Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Shorts: PTO Backlog, More Bilski, Linux Defenders, 2007 Defendant Spike

Former PTO Officials Testify Before Congress: former PTO leaders sharply criticized the PTO’s failure to address the 1.2 million case backlog, one former commissioner calling the problem "horrendous" (link)

Bilski Starts to Pop Up in the District Courts: in the case of Every Penny Counts, Inc. v. Bank of America, plaintiff asserted a business method patent directed to a "rounder system" in which "individual consumer transactions [are] operated on in various ways via a ‘rounder function.’" The function operates "to create and distribute excess funds from consumer spending transactions." Did the recent Bilski decision invalidate the patent? The defendant thinks so, and has recently (Dec. 8) filed a motion to open discover and briefing on this very issue. Read/download a copy of the motion here.

Linux Defenders Want Your Code: Open Invention Network (OIN) has launched a "Linux Defenders" program, co-sponsored by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and the Linux Foundation (LF). The program is designed to make prior art more readily accessible to patent and trademark office examiners. The program plans to develop a set of Web-based forms to let interested parties generate "defensive publications." The program will also offer direct consulting, and establish a "Wiki"-like contribution model that calls upon community involvement. Linux Defenders will then post the publications to the database. Read more here, here, and here.

Patent Defendants Spiked in 2007: Stanford's IP Litigation Clearinghouse was recently unveiled, including data on 78,000 copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret lawsuits. Recently, data surrounding 23,000 patent suits was made public. One of the findings found that, despite the relatively steady number of patent lawsuits, the number of defendants spiked over 30% in 2007. Joe Mullin has more at The Prior Art Blog here.

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