• Finjan Secures $15.3 Million Series A-1 Preferred Stock Financing

    Finjan will issue 153,000 shares of Series A-1 Preferred Stock at a price of $100 per share to Soryn HLDR. In connection with this transaction, the company will also issue to Soryn HLDR warrants to purchase two million shares of common stock at an exercise price of $3.18 per common share. 

    The post Finjan Secures $15.3 Million Series A-1 Preferred Stock Financing appeared first on IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.

    Continue Reading ...
  • Apple is Holding Companies and Innovation Hostage

    These companies are examples of potential victims of Apple’s singular focus on profit. However, what’s at stake is much larger than Apple’s bottom line. While Apple is breaking market cap records, it is systematically devaluing innovation and technology. If these bullying tactics are not kept in check, Apple’s own partners will lack the resources needed to invest in new developments and better ideas. Further, the precedent will be established that the largest technology company in the world can…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Industry Reaction to SCOTUS First Amendment Decision in Matal v. Tam

    Lauren Emerson, Baker Botts, LLP: “Today’s decision, while not surprising, is momentous, as any decision striking a longstanding legislative provision based on freedom of speech would be.  From a trademark practitioner’s perspective, Matal v. Tam is also remarkable in that it is the second decision in just over two years in which the Supreme Court specifically has taken note of the importance and value of trademark registration.   The decision has drawn additional attention as it undoubtedly…

    Continue Reading ...
  • ‘Fu ck You!’ it’s registrable in the US

    Yesterday the Supreme Court in the United States ruled that the law prohibiting the registration of offensive and disparaging trade marks is against free speech rights. This case has interesting implications for all trade mark registries, especially those in countries or regions where constitutional rights exist. It also effectively puts to bed the REDSKINS trade mark dispute in the United States.
    The case involved the attempt to register the mark SLANTS by Asian-American band member Simon Tam. It was rejected by the USPTO, the appeal court found that to be unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has now agreed. Prof Wim Alberts provides an excellent summary of facts, and the implications for the REDSKINS dispute, in this Afro-IP post here.
    Like many others Prof Alberts predicted that the US Supreme Court would find reason to disagree with the appeal court and so this decision comes as a surprise to many.
    The judges held that:
    “A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all,”
    “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought we hate,” 
    In the US, as in most countries, there are laws preventing the registration of offensive trade marks. It is not without controversy as these US cases illustrate. In South Africa, the South African registry ruled against the registration of BUM for shirts in 1970 on such grounds and the irritation of US counsel makes amusing reading. He wrote that he:
    “fear(s) very strongly for the intellectual level of (the) South Afrikaner” and describes the Registrar at the time as having “not yet climbed out of the slime in which he was spawned..”. You can read it in full here.
    Just as there would be no question that BUM would be registrable in South Africa today, one questions whether the Government, even in  contemporary South Africa, should or is able to be the purveyor of moral codes on communication. It’s as controversial as it is probably, impossible.
    My apologies for the heading but you get my point (and it’s also not as offensive as it could have been).
    Continue Reading ...
  • Cleveland Clinic Decision Highlights Catch-22 Of Personalized Medicine Patents

    The Federal Circuit decision in Cleveland Clinic Foundation v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, strikes another blow against the patent eligibility of diagnostic methods and highlights the difficulty of enforcing personalized medicine patents. The court affirmed the invalidity of claims related to a blood test for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and agreed with the district court that diagnostic…… Continue reading this entry

    Continue Reading ...
  • BEEN POSSIBLE

                            目次はこちら

    BEEN POSSIBLE

    $$ It has thus been shown that it has hitherto not been possible to produce 2,6,8,12-tetranitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaiso wurtzitane (compound…

    Continue Reading ...
  • End of Laches Might Increase Declaratory Judgement Actions

    Without laches, accused infringers might more frequently invoke declaratory judgment to clear their products and services upfront rather than tolerate a looming threat of suit for years…. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC (Mar. 21, 2017) eliminated the equitable defense of laches in patent cases.  While time will reveal the impact of the SCA decision, elimination of laches, an equitable defense against “unreasonable,…

    Continue Reading ...
  • New Papers on on FRAND, SEPs, Holdup & Holdout, Part 2

    1.  Bowman Heiden and Nicolas Petit have posted an article on ssrn titled Patent Trespass and the Royalty Gap:  Exploring the Nature and Impact of Patent HoldoutHere is a link to the paper, and here is the abstract:
    This paper studies the problem of patent holdout. Part I reviews the economic theory of holdout, with a specific emphasis on patents. It shows that the ordinary concept of holdout refers to the non-transacting conduct of a property owner, and that “patent trespass” is a better characterization for technology implementers’ attempt to evade the conclusion of licensing agreements. Part II proposes a definition and provide illustrations of patent trespass. To that end, the paper relies on the qualitative data gathered during interviews with industry stakeholders as well as on an analysis of holdout in case-law. Part III exposes the factors that determinatively make patent trespass transactional, systematic and/or systemic. Part IV records the results of of a quantitative study of patent trespass, based on the intuitions that arose from received theory and qualitative interviews as exposed in previous parts. The preliminary empirical results show a correlational link between the nature of patent trespass and the heterogeneity of market actors and markets. In particular, MNCs operating in developed markets seem to primarily deploy extensive delaying tactics with the main goal of reducing their royalty payments, while large firms in emerging markets (LFE) and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially the “long tail” of microvendors, seek to avoid payment altogether. 

    2.  Richard Li and Richard Li-dar Wang have published a paper titled Reforming and Specifying Intellectual Property Rights Policies of Standard-Setting Organizations: Towards Fair and Efficient Patent Licensing and Dispute Resolution, 2017 U. Ill. J. L. Tech. Pol’y 1.  Here is  a link to the paper, and here is the abstract:

    Standard-setting organizations (SSOs) rely on commitments to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms from standard-essential patent (SEP) holders to ensure access to standards and prevent potential anticompetitive conduct that unreasonably enforces SEPs against standard implementers. A substantial number of SEP disputes, however, have been raised unceasingly in recent years. In this Article’s research, a statistical analysis of the SEP litigation cases in the United States from 2000 to 2014 shows that the SEP disputes are closely related to the FRAND licensing terms that are required in the intellectual property rights (IPR) policies of the SSOs in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. In accordance with opinions to date from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. competition authorities, the European Commission, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, there is no per se rule that prohibits seeking injunctive relief against SEP infringement. Nonetheless, the criteria to decide whether to grant injunctive relief are different among various forums. In principle, injunctive relief should not be granted against a standard implementer who is willing to take license and is still negotiating in good faith with the SEP holder, so as to be aligned with the SEP holder’s commitment to license on FRAND terms. With regard to FRAND royalties of SEPs, a fundamental principle emerging from several court decisions on SEP royalties in the United States is that a royalty award for an SEP should only be based on the value of the patented invention, not to include the value added from the standards.

    Furthermore, through semi-structured interviews with standard-setting delegates and licensing negotiators from the ICT industry, this research finds that many existing IPR policies are too ambiguous to constrain potential anticompetitive conduct that enforces SEPs in an unreasonable way. In fact, in light of the results of the statistical survey, the case analysis, and the stakeholder interviews, it has become urgent and imperative to improve existing vague and ambiguous IPR policies. Concrete proposals for reforming IPR policies include: defining the standard essentiality clearly and using the accurate phrase “essential patent claim”; adding specific deadlines for SEP disclosure and declaration, legal effects of failing to disclose, and update obligations for material changes concerning SEPs; incorporating prerequisite conditions for seeking injunctive relief against SEP infringement; clarifying the FRAND obligation applicable to all offers of SEP royalties during licensing negotiations; identifying a series of steps or key factors for SEP royalty calculation under the FRAND obligation; and allowing reciprocal license to be a precondition for the commitment to license on FRAND terms. These proposals could substantially strengthen existing IPR policies, fix their ambiguities, and avoid potential disputes.

    Finally, this research investigates fifteen representative SSOs, examining whether their IPR policies conform to the reforming proposals, by way of which the authors further elaborate on these proposals and provide substantial suggestions on how to amend the existing policies of the representative SSOs to avoid potential disputes. Based on the statistical and qualitative analysis and the specific reforming proposals, this Article concludes that it is imperative to reform existing IPR policies to facilitate fair and efficient SEP licensing and dispute resolution, and therefore to promote competition and to ultimately benefit consumers around the world.

    3. Yang Li published a paper titled FRAND Holdup and Its Solution, 25 IIP Bulletin (2016).  Here is a link to the article, and here is the abstract:

    Although many approaches have been raised to determine and calculate the royalty of SEP with FRAND commitment, because of grossly exaggeration of the risks of patent holdup and overemphasizing limiting or eliminating the availability of injunction, in the absence of scientific and uniform standard of determining FRAND royalty, not only FRAND royalty of substantive justice is still far away, but also FRAND holdup has become a serious issue perplexing SEP holder. In order to mitigate, prevent and even eliminate FRAND holdup and to determine FRAND royalty at the meantime, FRAND-oriented towards procedural justice is perhaps a good choice. The core of FRAND-oriented towards procedural justice is to design a set of rule of Notice and Counter-Notice to stimulate SEP holder and SEP implementer to negotiate royalty in good faith and settle FRAND royalty through negotiation. In case of negotiation failure, the third independent party (court, arbitration organization) can also depend on rule of Notice and Counter-Notice to determine whether injunction is necessary and decide what’s FRAND royalty.

    I previously mentioned a version of this paper published in China Patents & Trademarks, here.  This issue of the IIP Bulletin also has an article titled Various Issues Concerning IP Litigation from the Perspective of the Legal System, which is “an English summary by the Institute of Intellectual Property based on the FY2015 JPO-commissioned research study report on the issues related to the industrial property rights system.”  There is some discussion of damages and attorneys’ fees at pp. 3-4.

    4.  Marco LoBue has posted a short write-up on the Trust in IP Blog titled High Court rules in favour of the SEP holder and narrows the scope of competition law defence in Unwired Planet vs. Huawei.  He concludes that “[w]hile some judges (i.e. the Court of Appeal of Dusseldorf in Sisvel v. Haier) apply Huawei strictly, others keep into account specific features such as the defendant’s sophistication and its countervailing buyer power. Therefore, in spite of Huawei, lack of legal certainty across different jurisdictions continues to be a concern for companies active in SEP licensing.”

    Continue Reading ...
  • Matal v Tam: Only I Can Disparage You!

    The Supreme Court has affirmed that Trademark law’s restriction on registration of disparaging marks violates the free speech provision of the US Constitution. Read it: 15-1293_1o13 Although the court’s logic is largely incomprehensible, the result is simple: the PTO will begin allowing registration of disparaging marks and will not cancel Registered marks because they are disparaging. […]

    Continue Reading ...