Friday, June 29, 2007

Patent Lawsuits that Can Change Lansdcapes

"Lawsuits: it's the way corporations talk to each other." Intellectual Property litigation is growing. Hey, it's the new business plan. Here are some significant cases:
  1. There was the Blackberry patent suit won by NTP that forever wounded RIM. I wouldn't doubt if Microsoft instigated or funded it. It came right at the time that the MS Mobile OS & devices were ready to launch. RIM should have just setlled to keep its market share. It ended up paying almost $700M any way -- and lost market share.
  2. Qualcomm vs. Broadcom - Broadcom won this suit. No new phones using the infringed tech from Qualcomm can be introduced in the US. Just as the iPhone is launching Sprint and VZW don't have anything new.
  3. Obviously: Case # 1:06-cv-00682-CMH-BRP, Verizon vs. Vonage over VoIP including VoIP over Wi-fi (which could effect ELN).
  4. Sprint vs Vonage. Sprint originally sued Vonage, Voiceglo and theglobe over 7 VoIP patents in 2005. Voiceglo and its parent settled with Sprint in August 2006. Vonage's trial is set for September, 2007 (if it can survive the VZ litigation). Many agree that it will result in a sale of Vonage to Sprint.
  5. Australia's CSIRO vs. Buffalo Tech & Wi-Fi: "wireless-LAN equipment vendor Buffalo Technology in its patent fight with the Australian science agency CSIRO, could have broad implications for the entire Wi-Fi industry. Judge Leonard Davis of the Eastern District Court of Texas found that Buffalo was violating CSIRO's 1996 patent underlying 802.11a/g technology - the core of all corporate wireless LANs and public Wi-Fi networks - and that the Japanese manufacturer, which has a US subsidiary based in Austin, Texas, must cease selling WLAN products until it reaches a license agreement with CSIRO. Recognising that the CSIRO patent poses a universal threat to makers of Wi-Fi gear, a group of major tech companies that includes Intel, Dell and Hewlett-Packard filed countersuits in May 2005, seeking to have the CSIRO patent invalidated." [source and more here]
  6. Taplin & Intertainer on Video Distribution over the Net
  7. Bluetooth patent - U of Washington sued Nokia, Samsung and Panasonic for allegedly selling Bluetooth products in the United States without licenses. U of W must have read this article for colleges.
  8. Finisar satellite patent over DTV and now XM-Sirius (here)
  9. VoIP Inc. has filed for a 911 patent; so has 8x8 (a VoIP patent house that also sells Packet8 VoIP service) and Tel Control Inc. VoIP Inc. has indicated that it would begin enforcing its patents -- I figure 8x8 is doing the same.
  10. I'm no lawyer but all the blog noise about the new KSR Obvious test will mean something in patent litigation going forward.

If you want to keep up with patent stuff, you can read ReThinkIP or the 271 Blog. You can also search Google at

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