Patent News from the Holiday Week

Last week, we in the United States celebrated the Fourth of July, which landed right in the middle of the week on Wednesday. Having a national holiday on a Wednesday typically leads to many taking vacation time and creating their own very long holiday weekend. So while you were away, or perhaps distracted by the scalding hot heat that more than half of the United States suffered from, there were a number of noteworthy patent stories. Yes, decision makers and deal makers did not take a break last week. Not by a long shot.

So while you were otherwise occupied, what did you miss? Here is a run down of five of the most noteworthy stories from last week.


1. WIPO Under Fire For Sending Computers to UN Sanctioned Countries

Earlier this year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) came under fire for sending computers to North Korea in violation of United Nations sanctions. See WIPO Embroiled in North Korean Computer Deal. Now WIPO is under fire again. It seems they not only shipped computers to North Korea, but also shipped computers to Iran as well. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) called this latest WIPO transgression “an outrage.” The United States Department of State is attempting to work with WIPO to make sure that new procedures are put into place to ensure this never happens again.


Facebook Continues to Load Its Patent Arsenal

The patent wars are all the rage amongst tech companies these days. Not too long ago, Microsoft Corp. made news when announcing it purchased approximately 925 patents from AOL, Inc. for an estimated $1.1 billion dollars. The commentary regarding that purchase was equally focused on the impressive sale price for the amount of patents purchased as it was on the fact that tech companies are looking twice at their patent portfolios as litigation and licensing tools.

The latest development is that Facebook, who is currently in a patent infringement battle with Yahoo, recently purchased 650 of the AOL patents from Microsoft for an estimated $550 million dollars. This recent acquisition comes just one month after Facebook purchased 750 patents from IBM. (more…)

Yahoo Threatens Facebook with Patent Infringement Claims

In one of the first patent fights within the social media arena, Yahoo claims that 10-20 of its technology patents are currently being infringed by Facebook. The New York Times DealBook reports that Yahoo has alerted Facebook that it will be forced to engage in a patent infringement lawsuit unless Facebook agrees to enter a patent licensing agreement. The patents in question cover technologies relating to advertising, the personalization of Web sites, social networking and messaging.

The company may have lost its luster in comparison to its online peers like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but Yahoo’s intellectual property may in fact be peerless. It appears that of the patents in question, some of them include one of the first patents ever awarded to Yahoo, and their patent portfolio isn’t one to just shrug off. According to IEEE Spectrum, a technology publication, it ranked Yahoo’s patent portfolio in 2011 as being the most valuable among those for communications and Internet services. (more…)

Facebook Request For Reexamination of Data Review Patent Among Those Requested Week Of 10/10/12

Here is the latest installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor…

Markman hearing is currently scheduled for the beginning of November in Indacon’s case against Facebook for infringement of two patents related to storing and reviewing data.  But on FridayFacebook requested reexamination of one of the Indacon patents (see inter partes Request No. (9)) and on the same day, asked Judge Orlando Garcia of the Western District of Texas to stay the infringement action “until Indacon files its response to the PTO’s first Office Action in the reexamination.”  At that time, Facebooksays, Judge Garcia could assess the effect that the reexamination might have on the case and whether the case should be stayed pending completion of the reexamination.  Facebook focused on the imminent Markman hearing, noting that the reexamination could provide additional evidence that might affect Judge Garcia’s claim construction of both patents-in-suit.  “No matter what the outcome of the reexamination, claim construction will surely be affected.”

In 2007 the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a general exclusion order prohibiting the entry into the United States of ink cartridges that infringed any of ten Seiko Epson patents, plus a cease and desist order stopping the sale of infringing ink cartridges already in the United States.  The principal target of these orders was Ninestar Technology.  In March Ninestar asked the ITC for an advisory opinion whether its R-Series ink cartridges infringe any of the ten Seiko Epson patents.  Ninestar has now expanded its challenge to the Seiko Epson patents by requesting reexamination of the ‘053 patent (see inter partes Request No. (1)).  It will be interesting to see how Ninestar coordinates its challenges to that patent at the ITC and at the PTO, respectively. (more…)

YouTube Attacks On Pragmatus’s Media File Storage Patents Among Reexamination Requests Filed Week Of 6/6/11

Here is the latest installment of Reexamination Requests from Scott Daniels, of Reexamination Alert and Practice Center Contributor….

Earlier this year, Pragmatus sued Facebook, LinkedIn, Photobucket, and YouTube for infringing three patents for systems for storing media files.   YouTube has now requested reexamination of those patents (see inter parte Request Nos. (6), (8) & (9)).

Apple has requested reexamination of Softview’s U.S. Patent No. 7,831,926 related to systems for “zooming and panning” images from the Internet on mobile devices.  Softview has sued Apple and AT&T Mobility in Delaware for infringing the ‘926 patent.  Softview is also involved in a separate case with HTC in Washington state regarding the ‘926 patent.

IDT requested reexamination of Alexsam’s U.S. Patent No. 6,000,608 which relates to activation of “stored value” card (see ex parte Request No. (3)). In February, Alexsam won a $9.06 million jury verdict against IDT in the Eastern District of Texas for infringement of the ‘608 patent and a second patent. (more…)