AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

Dodd-Frank Trolls?
Higher SEC Rewards for Reporting Stock Fraud

Buy Now:
XPRT Ventures
 Clicks  On eBay

Google Buys ITA:
MIT Knows How to Fly



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

July 21, 2010 - This year's wave of "patent marking troll" qui-tam lawsuits has put companies on notice that patent numbers listed on products must be legitimate.  After a tidal wave of SEC reporting violations, the government now wants private watchdogs to report fraud for a reward. The Dodd-Frank Bill proposes 10 - 30 percent rewards for successful cases. For Madoff sized cases, the incentive is huge. Past SEC reward programs have not performed well.

July 13, 2010 - In what may turn out to be one of the largest patent infringement suits this year, Connecticut based XPRT Ventures LLC filed an infringement suit against eBay. The online auctioneer is no stranger to the Federal Courts, being a named party on over 30 PACER "category 830" case listings with more than 10 cases remaining unsettled, the majority of which were filed in late 2009 or 2010.  A significant number involved non-practicing entities. The XPRT case is making headlines because it alleges a $3.8 billion damage claim based in part based on its position that the inventor gave eBay the idea to integrate PayPal's platform into its online auction system.  The Delaware District Court complaint states that eBay benefited from the idea, at the time subject of a pending application,  and "EBay also knew or should have known that such modification and combination would violate Inventors' patent application claims should they issue as patents." In other news, NPT, plaintiff in the high profile RIM case several years ago, has filed new infringement claims against several manufacturers of popular smart phones, including Apple, Motorola, and others, also naming Google and Microsoft as defendants.  NTP claims over 50 patents in its portfolio.

July 1 2010 - Google today announced the acquisition of Cambridge based ITA Software, undeniably the most comprehensive and user friendly air fare and schedule lookup site.  ITA is approximately a decade old, originally founded by MIT software experts who developed new ways to access and merge results from different airline CRM's. The site drew almost immediate praise for its simple and intuitive approach to presenting data to would be air travelers, and is one of the few things about the airline industry that has never been panned by consumer travel advocates like Kate Hanni or Christopher Elliott.  The original flight lookup format has not changed significantly in ten years, presenting flight data in ways to sort and select based on almost any desired criteria; for example, by carrier, total transit time, departure or arrival time, price, and more. After all, why fix what worked well from the get go and was never broken? Today's announcement named a price of $700 million. Ironically, the web site cannot actually sell you a ticket.  Instead, it just tells flyers exactly what to ask for. The site has no advertisers; however, its phenomenal search engine is operating behind the scenes within the e-travel industry.  Check out   Read comments.