AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

The Woz on Paul Allen:
Not Against Patent Trolls

Double Jeopardy?
Judge Won't Bar Multiple False Patent Marking Suits

Oracle  Claims Google Infringes Java Patents

Bloom Fades, Stock Drops:
Lilly's Strattera Method Patent Found Invalid

Welcome to the AmiCOUR IP Blog.  We invite your comments.  Past Issues.

August 30, 2010 - Silicon Valley legend Steve Wosniak spoke publically on Bloomberg to address the recent  infringement claims filed by Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen.  "Individual inventors, they don't have the funds to go up against big companies."  Wosniak when on to explain, "I am not at all against the idea of patent trolls because I've had friends who just got forced into bankruptcy by bigger people who had more money..."  Wozniak was co-founder of Apple, later formed a company credited with inventing the universal remote control, and currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io.  View full interview.

August 24, 2010 - In Simonian v. Hunter Fan Co., a judge initially determined that false marking claims are part of the Patent Act, not the False Claims Act, and therefore defendant Hunter Fan could not limit suits to "first to file" relators only.  Its motion to dismiss the second suit was denied. Hunter responded by arguing that the the same False Claims Act logic should apply, but failed to make the argument in a timely manner. The ruling may open the door for mirror suits, making attention to proper patent notice and timely removal upon expiration even more critical.

August 13, 2010 - Oracle announced today that it sued Google claiming infringement of patent numbers 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520. The suit seeks injunctive relief and willful damages. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was a former Sun executive recognized as sharing credit in the development of Java. Experts report that the Droid operating system Dalvik virtual machine may have similarities to Java. The case adds fire to this year's escalation of the smart phone patent wars. Despite popular belief that most high technology sector infringement suits come from "patent trolls," the bulk of cases, including related legal costs and large awards, have resulted from disputes between large industry players.  Patent troll "walk away money," sometimes paid to end  meritless "troll" actions, remains a minor part of the patent litigation economy; nevertheless, a handful non-practicing entities, including some universities and startups, have made news based upon large but legitimate damage awards won by prosecuting solidly grounded cases.

August 13, 2010 - Eli Lilly general counsel Robert A. Armitage  complained bitterly this week when a District Court invalidated his company's attention deficit disorder drug patent, stating, "The judge did not apply what we believe has been long-settled law on the legal issue of enablement. We will take every reasonable step to protect our intellectual property rights." (Source: The ruling may open the door for New Jersey based  Actavis Elizabeth LLC  to offer a generic equivalent to Lilly's Strattera. The Lilly drug accounted for approximately $200 million in annual sales, causing stock to trade lower as the Friday the 13th news reached investors.