This news alert highlights a number of current legal and commercial events relating to patents in Europe and the United States. These come as a timely reminder of the value of a well-crafted patent portfolio. At the same time, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision reiterates the importance of properly securing those patent assets in the first place.
The deadlock over the long sought ‘single European patent’ covering the entire European Union (EU) appears to have been resolved, and the concept of such a patent has recently moved dramatically closer to becoming a reality. Read More>>
The United States Congress is finalising legislation to overhaul the U.S. patent system. This major reform would effectively change the U.S. “first-to-invent” system of granting patents to the internationally prevalent “first-to-file” system. Read More>>
Internet search-engine leader Google, Inc. has recently failed in its solo US$900 million bid to purchase the patent portfolio of the now defunct Nortel Networks Corp. Nortel fell on hard times during the GFC and was forced into bankruptcy in 2009, resulting in a bidding war for its valuable patent assets by the likes of Google, Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, Sony, and Research In Motion (maker of the Blackberry). Read More>>
In June this year, Microsoft lost a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court against the validity of a U.S. patent owned by a small Canadian company, i4i. The court found that versions of Microsoft’s word processing program ‘Word’ infringed i4i’s patent (No. 5,787,449) covering XML-related technologies. The software giant must now pay i4i a total of US$290 million. Read More>>
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Stanford University, holding that federal legislation did not allow it to secure ownership of patent rights where a University employee had agreed to assign the rights of an invention to Roche Molecular Systems. Read More>>
Author: Scott Berggren, Principal