Professors Urge Congress to Ignore Flawed, Unreliable Data in Patent Debate

On March 10, 2015, 40 economists and law professors signed a letter explaining to Congress that the data that keeps being cited to justify HR 9, otherwise known as “the Innovation Act,” is “flawed, unreliable and incomplete.” The professors suggest Congress proceed cautiously, particularly given the numerous misleading and flawed studies that make “highly exaggerated claims regarding patent trolls.”

As the letter explains, one of the “studies” that is often cited as proof that patent trolls cost U.S. businesses $29 billion a year is pure fiction, has been debunked, and the authors of the study have retreated significantly from their clearly erroneous conclusions. I have explained this issue in detail, as have others.

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What every startup needs to hear about patents

Fatih Ozluturk is a prolific inventor, with 186 issued patents and 181 pending patent applications. His inventions have been licensed to every major cellular company, and have generated over $1 billion in licensing revenue. Today, Ozluturk is a Principal of the Soryn IP Group, and also Director of Patent Strategy at Liquid Patent Consulting. He is also an entrepreneur and an angel investor, he teaches workshops in the NYC startup community, and he is the author of the book “Patents. Simplified.”

I spoke with Ozluturk on the record in a lengthy interview that really should be required reading for anyone who is contemplating starting a software-based tech company. We discussed the importance of at least filing a provisional patent application even if you are not sure you want to get a patent, and we also talked about how easy it is to write software but how extremely difficult it is to write useful software. (more…)

The Art of Negotiation – Mediation of IP Disputes

Jeff Kichaven (pictured left) is one of California’s leading mediators. I met Kichaven several months ago while I was in Newport Beach, California, to speak at the Orange County Bar Association. At the conclusion of our breakfast meeting I asked if he would be interested in an on the record conversation for publication. He agreed. What follows are except from our conversation, which took place on Monday, December 22, 2014. To read the full transcript of the interview please see Working toward settlement wherever possible.

Here is our dialogue on the reality that in most circumstances neither party really wants a court to make a decision and would be better off reaching a negotiated resolution.

QUINN: … And my experience usually when the judge or the jury makes the decision neither party is happy.

KICHAVEN: That’s true. So many times it has cost so much, taken so long and been so grueling along the way, that even the winner questions whether it was worth it.

QUINN: Yes.

KICHAVEN: It’s especially true in intellectual property cases because when people get too involved in litigation focusing on the past and perhaps lose their focus on the marketplace, new competitors can come in and beat them in the marketplace. So it’s important, particularly for technology companies in fast moving industries, to keep their eyes focused on the future and competing in the marketplace rather than focused on the past and competing in the courtroom, other than in a small number of cases where that focus really is absolutely necessary.

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Medical Innovations Also a Focus for Samsung

Medical innovations were strongly reflected in Samsung’s patent applications published in the past few months by the USPTO. Rumors that Samsung would jettison its medical device division during its December 2014 restructuring proved to be unfounded, although the company may realign healthcare technology R&D which are currently separated between the consumer electronics division and Samsung Medison, a medical device developer. In late November, Samsung announced a partnership with U.S.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific, a medical equipment company, to find new markets for Samsung’s medical diagnostic devices. Known for fitness tracking devices, the corporation has also unveiled an open access development platform for health programs that could aid in chronic disease management and other areas of medical care.

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Intel Patents Mobile Augmented-Reality Programs and Ultrathin Smartphones

Intel has a large patent portfolio which has only been getting stronger in recent years. In 2013, the company was the recipient of 1,730 patents from the USPTO, a 34.4 % increase in U.S. patents issued to them over 2012. Worldwide, the corporation ranked 16th among all entities filing for U.S. patent grants. In recent months, the company has made acquisitions to expand its holdings in telecommunications infrastructure, evidenced by their September purchase of more than 1,400 patents and patent applications in that sector developed by Powerwave Technologies, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In a recent review of Intel patents, we saw a wave of augmented and virtual-reality technologies.  Augmented-reality programs implemented on mobile platforms are the focus of U.S. Patent No. 8913085, which is titled Object Mapping Techniques for Mobile Augmented Reality Applications. The patent claims a method of identifying an object in one or more images, accessing a stored profile database to select a profile for the object once identified; the profile contains information on whether an object should be altered or interacted with and processing an alteration for a display. The technology is intended to improve the use of mobile augmented-reality (MAR) programs which implement a plurality of devices for multiplayer game play, for instance.

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