The USPTO was not impressed. In March, an examiner noted that a re-drawn diagram of Waymo’s lidar firing circuit showed current passing along a wire between the circuit and the ground in two directions—something generally deemed impossible. “Patent owner’s expert testimony is not convincing to show that the path even goes to ground in view of the magic ground wire, which shows current moving in two directions along a single wire,” noted the examiners dryly.
Source: Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology | Ars Technica
Self-driving startups should not take this legal confusion as carte blanche to use the lidar technology described in Waymo’s and Velodyne’s patents, warns Brian Love, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law. “There’s a joke among patent lawyers that a final rejection is anything but final, because owners still have options even after a final rejection,” he tells Ars. “And to get an award in a patent action, you only have to show infringement of one claim in one patent. The fact that there’s even one claim left in Waymo’s patent means there’s one shot for arguing that someone infringes that claim.”
In 2018, streaming companies know with precision how many people are listening to what song. Databases of artists and how much they’re being owed are being updated regularly. And yet, in this unprecedented age of information and automation, it’s only become more difficult and more complicated to get money to the people who are owed it. Everywhere else the digital revolution is supposed to be streamlining old processes; when it comes to music, the logistics have only gotten more convoluted.
Source: A $1.6 billion Spotify lawsuit is based on a law made for player pianos – The Verge
The justices sided 8-0 with beverage flavoring company TC Heartland in its legal battle with food and beverage company Kraft Heinz, ruling that patent infringement suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated. Justice Neil Gorsuch did not participate in the decision.
Source: Supreme Court Overturns Patent Ruling in Blow Against Trolls | Fortune.com
There’s no social value here. There’s no support for a maligned inventor. There’s no competing business or product. There’s no validation of an incentive structure that supports innovation. This is a shakedown where a patent troll, Blackbird Technologies, creates as much nuisance as it can so its attorney-principals can try to grab some cash.
Source: Standing Up to a Dangerous New Breed of Patent Troll
Cloudflare does not intend to play along. As explained later in this blog post, we plan to (i) contest the patent lawsuit vigorously, (ii) fund an award for a crowdsourced search for prior art that can be used to invalidate Blackbird patents, and (iii) ask the relevant bar associations to investigate what we consider to be violations of the rules of professional conduct by Blackbird and its attorneys.
If law firms think they may be forced to pay defendants’ enormous legal bills, it could undermine the entire business model of patent trolls.
Source: A potentially fatal blow against patent trolls
Patent trolls directly threaten the industry of ideas. They dilute the value of legitimate patents while making honorable companies suspicious of legitimate patent complaints. This was never what patents were all about. They were designed to protect inventors who came up with truly innovative ways of doing things.
While Rightscorp was expected to make the most of BMG’s victory in its future dealings with ISPs, the level of aggression in its announcement still comes as a surprise. Essentially putting every provider in the country on notice, Rightscorp warns that ISPs will now have to cooperate or face the wrath of litigious rightsholders.
Source: Rightscorp Threatens Every ISP in the United States – TorrentFreak
Whether this week’s developments will help to pull Rightscorp out of the financial doldrums will remain to be seen. The company has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for a couple of years now, and its shares on Wednesday were worth just $0.038 each. Following the BMG news, they peaked at $0.044.
We believe that with rare exceptions consumers and businesses have a right to know when the government accesses their emails or records. Yet it’s becoming routine for the U.S. government to issue orders that require email providers to keep these types of legal demands secret. We believe that this goes too far and we are asking the courts to address the situation.
Source: Keeping secrecy the exception, not the rule: An issue for both consumers and businesses – Microsoft on the Issues
We believe these actions violate two of the fundamental rights that have been part of this country since its founding. These lengthy and even permanent secrecy orders violate the Fourth Amendment, which gives people and businesses the right to know if the government searches or seizes their property. They also violate the First Amendment, which guarantees our right to talk to customers about how government action is affecting their data.
It also used to include useful photos of each statue. Not any more. The Supreme Court of Sweden has ruled that it is illegal to provide free access to a database of art photographs without the artists’ consent. Therefore Offentlig Konst can no longer show you a picture of a work of art, even when the artwork is in public ownership, on public display and sited in a public area,
Source: Maps Mania: The Illegal Map of Swedish Art
“We just don’t believe Rosewill’s products and customers infringed on valid patent claims,” said Cheng. “Minero’s case does not have merit, and its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn’t expired. Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it.”
Source: Newegg sues patent troll that dropped its case | Ars Technica
AMD is facing a lawsuit over claims that it misrepresented the core counts of its eight-core Bulldozer products, but the lawsuit’s technical merit seems extremely weak.
Source: AMD lawsuit over false Bulldozer chip marketing is bogus | ExtremeTech
This lawsuit essentially asks a court to define what a core is and how companies should count them. As annoying as it is to see vendors occasionally abuse core counts in the name of dubious marketing strategies, asking a courtroom to make declarations about relative performance between companies is a cure far worse than the disease. From big iron enterprise markets to mobile devices, companies deploy vastly different architectures to solve different types of problems.