily clad women infringes the copyrights owned by Perfect 10. Perfect 10 created and sold pictures of nude models through a now defunct print magazine, and now creates and sells pictures through a password-protected subscription website. Simultaneous actions are pending in both United States and Canada, each with recent rulings over the last two weeks, with a ruling in Canada on July 18, 2010, and a ruling on Google’s motion for summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on July 26, 2010.
The reality is that the term patent troll seems to be more in the eye of the beholder than anything else. So a patent troll is whoever is suing you because you must be correct and some evil wrong-doer is holding you hostage. Never mind that you are actually infringing and you are the real wrong-doer (i.e., tortfeasor). What is needed is a working definition for the term patent troll so that this nonsense can stop once and for all, and so the uninformed in the media can be spared the embarrassment of their own cluelessness. So lets take a look at some of the characteristics that will get you characterized as a patent troll and either confirm it as a useful indicator of a wrong-doer or as simply overblown and wholly inaccurate.
The latest Apple complaint continues to allege direct infringement of Apple patents, this time four separate patents. The complaint also alleges indirect infringement; specifically contributory infringement and inducement to infringe. The patent asserted by Apple are US Patent No. 7,282,453 (Count I); US Patent No. 7,657,849 (Count II); US Patent No. 6,282,646 (Count III) and US Patent No. 7,380,116 (Count IV). The ‘453 patent and the ‘849 patent were both asserted previously by Apple (see what I have previously referred to as the second complaint filed March 2, 2010). It appears as if they are added here due to recently issued Certificates of Correction. The ‘646 patent and the ‘116 patent were not previously asserted in either of the two complaints filed March 2, 2010 in the District of Delaware.
On May 17, 2010, Google, Inc. was sued in the United States Federal District Court for the District of Oregon by Vicki Van Valin and Neil Mertz; the allegations asserting violation of Oregon, Washington and US privacy statutes (18 USC 2511). The original complaint also seeks to certify a class action against Google, who has already admitted that it engaged in inappropriate collecting of private information from unsuspecting Internet users. Google characterizes the privacy violations as a “mistake,” but a recently published US patent application assigned to Google may suggest that there were those within Google who gave considerable consideration to such an invasion of privacy through the use of sniffer or snooping software.
If you visit the Google bulk USPTO data site you will see that the data, volumes of it, is presented in zip format. Thus, the data will not likely be at all useful to individual users, but perhaps other commercial services will be able to finally access the data and create usable products. I say this because as good as Google is for many things it seems pretty clear to me that Google gets a project only so far before they lose interest, move on to whatever is next and leave an 80% solution behind. I have seen this over and over again with Google. As good and quick as Google Patents is, for example, it lacks easy to provide and fundamentally important features and is, therefore, not that useful.
If you have gone to Google today, you have probably noticed that Google’s newest Doodle is a Pacman board. Doodles are known as the decorative changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists. May 22 marks the 30th anniversary of the game we all loved and played as kids, and to commemorate Pacman’s anniversary Google has created this one-of-a-kind Pacman Google Doodle. This doodle is unlike any other Google doodle that has come before it because the Google Pacman logo is actually Google’s very first interactive doodle in the form of a Pacman game you can actually play.
In response to the privacy concerns being raised against Facebook, four United States Senators, Charles Schumer of NY, Michael Bennet of CO, Mark Begich of Alaska and Al Franken of MI, joined forces and on April 27th wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting that Facebook alter its policies on privacy. Currently Facebook information is available on third party websites without user permission. However, the Senators want Facebook to change its provisions so that Facebook user information is kept private and can only be shared with the user’s explicit permission blocking non-Facebook websites from accessing this information.
Sitting by designation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, soon to be Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, Judge Randall Rader, granted summary judgment to Google Inc. and AOL LLC in the case brought by Performance Pricing, Inc., which alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,978,253. Judge Rader ruled that there was no infringement and summary judgment was appropriate because there were no genuine issues of fact in dispute. More specifically, Rader determined that AdWords does not contain a price-determining activity.
On March 2, 2010, Apple filed two lawsuits against High Tech Computer Corp. (aka HTC Corp.), HTC (B.V.I.) Corp, HTC America, Inc. and Exeda, Inc in the US District Court for the District of Delaware, and a concurrent ITC proceeding. Speculation has already started to rise, not surprisingly, that the real target of Apple is none other than Google, who is the creator of the Android operating system that seems to be the foundation of the allegedly infringing technologies. Given that Apple has sold over 40 million iPhones worldwide, if they do believe there is infringement they can hardly let Google muscle in on this lucrative technology turf.
“Patrick Walsh” was a little too broad; I limited it to “Patrick Walsh patent,” to see if anything of interest popped up more specific to my career as a professional patent searcher. What I found was this gem of early 1900’s journalism from the New York Times: Dated May 14th, 1909. If you were so unlucky as to fall victim to the former Walsh Bros. & Company, you were only down $4, Even by 1909 standards, $4 isn’t not the end of the world.