The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments recently in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank - a case having to do with the eligibility of software for patent protection. According to Reuters, the justices did not indicate they would set radical new guidelines. This assumption comes from the character of the questions the justices asked during an hour-long oral argument. Tech companies are watching this case with particular interest.
Microsoft and Dell announced on March 28 that they have entered a patent licensing agreement that will allow the firms to "build on each other's innovations." The companies chose not to reveal much detail, but mentioned Android, Chrome OS and Xbox products, according to The Next Web.
Tokyo District Court Judge Koji Hasegawa ruled Apple's iPhone 4S, 4 and iPad 2 did not represent infringements on a data communications patent Samsung holds, according to Bloomberg. Samsung, a Korea-based company, had claimed those particular devices infringed its intellectual property. Samsung had requested Apple pay damages if it were found to be involved in intellectual property violation.
Representatives of indigenous peoples from around the world spoke at a meeting at the World Intellectual Property Organization recently. The theme of the panel was "Intellectual property, Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions: Indigenous Peoples' 'right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property' under Article 31 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), the largest oil refiner in Asia, denied infringing the intellectual property of Ineos after the Swiss chemicals company brought Sinopec to court in Beijing, according to The Guardian.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, recently introduced a bill meant to improve the U.S. Department of Energy's technology transfer process, according to Albuquerque Business First.
Pennsylvania State University will become the first university in America to auction off its intellectual property directly, according to Penn Live. The university announced early in March that it will auction off exclusive licenses to intellectual property of various kinds to companies interested in acquiring them. The first auction will run from March 31 to April 11, and companies will have their choice of several patents from Penn State's College of Engineering.
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. announced it will appeal a ruling that invalidated a patent extension related to its osteoarthritis drug Celebrex. This ruling could influence Pfizer's current lawsuit against generic drug companies that plan to create a generic version of the medicine to begin selling at the end of May, when Pfizer's original patent expires.
An Imperial Tobacco Group Plc unit is suing a Lorillard Inc. subsidiary, NJOY Inc., Vapor Corp. and eight other manufacturers of electronic cigarettes in the U.S., claiming they infringed the group's intellectual property. Fontem Ventures BV, the unit of Imperial Tobacco Group in question, filed nine patent lawsuits in federal court in California recently, asking the court to rule its patents were valid and for defendants to pay damages, according to Bloomberg.
Russia founded an Intellectual Property Rights Court in July 2013, and since that time 2,000 cases have been filed. Of those, 1,000 cases have been brought to a conclusion, according to The Moscow Times.
Twitter's yearly 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the company spent about $36 million on its purchase of nearly 1,000 patents from IBM to avoid legal difficulties, according to The Register. In January, news of this deal was released, but financial terms were not disclosed. This price means Twitter spent around $40,000 per IBM patent to avoid intellectual property litigation and other possible issues.
A quick scan through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram instantly reveals the modern social infatuation with photographing food and meals. Users are particularly likely to show off food they've made themselves or a meal that impressed them at a restaurant. This latter case actually raises questions of intellectual property, according to The Guardian.
Ahmed Al Saidy, director of the Intellectual Property Rights Department of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, remarked his department plans to appoint inspectors to supervise the enforcement of laws around intellectual property rights, according to Zawya.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative recently removed Israel from the Special 301 Report Watch List, where it had been since 2005, according to The Jerusalem Post. The listing was due to the country's patent laws, largely relating to pharmaceuticals. Teva, which is the largest company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is the world's biggest manufacturer of generic drugs.
China's State Intellectual Property Office rejected Apple's request to invalidate a Shanghai-based company's patent that Apple claimed was too similar to its own voice-driven Siri technology. Apple then sued the State Intellectual Property Office and Zhizhen Network Technology, the firm that owns a voice recognition software called "Xiao i." A Beijing Intermediate People's Court heard the case on Feb. 27. The hearing, which lasted over five hours, didn't lead to a decision by the court, according to ZDNet.