Akamai and Divided Infringement of Method Claims

In August of 2015, the federal circuit met en banc in Akamai v. Limelight to settle a long-standing issue: When multiple parties perform all the steps to a patented method, but no one party performs every step, when is the patent infringed, and by whom? The decision they handed down set a new standard for divided infringement defenses. Like any legal standard, the details would need to be fleshed out by subsequent litigation.. Read More

Why Tesla Should Consider Amending its Patent Pledge

Over two years ago, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would not initiate any patent lawsuits against anyone who was using Tesla’s technology in good faith. This pledge has raised many questions as to the motivation behind Musk’s statement and its legal nature, while also stirring our beliefs about innovation and patents in general. Although the answers to these questions are far from clear, wherever one stands on these issues, perhaps.. Read More

Climbing Out of the Rabbit Hole – Post-Alice Decisions on Patentability of Software Inventions

  In early 2016, Google DeepMind unveiled the AlphaGo project, a gaming algorithm based on machine learning and dedicated to the last remaining game where humans held superior against computers—Go, the ancient Chinese board game. The AlphaGo algorithm was “fed” a database of over 30 million moves, and was subject to reinforcement learning. This allowed the algorithm to optimize the search space of actions, reducing the required calculations to optimize AlphaGo’s next move… Read More

How Will The Supreme Court Decide Samsung v. Apple?

On October 11, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc. on the issue of whether damages resulting from the infringement of a design patent that is “applied only to a component of a product” should be limited to the profits that can be attributed to the component, as opposed to profits from the entire product. The three design patents at issue in this case protect the.. Read More

Do Patents Make Inventors Legally Responsible?

In 2013, a child was paralyzed after a distracted driver in a Dodge Ram truck collided into a sports utility vehicle. The driver and a passenger of the struck vehicle were also killed. What caused the distraction? A message on the driver’s iPhone. The victims’ families filed a product liability claim against Apple. In an article in the New York Times, Matt Richtel presented the question, “Does Apple — or any cellphone maker.. Read More

CRISPR: The Final Interference

Background CRISPR (“Clustered regularly interspaced shorty palindromic repeats”), also known as CRISPR-Cas9, is a recent advancement in biotechnology that allows for genetic manipulation. This monumental discovery is currently at the center of a heated patent interference proceeding that started earlier this year. CRISPR naturally occurs in some bacteria, providing them with a means to defend against viruses. There are two main components involved in this system: Cas9 enzyme and a small RNA molecule… Read More

A Troll’s Refuge

Everyone is familiar with the phenomenon that is trolling and the ubiquitous troll face. Equally as familiar in the public conscious is the concept of the “patent troll,” a term that has been affirmed by the late, great Justice Scalia in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco. The term has even been brought to the masses through the venerable learning mechanism of comedy via John Oliver. In a nutshell, patent trolls first obtain rights.. Read More

Rethinking Enhanced Damages: Stryker Oral Arguments

Last week the Supreme Court heard argument in Stryker Corp., et al. v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., docket no. 14-1520, which was the first time this term that the Court has considered a patent matter. Stryker, the petitioner and patent holder, invited the Court to overturn the Federal Circuit’s test for enhanced damages, which requires a showing of objectively reckless and willful infringement. Many patent holders would prefer that the Court side with.. Read More

After More Than 15 Years, the Federal Circuit Clarifies the “Actual Notice” Requirement for Post-publication, Pre-issuance Patent Infringement

The American Inventor’s Protection Act (AIPA) was passed in 1999 and added § 154(d) to title  35 of the United States Code, which provides a remedy for patent applicants for post-publication, pre-issuance patent infringement. Section 154(d) provides a right to obtain a reasonable royalty from the date of publication of the application to the date the patent is issued if the patent infringer had “actual notice of the published patent application” and “the invention as claimed in the.. Read More

The IP Implications of Video Game Mods

The size of the video game industry has expanded greatly from the early 2000s to the present. There are more games being released and sold today than ever before. However, not every video game is perfect for every person who buys it. Some games may have a bad story, have terrible visuals, or just be riddled with bugs. Even some of the critically-acclaimed games are not immune from this phenomenon. For many gamers,.. Read More