Friday, September 07, 2007

Around the Horn With Patent Reform

Executive Office Chimes In - a "Statement of Administration Policy" was released yesterday, which generally supported the Patent Reform Act, but opposes H.R. 1908’s limits on the discretion of a court in determining damages adequate to compensate for an infringement. To view the letter, click here (link).

Microsoft Win in Court May Cut Chances in Congress - From Bloomberg:

Microsoft Corp.'s success in reversing a $1.52 billion trial loss was the latest in a series of court victories that may undermine its chance for broad changes in U.S. patent law this year.

Opponents of change cite the victory by Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, as well as a win by Seagate Technology, the largest maker of hard-disk drives, as proof the law isn't as out of whack as the industry claims.

Chicago Tribune: "Proposals for patent reform raising fears" - Jeffrey Knoll, VP and Corporate Counsel for Cummins-Allison Corp.:
We've had very bad experiences in Europe . . . Competitors lay in wait for a patent to be issued and then start filing mini-litigation. About one-third of our European patents are opposed. We've all but given up on local patent protection in Europe. (link) - "As Congress Mulls Patent Reform, Holding Company Files More Suits" - In 2004, a Plutus affiliate called Orion IP acquired a portfolio of 14 patents for $1,000 in from a small software company called Firepond Inc., according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since then, Orion IP and other Plutus affiliates have passed patent rights back and forth, along the way suing a list of companies including Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. , AT&T Inc. and Nike Inc. in different states. (link)

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