AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

CoMentis v. PRF Judge:
"I agree with CoMentis"
"I disagree - ..."

Stock Plunge:
ITC Rules Against Kodak plus
95% Profit Drop

Smokin' Lawsuits:
Chinese Will Accuse
US of Patent Knockoffs

CES 2011:
Something's Missing

25 Percent Rule:
Junk Science?

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

January 26, 2011 - Purdue Research Foundation partly lost and partly won a first round in its defense against Alzheimer drug developer CoMentis. Read the Opinion and Order.

January 26, 2011 - A dramatic 20+ percent stock price plunge on high volume trading was tied to dramatically lower profits and an initial ITC ruling in favor of respondents Apple Computer and Research in Motion, anticipating the combined decision by the agency's commissioners on May 23. This is a first round event in the case. The action arose over a patent related to previewing digital images.  Earlier press release statements by Kodak reported that licensing negotiations had gone on for years before the complaint was filed. Kodak also has a patent suit against Apple in the federal courts and has successfully prevailed in past ITC proceedings against others, resulting in settlement licenses. Last November, this blog covered the United States Supreme Court petition by Microsoft to lower the standard of proof faced by defendants in patent litigation from "clear and convincing" to "preponderance of evidence," including providing a hyperlink to Apple's amicus brief filed in support of its rival Microsoft. The stock price began moving down late Friday and dropped dramatically at Tuesday's opening.

January 14, 2011 - Website iStockAnalyst today reported that Chinese company Dragonite International Limited is bringing its newly issued US patent on electronic cigarettes to court.  The company stated that it has already won several infringement cases in China and plans to use litigation to eliminate "inferior product imitations" which have appeared in US markets.  The US sales of these products have been estimated at $500 million, driven by bans on the use of traditional Cigarettes.  China banned outdoor smoking this month.

January 9,2011 (Editorial) - As the Consumer Electronics Show comes to its end, at least a few of this year's 120,000 visitors, including this writer, feel like something was missing. The Intel booth was magnificent with its million dollar faux ceiling. Motorola's 60 foot hanging LED curtain was impressive. Panasonic, who once dominated the mid-hall terrace now arches across it in both directions, seemingly owning the center of the main show hall, crowding the tiny booths right off the floor and into one of several large overflow exhibit halls. Panasonic's traditional wall of flat screens was bigger than ever but still, well... traditional. The flat TV wall was truly impressive in 2002, especially when  University of Illinois inventor Larry Weber won a television Emmy award for helping solve energy consumption issues in plasma displays. Fujitsu later had Weber's patent declared invalid in a Northern District of California federal courtroom. Even the latest price drops are old news.

Two years of recession and record engineering unemployment have taken a toll on invention, all while the USPTO has become critically slow processing patent applications. Maybe the smart money decided its about getting to the consumer first, not the patent office.  Either way, the show must go on even if it the LED exhibit curtain might be outshining the "new" products on the show floor.  Read entire article.

January 3, 2011 - The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Microsoft in applying a Daubert in limine challenge to the 25 percent rule of thumb sometimes  applied to hypothetical negotiations used to argue infringement damages. The Daubert case is used to help  prevent the submission of  "junk science" as evidence a court might be asked to rely on.  In Uniloc v. Microsoft, Uniloc's expert applied the popular 25 percent rule of thumb to his valuation basis of a technology that helps prevent installation of licensed software onto multiple computers.  The court called the approach "fundamentally flawed" and "inadmissible under Daubert." The opinion also identified a lack of evidentiary support that the infringed element (license enforcement technology) generated consumer demand.  Although Uniloc won its appeal with respect to infringement, the outcome mandated a new damages trial.  Associated Press coverage suggested that Microsoft attorneys were pleased with their new chance to reduce the $388 million jury verdict while Uniloc's attorney stated he was also pleased and plans to prove the same or even higher damages.