To say that I am speechless is an understatement. Although I know the move by Tesla Motors today is also a marketing move it still stands on its own as one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. Oh that’s right I had probably better tell you what I am talking about. Although the head line makes much of this clear today Tesla announced that it will not seek patent litigation against any company that wants to use their technology in good faith.
Patent laws and their effect on technology is something that we have we have followed over the years. We have watched as patent laws have gotten looser (changing from first to produce to first to file) and the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) has approved some outrageous patents. The negative changes to the patent system have given rise to more and more lawsuits that do little to help the market and often directly hurt the consumer.
Accorsing to the site Patently Apple, which is specialized in patent activity from the Cupertino company, the company submitted patent applications for Apple's new gadget. It is a stylus which would be used with their iOS devices, but of course it is not a completely normal stylus.
The US Patent system is broken. The system has strayed very far from its original intent as a means to ensure that inventors were able to get a return on their work. Now a patent is something to be used to hinder the competition. Companies buy them up and stock them away in holding groups like an arsenal. It is no longer about real innovation and progress, but simply a way for large corporations to bargain and shape the market in the manner that they want. Many times we have seen a company buy up a stock of patents with the intention to attack another or even defend themselves.
What’s this??? A US Senator, John Cornyn (R-TX), is working to introduce a patent reform law that will help to limit the number of suits created by Patent Trolls. Called the “Patent Abuse Reduction Act of 2013” the bill looks to be a step in the right direction at least when considering Patent Holding companies. The problem is that this bill does little to stop or slow down filing obvious, vague, or patents covered by prior art which many of these suits stem from.
In November 2012 a jury found Apple guilty of patent infringement against patent troll… sorry non-participating entity, VirnetX. VirnetX claimed that Apple was in violation of a few patents that they own. These patents relate to video and text messaging. VirnetX has also filed a new suit against Microsoft for some of the same patents claiming that Microsoft’s license for Skype does not cover what they are using these technologies for. So you can see that VirnetX keeps themselves busy.
Smartphones have evolved over time, in almost every aspect, except for the battery life. Moreover, this aspect is one of the few in which most smart phones seem to keep going backwards as the rest of their technology gets faster.
While Apple is cuddled and watched over by the American courts, in other parts of the world situation is quite the opposite of that. They are losing lawsuits against, now we can safely say - their greatest enemy - Samsung. According to a new decision from the British court on Friday, the company must pay court costs to Samsung for the lawsuit that Apple started and lost, in which they sued the Korean company for allegedly copying.
We called this one in the early stages of the trial as Samsung’s legal team began laying the ground for a rolling ambush on Judge Lucy Koh and her favoritism of Apple. Now Samsung has filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and a new trial as an alternative. Samsung’s filing is asking for this under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 50 and 59. Their grounds for this motion are fairly straight forward; they were treated unfairly during the proceedings. The actions of Judge Koh during the trial became so extreme that they were almost comical. Samsung’s team caught on to this early and started pushing Judge Koh to see just how far she would take it.
We told you that as soon as we had access to the cross examination of Peter Bressler we would bring it to you and now we have that. It is exactly what we expected. Bressler was not thorough in his examination of Phones and picked the details he wanted to highlight while skipping over many that might counter his claims. This is despite his claims to the court that as an Industrial designer he was trained to identify the small details. Samsung’s questioning found those inconstancies and narrowed down on them quickly including one or two contradictions.