Sunday, June 10, 2012

U.S. District Judge Takes a Firm Stand in the Patent Arena


I have to first say bravo to U.S. District Judge Richard Posner for his intelligent stand in the patent arena. All the recent information floating around in the media, publications and web based content regarding patents would make it seem that we have a scarcity of innovation. The trivial nature of some of these patents seem more focused on hoarding what success they may have attained or extending the basking period if possible.

The patent related litigations have increased greatly over the years and according to the research available, the number of cases commenced has more that quadrupled between 1980 and 2010. The situation is getting out of control and in my opinion the only people truly benefiting are the patent related legal folks. I maybe generalizing as there is a definite need for copyrights and patents when applied to the right things and for the right reason as intended. 


An excerpt from a recent article read on the topic, Good News and Bad News on Apple's Patents by Tim Worstall made me chuckle a little the first time I read it:

In the Apple v. Google/Motorola case we’ve had Richard Posner essentially saying, once you translate it out of legalese, please, these aren’t enforceable patents, none of you have lost any money now get out of my courtroom:
A U.S. judge yesterday threw aside a much-anticipated trial between Apple and Google-owned Motorola Mobility over smartphone patents. The decision and a blog comment by the same judge could prove to be a watershed moment for a U.S. patent system that has spiraled out of control.
In his remarkable ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner stated that there was no point in holding a trial because it was apparent that neither side could show they had been harmed by the other’s patent infringement. He said he was inclined to dismiss the case with prejudice — meaning the parties can’t come back to fight over the same patents — and that he would enter a more formal opinion confirming this next week.
Finally someone is taking a positive and intelligent stand against this growing litigation crazy movement which seems more of a "tit for tat" competitive attack rather than what the patent protection process was intended for.

The concept of proportionality has to be a driving consideration as the true financial impact of the infringement(s) in many of the cases I have read never seem to have direct correlation to the remedy demanded. A lot of hypotheticals and series of situational circumstances within which they strongly feel they could be impacted.

Stop the weenie tactics and start focusing again on innovating, leading, competing and growing!

Source articles if your interested:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/06/09/good-news-and-bad-news-on-apples-patents/
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405524,00.asp
http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2011/08/02/patent-litigation-statistics-1980-2010/id=17995/

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