Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft are working on some kind of nifty newness that is called Smartwatch. It has not arrived on the market yet but it arouses curiosity whether it will become a multibillion dollar market or not. How much money will it cost and will it be worth this money? How will it be used? And, what is it so cool and new about smartwatch?
According to Wikipedia, definitions for a “patent troll” include one or more of the following:
- Purchases a patent, often from a bankrupt firm, and then sues another company by claiming that one of its products infringes on the purchased patent;
- Enforces patents against purported infringers without itself intending to manufacture the patented product or supply the patented service;
- Enforces patents but has no manufacturing or research base;
- Focuses its efforts solely on enforcing patent rights;
- Asserts patent infringement claims against non-copiers or against a large industry that is composed of non-copier.
Patent trolls are to patent law what ambulance chasing lawyers are to personal injury law. While patent enforcement has always been a big business, the recent wars between Apple and Samsung have brought a great deal of attention to this part of the law.
In a recent Forbes article written by Cheryl Milone, the founder and chief executive of Article One Partners, entitled A Powerful New Weapon Against Patent Trolls, relief may finally be on the way. The America Invents Act patent reform law, which passed last year, contains a little-known feature that will soon give companies a lot more ammunition for shooting down patent troll lawsuits.
A critical determinant for patents is what is known as “prior art”. Prior art means any previous patent, technical paper, or public knowledge or use of an invention that makes it ineligible for a patent. Under the law, a patent may be issued only if an invention is useful, novel (i.e., not previously known or described), and nonobvious—meaning, not an obvious outgrowth of an existing technology. An examination of prior art determines whether an invention is novel and nonobvious.
As a result of the America Invents Act, after March 16, 2013, the following changes become affective which will redefine the application of prior art and have a dramatic impact on existing patents:
- Unpublished patent applications: For the first time, unpublished patent applications, i.e., applications pending in the USPTO system for less than 18 months, can invalidate a later patent if these contain prior art that anticipates the invention.
- Foreign patents and applications: For the first time, foreign applications and patents can also invalidate a later U.S. patent, if they contain prior art that anticipates the invention. According to Gene Quinn, of the influential IP Watchdog blog, “Foreign patents and applications will now make it much easier to challenge issued U.S patents.
- Public use anywhere in the world: The biggest new source of invalidating prior art involves “on sale” or “public use”—i.e., has an invention been previously used, offered for sale, or publicly disclosed?—which is being expanded from the U.S. to cover the entire globe. This means that even a seminar discussion about some interesting new technology at an engineering conference in Korea or China, presented in the Korean or Mandarin language, will be able to kill a U.S. patent on that technology acquired later.
Cheryl’s article provided some great insight into some of the most significant changes to hit the patent landscape in almost a century. We will report further on the topic next year after the changes go into affect. We anticipate a great deal of creativity from the legal community in this area.
In a recent CNET article written by Don Reisinger entitled:Apple: DOJ has Samsung’s standard-essential patents in its sights, Apple has revealed that Samsung is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for the manner in which Samsung has used (or misused) its declared essential patents.
Standard-essential patents are handled differently than regular patents. When a company’s patents are deemed standard and essential, it must offer them on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) basis. Apple has argued time and again that some of Samsung’s wireless patents, which have been deemed standard-essential, are being offered on unfair terms, stifling competition.
Can anything stop the new Galaxy S3 from working? In a CNET article written by Don Reisinger entitled:Samsung: Don’t blame the Galaxy S3 for burning up, Samsung announced that the Company’s recently released Galaxy S3 Smart Phone has been exonerated following an earlier report of the phone burning up.
Last month, an Ireland based forum poster reported that the phone was sitting in a “car mount when suddenly a white flame sparks and a bang came out of the phone” and that the device “burned from the inside out” and melted its case.
What we found to be more interesting than the reported fire problem was that the phone kept on working but had lost its signal. Could this be Samsung’s response to the Eveready Battery?
Samsung hired a third-party organization, Fire Investigations U.K., to inspect the damaged device. That investigation found that the trouble with the phone occurred only after the device had been exposed to an energy source which was used to heat the phone and ultimately caused the damage. The conclusion was that the phone had been placed in a microwave oven.
Our compliments to Galaxy and its new S3 for demonstrable durability and reliability!
CNET has just released their review of he UK version of the Samsung Galaxy S3. An article written by Jessica Dolcourt entiled: CNET UK’s Samsung Galaxy S III Review: “Ferrari of Android” sings high praises for the 3rd generation Galaxy Android phone.
For all the technology savvy lawyers seeking to take their law office on the road, the Galaxy S3 is worth some very serious consideration. The phone sports a Quad Core processor and runs the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich version of the OS. The phone is HUGE with gorilla glass sporting a 4.8 inch 720p screen.
The only bad news is that the phone first goes on sale in the UK on May 30th but won’t be available until sometime in the summer in the United Sates.
For further information about the phone, take the time to watch this video