Acceleration Bay LLC has sued Activision Blizzard Inc. claiming that two of the company's biggest franchises violate six of the patents it holds (Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-00228-UNA). We do not have access to the filings or exhibits as of this writing. Acceleration Bay appears to a patent holding company and does not produce any products or services with these patents, according to what we found on its web site. Activision Blizzard has not issued a public statement about the case.
Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve the appointment of former Google patent chief Michelle Lee to the position of director at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She still needs the approval of the full Senate.
While previous directors have come from the tech sector (David Kappos was a top lawyer at IBM before taking the position), Lee is an interesting pick because of her strong and very public stance against patent trolls and her work at an Internet-focused company.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a new white paper today offering proposals on how to fix the broken U.S. patent system. The first half of the white paper, "Defend Innovation," is based on "two-and-a-half years worth of research, drawing from the stories, expertise, and ideas of more than 16,500 people who agree that the current patent system is broken," according to the EFF.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has named U.S. Patent 8,529,350 January’s "Stupid Patent of the Month." You may recall our story from earlier this month in which White Knuckle (the patent holder) sued Electronic Arts over the patent which relates to "remotely updating a sports video game based on real-world events." The company says that several of EA's sports titles including Tiger Woods PGA Tour and its NCAA titles infringe on the patent.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Wednesday that it should invalidate the key claims of patents used by Personal Audio to sue podcasters. You may know Personal Audio best for its fight with comedian Adam Carolla, who the company messed with and then quietly settled out of court.
This is an alarming trend: two major technology companies have settled with Rockstar (no, not the makers of Grand Theft Auto - another company named Rockstar). In 2011 Rockstar (a patent holding company financed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony) bought up thousands of Nortel Network Corp patents for $4.5 billion.
The company then went about filing lawsuits against some pretty big players including Cisco and Google, among others.
A new report published today by Unified Patents shows a decline in patent lawsuits following this summer's US Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. While it is hard to pin the decline directly on the decision in Alice v. CLS Bank, the evidence shows an anecdotal connection to it in the third quarter of 2014.
A San Jose, California jury ruled that Apple's products do not infringe two patents owned by GPNE Corp., a patent-holding company that has licensed its patents to more than 20 other large firms. According Ars Technica, the jury ruled that two patents, numbered 7,570,954 and 7,792,492, were valid but Apple didn't violate them.
Multiplayer Network Innovations, LLC has added Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Tecmo Koei Games Co., Ltd., Iron Galaxy Studios, LLC, Tencent Holdings Limited, and Tencent America to its growing list of court room combatants in multiple lawsuits claiming that these companies violate an abstract patent for "Interactive Multiple Player Game System and Method of Playing a Game Between at Least Two Players," or "MNI."
The United States District Court for the Central District of California has invalidated the patent claims of McRO, Inc. (d.b.a. Planet Blue) against Activision and other parties in the video games industry. The two patents invalidated by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu concerned processes for "automatically animating lip synchronization and facial expressions of 3D characters."
Another day, another patent case tossed out on its ear thanks to the Supreme Court ruling on Alice v. CLS. This time out it's Lumen View Technology, who had its case against Santa Barbara-based startup FindTheBest thrown out. At first the company approached FindTheBest asking it to pay a settlement of $50,000 for a "do it on a computer" patent related to data matchmaking.
The US Supreme Court's June 26 decision in Alice v. CLS Bank is having a profound effect on computer-related patent fights; the federal courts have already invalidated 11 "do-it-on-a-computer" related patents since that ruling, according to this Ars Technica report.
Capcom is suing fellow Japanese developer and publisher Koei Tecmo for allegedly infringing on a number of its patents, according to a Sankei report translated by Siliconera. The patents relate to letting players in a new game import or unlock content from an older title and the use of a controller vibration to alert players of nearby enemies.
In a joint announcement Apple and Samsung have agreed to halt all legal cases against each other outside the United States. The two companies have been suing each other around the world over a range of patent disputes in nine countries outside the U.S., including the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Germany, etc. In the joint statement the companies said that the agreement "does not involve any licensing arrangements," and that they would continue to pursue existing cases in U.S. courts.
Two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court gave a crushing blow to supposed patent trolls with last month's ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank, Samsung is trying to use that same ruling to knock out two claims by Apple in its long running feud over mobile device patents. The Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank basically said that lower courts should be throwing out more cases that involve patents that are too abstract in nature to be legally valid.
The White House has backed away from its pick to head the United States Patent and Trademark Office after very vocal opposition from the tech sector in the United States. Two weeks ago Philip Johnson, the top intellectual property lawyer at Johnson & Johnson, was set to be named the next director of the patent office, according to multiple reports.
The White House will tap a top pharmaceutical industry lawyer to be the next head of the US Patent and Trademark Office, according to Ars Technica. This is of particular interest because Philip Johnson, the head of intellectual property at Johnson & Johnson, is best known as a long-time opponent of reforming patent laws.
While a new Supreme Court decision may cut down the number of valid software patents, experts generally agree that it will not eliminate them altogether. The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a patent related to a centuries-old financial concept was invalid because it was an abstract idea, even when the concept is implemented through a computer system.
A federal appeals court has dismissed a patent infringement claim against Nintendo's Wii Remote controller filed by Triton Tech in 2010. The lawsuit was first filed by Triton Tech in 2010, but was dismissed by a Seattle district court judge because the patent "did not adequately describe a complete invention." The judge rendered the patent invalid. But Triton decided to appeal the decision in the federal appeals court. The Appeals court upheld the lower court ruling on June 13.
Nintendo has won a patent infringement lawsuit filed back in 2009 by Wall Wireless LLC concerning the DS and DSi handheld gaming systems. In February of 2009, Texas-based Wall Wireless LLC sued Nintendo claiming that its DS and DSi handhelds violated a patent it held related to wireless communication technology.
Electronics manufacturer Philips claims that the Wii U infringes several of the company's patents and is seeking to have the system banned from being sold in the United States. Philips claims that Nintendo copied technologies that replicate a "user's real-life actions in-game" and that it uses a patent related to "user interfaces designed to be navigated by a pointing device" (such as a Wii Remote).
Nintendo is involved in another lawsuit with a familiar adversary, this time over a Wii U patent violation claim. Nintendo Co. Ltd, Nintendo of America and other companies are being accused of patent infringement by a company called Secure Axcess, LLC.
That company claims that its patent issued on February 18, 2003 for "a computer providing multiple display capability where one display presents the current document and another display may show a true display of a previously opened document," was infringed upon by Nintendo.
Patent licensing company Marathon Patent Group's wholly-owned subsidiary CRFD Research Inc. has filed five separate patent infringement lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against TV and movie streaming services Hulu Netflix and Amazon (we assume for Prime); music streaming service Spotify; and Verizon.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reign in overbroad patents and "clean up the mess that is software patent law" in an amicus filed last Thursday. The EFF's amicus brief was related to a case the court is set to hear: the long-running Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. The case is over a patented computer system that helps close financial transaction by avoiding settlement risk.
A German court has dismissed two cases - one against Apple and another filed against HTC - by patent-assertion entity IPCom. The court rejected the company's assertions in both cases that its 3G/UMTS cellular standard patent was violated. The company was asking the court to award it $2.2 billion in its case against Apple.
The decision comes on the heels of a letter sent to the EU signed by Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and other tech companies deriding entities like IPCom, whose only business is to file lawsuits against other companies and extract settlements.
The Obama Administration held a press conference today detailing how it wants to reform the U.S. patent system, with one key ingredient being crowd-sourcing. Michelle Lee, director of the Silicon Valley branch of the US Patent and Trademark Office, was one of the key speakers at a White House patent event today.
Nintendo announced today that it has prevailed in a patent infringement case at the International Trade Commission brought by Technology Properties Limited LLC, Phoenix Digital Solutions LLC and Patriot Scientific Corporation. All three of the plaintiffs in the case are patent-licensing companies (companies who hold rights to patents, but do not actually use them to produce products or services). The commission sided with Nintendo, ruling that that the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DSi systems do not infringe the companies' patents.