Report: Johnson Out as Pick to Head USPTO

July 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Apple's Motion to Stay Denied in App Store Patent Infringement Case

July 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A federal judge refused to stay patent-infringement claims by Smartflash regarding Apple's Store Kit Framework, which developers use to create apps.

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Report: White House Choosing Anti-Patent Reformer for USPTO Top Post

June 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Supreme Court Decision Questions the Validity of Some Computer and Software Patents

June 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Nintendo Wins Patent Infringement Lawsuit Appeal

June 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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An Interesting Response to an 'Invitation to License Patents'

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The CEO of Life360, a startup that has created a family-and-friends location service with more than 33 million registered families and a freshly secured $50 million in new financing, has taken an interesting approach to a particular patent holder.

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Nintendo Wins Patent Lawsuit Against Wall Wireless

May 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Philips Seeks Wii U Sales Ban Over Alleged Wii U Patent Infringement

May 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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).

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Company Claims Nintendo Infringing on Patent With Wii U

April 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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CRFD Research Files Patent Infringement Lawsuits Against Netflix, Verizon, and More

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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EFF Urges SCOTUS to Clean Up Software Patent Law in Amicus Brief

March 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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IPCom's Patent Infringement Cases Against Apple, HTC Dismissed by German Court

February 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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White House Lays Out Ideas to Reform Patent System

February 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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International Trade Commission Sides With Nintendo in 3DS Patent Infringement Case

February 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Cisco Jumps Into The Fray: Fights Rockstar Consortium Patent Lawsuits

February 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Cisco Systems is taking on the role of a white knight in fighting a patent house jointly owned by some of the biggest names in tech including Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony. Cisco is fighting on behalf of its customers who have been sued by the company - Rockstar Consortium - for violating patents it purchased from Nortel.

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Nintendo Secures IA Labs Patents in Sherriff's Sale

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Nintendo has acquired the patents of IA Labs following a legal victory in court over the company related to patents - but the company secured them outside a courtroom, sort of. Nintendo announced that it secured the patents officially on January 7, during a sheriff's sale in Montgomery County, Maryland. The company sued Nintendo in 2010, claiming that it violated several of its patents in Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. Nintendo successfully defended against the lawsuit and obtained judgment in its favor in February 2012.

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Google Wants Change of Venue in Rockstar Consortium Patent Fight

December 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Rockstar Consortium (partly owned by Apple and Microsoft), a patent-holding company formed from the bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel, sued Google and manufacturers of Android phones over patents almost two months ago. Earlier this week Google punched back at the company, filing a counter-suit seeking to invalidate Rockstar's patents. That's a normal step for a defendant in a patent lawsuit, but Google didn't file its counter-claim in the East Texas court where Rockstar sued them. Instead it filed in Northern California.

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Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. Inches Towards Funding Goal

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The IndieGoGo campaign for Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. has managed to raise $2,547 of its $17,500 goal, with 26 more days to go. Launched last week, Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. seeks to raise funds to closely examine a patent owned by Treehouse Avatar Technologies to see if there is any evidence that the invention existed prior to the patent application. Their ultimate goal is to render the patent invalid.

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Operation Ninja S.T.A.R. Seeks Funding to Invalidate Treehouse Avatar Patent

December 10, 2013 - James Fudge

Inspired by the software patent trolling efforts of patent house Treehouse Avatar Technologies, a new IndieGoGo campaign launched today seeks to raise funds for a project that will ultimately help the little guy. The project is called Operation Ninja S.T.A.R., and seeks to raise $17,500 to closely examine a patent owned by Treehouse Avatar Technologies to see if there is any evidence that the invention existed prior to the patent application. Their ultimate goal is to render the patent invalid.

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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Software Patent Case

December 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On Friday the Supreme Court announced that it will take on a case that will examine the validity of software patents. The court will hear Alice v. CLS Bank, which will attempt to answer the question of whether so-called software patents are impermissibly abstract. In May of this year a divided federal court was deadlocked on the case, with five judges voting to strike down patent claims to a "computer system programmed to implement a financial transaction," and five judges ruling to uphold the claims.

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EFF Applauds Passage of The Innovation Act in the House

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement today praising the House of Representatives passing a bill to deal with patent trolling. The bill, the Innovation Act, was supported by a majority of House members, winning passage by a vote of 323-89. All that's left is for the Senate to take up the bill, which it plans to do before the end of the year.

While the EFF applauds the House's efforts, it also notes that the Innovation Act is by no means a perfect bill:

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Turbine Settles Lawsuit with Treehouse Avatar Technologies

November 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

We have learned two things this week about Treehouse Avatar Technologies. Inc.: first, they are owned by a publicly traded Canadian company called - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN, NASDAQ:WILN) and that the company has settled its lawsuit with Turbine. Apparently rather than fighting the accusations that Turbine violated its software patents the makers of D&D Online and The Lord of the Rings Online have opted to enter into a licensing agreement with the firm.

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Senator Wants to See an End to Patent Trolling Demand Letters

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) convened a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee this week, with the goal of ending the practice by patent trolls using demand letters to extort funds from individuals and companies, according to a lengthy report in Ars Technica. The meeting brings four key personalities in patent reform to Capitol Hill to pick their brains on how to go about accomplishing such a lofty goal.

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Obama Administration Upholds Samsung Device Ban

October 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Obama administration could have overturned a patent ruling that will keep some Samsung devices out of the country, but it has declined to do so, according to The Hill. Earlier this year the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) ruled that some of Samsung's devices violated patents held by Apple. It was a ruling that the Obama administration had the authority to reverse, but U.S.

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Activision Blizzard Sues Worlds, Inc. for Patent Infringement

October 7, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In what can only be described as ironic, Activision Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Worlds, Inc. for patent infringement. In its lawsuit, the World of Warcraft maker says that Worlds, Inc. has violated two of its patents that relate to navigating a 3D space and the interaction of objects with a 3D space. The irony is that Worlds, Inc. sued NCSoft - a lawsuit the two companies settled in April of 2010 - related to scalable chat systems and another one related to interacting in a virtual space.

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Tech Companies Battle Over Patent Protection Expansion Bills

September 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Two factions of tech companies are in a battle with lawmakers over current legislative efforts to allow the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) to examine more closely the validity of patents at the center of lawsuits between several tech companies.

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New Zealand Bans Software Patents

August 29, 2013 - James Fudge

Software developers and patent trolls take note: the New Zealand government has passed a law that essentially makes the practice of patenting software illegal and unenforceable in the region. The law, which was under consideration and amended several times over the last five years, repeals and replaces the Patents Act 1953, which was based on the United Kingdom Patents Act 1949.

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Tropico 4 Developer Targeted by Treehouse Avatar Technologies

July 19, 2013 -

Kalypso Media USA has confirmed with GamePolitics that Haemimont Games has received a letter from the law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies. Haemimont Studios received a letter on July 1 related to its Prohibition-era mob-themed action strategy game Omerta - City of Gangsters and how "it could be" violating Treehouse's 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858), "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices."

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Veteran MUD Developer Iron Realms Entertainment Receives Letter from Treehouse

July 18, 2013 -

GamePolitics has learned that another independent game developer received a letter on July 1 from the law firm (David, Littenberg, Krumholz, & Mentlik) representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies' 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858) "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices." MUD and MMORPG maker Iron Realms Entertainment received a letter at the beginning of this month similar to the letters we have already reported on concerning this particular 858 pat

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EFF and 50 Organizations Urge Congress to Reform the Patent System

July 17, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 50 organizations have sent a letter to U.S. lawmakers in both houses of Congress urging them to reform the patent system. The appeal urges Congress to deal with "abuses of the legal system by certain patent assertion entities, commonly referred to as patent trolls."

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Poll

Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

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james_fudgePlease use the comments section for bitching about specific articles :) We do read them, after all.07/23/2014 - 10:52am
Andrew EisenThat's unfair but thank you for the tip on the Reddit thread containing the Kickstarter message to backers. The article has been updated.07/23/2014 - 10:50am
SleakerHere's the message Areal backers recieved from Kickstarter: http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/2beqlc/areal_kickstarter_suspended/07/23/2014 - 8:52am
Sleaker@MW - I still think Cogent/Level3 hookups were lacking prior to the comcast switch, but I do think verizon is being dumb here.07/23/2014 - 12:06am
Andrew EisenOf course it's a question. It's got a question mark and everything!07/22/2014 - 6:43pm
Matthew WilsonHate to say it, but that poll is not even a question. there is too much evidence that points to Verizon. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/186576-verizon-caught-throttling-netflix-traffic-even-after-its-pays-for-more-bandwidth07/22/2014 - 6:23pm
Andrew EisenHuh. The new Battlefield has been delayed to early next year. Are you feeling okay, EA? http://blogs.battlefield.com/2014/07/bfh-will-launch-2015/07/22/2014 - 6:11pm
SleakerWest End Games - Areal developers just got their Kickstarter suspended. Might want to dump that 'fully funded' status.07/22/2014 - 12:08pm
MaskedPixelanteHas anyone who bought it gotten their Sims 2 Ultimate Edition upgrade yet? Still waiting on mine, especially since they're supposed to be out by today.07/22/2014 - 10:45am
IanCDynasty Warriors 8 for the PS4 finally has the option to turn off the OTT depth of field that made the game look like a blurry mess. Only a few months behind the JP version patch...07/22/2014 - 10:17am
NeenekoI see nothing in Section 111 that would exclude IP transmission. It even explicitly includes 'other transmission methods'07/22/2014 - 9:28am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/07/19/ruling_aereo_is_not_a_cable_company07/22/2014 - 8:13am
ZippyDSMleelul what?07/22/2014 - 7:53am
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/07/bungie-cross-generation-destiny-wouldnt-be-fair-to-low-res-players/07/22/2014 - 7:53am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/22/wii-u-update-adds-system-to-system-transfers/ The latest Wii U update allows you to do the system transfer between two Wii Us. Still not true accounts, but getting there.07/22/2014 - 7:39am
Papa MidnightSpeculation from PC Gamer. Don't hold your breath. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/21/microsoft-job-listing-says-nice-things-about-pc-gaming-isnt-clear-if-it-means-them/07/21/2014 - 5:58pm
MaskedPixelanteI dunno, it's probably Vevo powertripping.07/21/2014 - 5:52pm
Andrew EisenMP - Makes you wonder what the intention behind the removal was. Stop the RickRolls? Yeah, like removing that one video is going to make a difference.07/21/2014 - 3:27pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.billboard.com/articles/business/digital-and-mobile/6165313/youtube-blocks-original-rickroll-video Moment of silence, the original Rickroll video has been blocked in many regions.07/20/2014 - 3:53pm
 

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