Patent pirates?
New rules for patent pirates.

Extraordinary protection

Since 2007, wanton patent infringers have enjoyed extraordinary legal protection from awards of “enhanced” damages under section 284 of the Patent Act.

Last week, the Supreme Court stripped away three of the protections. The changes will make good patent cases better. But it won’t convert weak ones into strong ones.
Continue Reading Patent Cases Just Got Scarier

imageIn Henry IV, Glenmore brags that he can “call spirits from the vasty deep.” Hotspur replies:

Why, so can I, or so can any man;

But will they come when you do call for them?

In Blue Calypso, LLC v. Groupon Inc., No. 15-1396 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 1, 2016), Groupon tried to summon a prior art reference from the Internet. But it wouldn’t come. The Internet proved too vasty.
Continue Reading The Vasty Deep (of the Internet)

DelayEn banc court sidesteps high court

In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1962, 1974 (2014) (post here), the Supreme Court ruled that the defense of laches — unreasonable delay in bringing suit — does not preclude recovery of damages for copyright infringement during the usual statute of limitations period (three years under the Copyright Act). Does the same rule apply to patent cases?

The en banc Federal Circuit held last week, by the smallest of margins (6-5), that Petrella does not govern cases under patent law. Defendants may thus cite a patent holder’s delay in filing a lawsuit as a ground for reducing or barring damages within the six-year pre-suit period that patent law generally allows.
Continue Reading Laches Can Limit Patent Damages, En Banc Federal Circuit Rules

Time to InventThe shock of the new

A lot turns on who invents a thing first. Billions maybe.

Patent law requires newness. The mandate can cause patent death even in the case of almost-but-not-quite “prior art”. If the older stuff “anticipates” the new thing, it renders the invention unpatentable.

A recent decision by the Federal Circuit highlights the anticipation question. 
Continue Reading In Patent Law, Weeks Count

Standing BearSnares

Patent law features so many traps that even the wary fall in one now and then. It happened again last week. This time the ruling concerned standing, an issue that goes to the power of a court to decide a case.

A narrow license

The case involved a patent on "Gelatinous Elastomer Compositions and

AkamaiPolicy debate

If a firm that performs steps A, B, and C of a "method" patent induces the firm's customers to take step D — the final one — does the firm infringe the patent?

The question — which a two-judge majority on a Federal Circuit panel answered no — produced 62 pages of opinions

Light BulbAnother patent just failed the Supreme Court's airy test for unpatentable "abstract ideas".

A whiter shade of pale

Patents that define ways to make money through commerce on the Internet never have gotten much respect.

In the last year, a series of rulings by the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court bled much of the remaining color out of the "business