Saturday, August 27, 2011

EFF sponsor boot camp for app developers to handle patent trolls; the Lodsys litigation; Perry's "tort reform"

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is settling up a “Virtual Boot Camp for App Developers” called “Patent Trolls and You”, link (website url) here (post by Julie Samuels).  It gives  a link to a complicated series of litigation against Apple developers by a company called Lodsys, which has somewhat become the Righthaven of the patent world, with a similar “business model”.

It’s interesting that a lot of the litigation is in plaintiff-friendly Texas, when Gov. Rick Perry, a likely front runner for the GOP nomination for president in 2012, brags about his efforts in tort reform in his state. This matter does not support his claims. 

Update: Aug. 29

On Piers Morgan, guest Mark Cuban recommended doing away with software patents. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

New patent litigation challenges "one party rule", could affect ordinary web hosts

Julie Samuels of Electronic Frontier Foundation has an important story Aug. 10 about patent reform, specifically, challenges to the traditional “one party” rule in patent law, link here. The rule has been that only one party could be sued for infringement in a multi-step process.  But in Akamai Tech. v. Limelight, there is an attempt by a plaintiff to claim separate infringements for (1) storing content on a server and (2) tagging remote content.  The case is before the Washington DC Circuit.  The case could conceivably affect “consumers” or ordinary web users who purchase shared hosting services.  The author also gives examples from Medicine. 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Obama mentions patent reform in relation to debt ceiling

In his speech about signing the debt ceiling bill Tuesday, President Obama mentioned the need for patent reform, a remark that sounded curiously off-topic.

He may have been referring to excessive patent right “abuse” that drives up the cost of prescription drugs, especially for seniors and therefore for Medicare Part D.

However, as noted here before, some advocacy groups like Electronic Frontier Foundation, have criticized current patent law as potentially anti-competitive, making it too easy to get questionable patents to discourage others to try innovation.  

Monday, August 01, 2011

Social media requirements to use "real names" need to recognized trademark significance of names to some artists

Recently (July 28), I reported on my “BillBoushka” blog requirements by Facebook and Google-Plus that user accounts be set up with “real names”, whether legally given or commonly known.

I think that service providers should realize that some artists and others use “nicknames” as legally recognized trademarks for business activity. Service providers who want members to work only in identified (not anonymous) environments should provide, on profile panels, places to enter legal names, nicknames, and trademark and pen names, so that visitors can check and not become confused.  But some providers do not provide enough buckets for all of this information.