Less than a week after Windows 8 was released to the public, patent infringement claims are swirling around one of its central features. Operating system technology designer SurfCast has filed a U.S. District Court complaint alleging that the Live Tiles display seen on Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices makes use of elements covered in a patent awarded to the firm in 2004.
Pandora, Clear Channel and nearly a dozen more internet radio companies and trade associations have formed the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition to express their support for two landmarks bills currently being floated in Congress. The reforms are intended to promote a more equitable and technologically savvy royalty management framework, but some are wondering whose interests would truly be served under the proposed legislation.
The America Invents Act was signed into law in September 2011. One of its most significant provisions is the change from granting U.S. patents to the “first to invent” to granting them to the “first inventor to file.” This change becomes effective for patents filed on or after March 16, 2013. In a March 12, 2012 piece published in Fast Company, John Villasenor points to some benefits to be gained from continuing to file patent applications right now.
Intellectual property theft has gained mainstream attention in recent months, even sparking discussion in the latest round of presidential debates. While foreign adversaries and opportunistic cybercriminals attract the eyes of law enforcement agencies and concerned business managers, researchers from Verizon have suggested that disgruntled employees could pose a more immediate threat to intellectual property portfolios.
The economic realities that have, at times, placed NASA's funding levels in question have also inspired the agency to more proactively explore partnerships outside of the traditional government ecosystem. In one such example from earlier in the week, officials announced the award of 10 separate grants, worth approximately $250,000 each, to university-led research proposals regarding early-stage space technologies.
Samsung may have scored an important victory in the smartphone patent wars this week after a Dutch court dismissed claims that the South Korean mobile device manufacturer had infringed upon Apple's touchscreen technology. However, the American tech giant insisted that the ruling could soon be overshadowed by the result of a Department of Justice-led investigation into Samsung's patent licensing tactics.
The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) will reportedly roll out its long-awaited Copyright Alert System (CAS) within the next few weeks. This new protocol will streamline communications between media publishers and internet service providers to identify infringing content posted online and deter illegal downloads.
Edublogs, a website that supports approximately 1.45 million student- and teacher-created blogs, recently received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice in regard to a mental health questionnaire that was posted without proper permission. Even though the content was only published on a single site, and was promptly taken down upon request, a series of miscommunications led to all 1.45 million blogs being taken offline by their web hosting provider.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) was founded in 2007 and assured $3 billion of state funding over the next 10 years. Since 2009, the organization trails only the National Institutes of Health as the nation's largest distributor of cancer research grants. However, several prominent scientists have resigned from their positions at CPRIT and have suggested the agency may be perverting its scientific mission and focusing too heavily on the commercialization of medical innovations.
Later this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal regarding the first-sale doctrine of copyright law as it applies to college textbooks. However, museums and art institutions may have the most riding on the court's decision.
The pharmaceutical sector is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions, but a continued consolidation of the marketplace could have adverse effects for consumers. These issues took center stage earlier in the week as the Federal Trade Commission worked with four pharmaceutical companies to settle charges that a proposed acquisition may be anticompetitive.
Magnolia Solar, a pioneer in the development of affordable solar cells, recently received its second $750,000 award from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to help apply its proprietary technologies toward deep space exploration. According to Mass High Tech, the goal of the grant is to foster the creation of solar cells that are 20 percent more efficient than current state-of-the-art designs.
The U.S. patent system has had no shortage of detractors in recent months, with several supposed experts painting a direct correlation between high-tech infringement cases and market stagnation. However, several industry veterans believe the facts support the thesis that intellectual property management fuels innovation rather than restricts it.
Bridging the gap between a promising idea and a patented product can be an exciting time for any first-time inventor. But, as with any business venture, it is important to choose partners wisely. As Palo Alto Software founder and intellectual property advisor Tim Berry explained in a recent guest post for Business Insider, aspiring applicants could quickly find themselves swimming in "shark-filled waters."
If there were any lingering doubts as to the gravity of patent controversies currently circulating Silicon Valley, one only needs to consider the audience that is now hearing the debates. Delegates from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel and Motorola were all summoned to Geneva this week for a roundtable discussion hosted by the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The 50th session of the Assemblies of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states is taking place in Geneva this week, gathering delegates from 185 countries to discuss and resolve several pressing issues. So far at this year's conference, member states have already made important breakthroughs regarding the distribution of copyrighted works to visually impaired audiences and renewed their commitment to the development of simplified industrial design registration procedures.
The America Invents Act has fundamentally changed how inventors obtain, protest and defend patents. But, as the March 2013 implementation deadline comes into view, some are wondering if the small business community will realize the anticipated benefits of the legislative reforms.
IT departments have become more involved in collaborative endeavors in recent years as their business-side colleagues recognize the role of innovation in neutralizing the effects of recession. According to PC Advisor, this is leading many chief information officers on a path to the patent office as business directors demand protection for their companies' IT breakthroughs.
The Google Library Project came up against stiff opposition in 2005, when the Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit protesting the inclusion of its members' works in the search giant's digital catalogue. The seven-year saga came to an end this week as the two parties came to an agreement which will allow publishers to independently decide whether or not to include their content in Google's eBook initiatives.
The green technology sector continues to be among the most innovative segments of the American economy. But as more companies try to associate environmentally-friendly properties with their products and services, USPTO officials are shining a brighter light on applications for green trademarks.
This week, the federal government provided another example of the trust it is placing in the entrepreneurial community to help the country rebound from recession and lead the next generation of innovation. In a landmark partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce and Cornell University's New York City Tech Campus, students will be provided with direct access to government resources for the first time as they look to expedite production cycles and get their inventions to market faster.
Few understand the current state of United States patent law quite like Richard Posner. Currently serving as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Seventh Circuit, he has authored nearly 40 books regarding economics and legal thought, and was one of the most cited American scholars of the 20th century. Most recently, he grabbed headlines by throwing out the entirety of an Apple vs. Motorola patent case that came before him in June.