April 28, 2011 - Microsoft filed a lawsuit last month with the International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming that the Nook e-reader produced by Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec - or more specifically, the Google Android operating system the Nook uses - infringes Microsoft's patents.
April 23, 2011 - A federal jury in Texas found that Google infringes a Linux-related patent and awarded $5 million to Bedrock Computer Technologies, which holds a patent on a portion of the Linux kernel.
No builder would try to construct a house without a proper foundation, as such a house would likely collapse. Similarly, no lawyer should try a lawsuit without laying a proper foundation for a favorable decision, as a judgment found to be lacking foundation will not survive a challenge. (Mirror Worlds LLC v. Apple Inc.)
April 14, 2011 - Walker Digital, LLC - whose Chairman, Jay Walker, founded priceline.com in the 1990s - announced in a press release that it has filed 15 lawsuits against more than 100 defendants, including big names such as Google, Groupon, Sony, Apple, Walmart, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon and Fa
It is often said, by trial lawyers, that if the jury didn’t hear it, it doesn’t count. Well, not always! (Bruce N. Saffran, M.D., PH.D. v. Johnson & Johnson and Cordis Corporation)
Just as you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, so too you can’t make a conspiracy or a breach of fiduciary duty out of a simple breach of contract. (Netologic Inc. v. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.)
Netologic is a small company in the business of “developing, promoting and selling complex performance analysis and knowledge management systems … to capture, explore, and evaluate research, sales, and trading ideas for the financial community.”
As the conscientious reader of this column is aware, Larry Flynt, of Hustler Magazine fame, recently sued his kid brother Jimmy, alleging infringement of the HUSTLER trademark. (If you are not conscientious, see All You Ever Wanted To Know About HUSTLER – And More.) Well, whatever emotional problems bedevil Larry to cause him to bring his ridiculous lawsuit apparently runs in the family, as evidenced by Jimmy’s latest antics.
General Patent’s Subsidiary, Advanced Video Technologies, Licenses Coby Electronics under Its Full Duplex Single Chip Video Codec Patent
Suffern, N.Y., April 11, 2011 − General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its subsidiary, Advanced Video Technologies LLC (AVT), that it settled a patent infringement lawsuit between AVT and Coby Electronics Corporation of Lake Success, N.Y.
April 11, 2011 - One of the major patent infringement lawsuit verdicts of 2010 was tossed out by U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis, who had postponed his final ruling on the case since last October.
Alexander Poltorak, Chairman and CEO of GPC, was quoted extensively in a Wall Street Journal article about the lawsuit between Nokia and Apple ("Nokia's Patent Battleground", April 5, 2011 - subscriber login required). Dr. Poltorak comments on several aspects of the Nokia and Apple litigation in the following excerpts from the article.
On the fact that Nokia has amassed over 10,000 patents:
The Canadian Press - "Microsoft vs. i4i case at U.S. Supreme Court has big implications for patent law"
GPC's Chairman and CEO Alexander Poltorak was quoted in an article about patent lawsuit between Canadian company i4i and Microsoft Corp. as it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court this year ("Microsoft vs. i4i case at U.S. Supreme Court has big implications for patent law", The Canadian Press, April 17, 2011). Dr. Poltorak discussed the possible outcome of the case - and the possibility of it setting new precedents in U.S. patent law.
GPC's Alexander Poltorak attended ICAP Ocean Tomo’s auction of IP assets in New York on March 31, and commented on the sale of a $38.5 million "covenant not to sue" (LogMeIn, ICAP Ocean Tomo, Dyson: Intellectual Property, Bloomberg.com, April 4, 2011).
Excerpt of the article:
BNET.com blogger Erik Sherman interviewed GPC's Alexander Poltorak for a blog post on the ICAP Ocean Tomo auction of a "covenant not to sue" on behalf of Round Rock Research, a non-practicing entity with 4,200 patents (Patent Troll Auctions Free Passes From Lawsuits: Mobile in Its Sights, BNET.com, April 7, 2011). Dr. Poltorak explained why such an auction might be attractive to a company that hasn't even been sued yet.
We have repeatedly preached against the sin of greed. Well, we now have a case where the plaintiff clearly did not demand enough. (Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC v. BMW North America, LLC et al.)
Affinity is a small – two person – firm which owns two patents directed to “a system and method for connecting and integrating a portable electronic device, such as an MP3 player, with a second electronic device such as a car’s sound system.” It does not practice the patented inventions.
Just a few days ago we wrote about the success of Lime Wire, the defendant in a copyright infringement action, in reducing its damages exposure from trillions of dollars to merely hundreds of millions (see A Resounding Victory). Well, Lime Wire’s efforts to further reduce that exposure, to only tens of millions of dollars, were not so successful.
April 6, 2011 - A Netherlands-based company called MasterObjects Inc. sued Google for infringement of a patent related to predictive search results.
It is not often that a defendant in a lawsuit deems it a victory that the damages it will be ordered to pay will be measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars and not in the trillions. (Arista Records LLC et al. v. Lime Group LLC et al.)
To those of us who are old enough to buy liquor without a fake ID, “spam” means something more than junk e-mail. To us, SPAM® is a spiced, chopped-ham product produced by the venerable Hormel meat packing company. The product is packaged in rectangular cans bearing the word “SPAM” in yellow lettering on a blue background. Appearing below the word “SPAM” is a picture of a sandwich comprised of a slice of the meat product on a sesame seed bun. Hormel claims use of this “trade dress” going back to 1937 and further alleges to have sold over 7 billion cans worldwide.
After a company called H-W Technology filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, RIM, Google and 29 other big tech companies in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, CNET.com interviewed GPC's Alexander Poltorak for an expert's take on the case ("Apple, RIM, others sued over smartphone patent," April 1, 2011).
Excerpt from article:
At the Spring 2011 Live IP Action on March 31, the intellectual property broker ICAP Ocean Tomo auctioned off a five-year Covenant Not to Sue from Round Rock Research LLC. GPC's Alexander Poltorak and Rich Ehrlickman commented on this unusual auction in an IAM Magazine blog post ("Did the ICAP OT auction change the IP litigation rules in the US?", April 1, 2011).
Well folks, we have a new winner in our Chutzpah In Litigation contest. (Fairey et al. v. The Associated Press)