Patents

Crouch Quoting Chisum on CLS Bank

by Lee Gesmer on December 11, 2013

I can’t resist quoting Dennis Crouch, quoting Don Chisum, on the the Supreme Court’s pending review of the CLS Bank case:

The Supreme Court often intervenes to resolve splits among the various courts of appeal. Here a split exists within a circuit that the circuit itself is unable to resolve. The circuit judges’ varying interpretations of a body of recent and not-so-recent Supreme Court precedent riddled with fuzzy language and inconsistent results caused the split. Now, the Court has the opportunity (and the obligation) to clean up a mess that is, to a major extent, of its own making.

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As I’ve written before, getting sued for patent infringement in Texas (often the Eastern District, or “EdTX”) is generally viewed as undesirable by corporate America. Apparently seeking to avoid this unpleasantness, TomTom, Inc. filed a suit in Massachusetts, asking the court to declare that it did not infringe several patents held by Norman IP Holdings, Inc., over which Norman had already sued TomTom in EdTX. As its name suggets, and as best I can determine, Norman is a non-practicing entity that has been active in the courts of EdTX.

However, TomTom’s strategy of avoiding Texas appears to have failed. Massachusetts U.S. District Court Judge Saylor has upheld a decision by Magistrate Judge Judith Dein concluding that the Massachusetts court did not have jurisdiction over Norman, and therefore could not force Norman to confront it over these issues in Massachusetts. It appears that Texas is where TomTom will have to defend itself against Norman.… Read the full article

Why Can't We All Get Along? CAFC Fractures Over Divided Infringement

“. . . the intolerable wrestle with words and meanings . . .” East Coker, by T.S. Eliot

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Congress enacts laws.  The courts interpret and apply them in cases. Often, there is disagreement over what the words mean, and judges debate the meaning in published decisions. Judges on the same court may agree, disagree, dissent, concur, and form shifting majorities and minorities. Occasionally, congress will take notice and attempt to clarify a law by amendment. Sometimes, this only adds to the confusion.

The eleven active judges on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the patent appeals court, exemplify this dynamic in their August 31, 2012 en banc decision in two cases consolidated on appeal, Akamai v. Limelight and McKesson v. Epic Systems (link). The decision, totaling over 100 pages, is comprised of three opinions, each with dramatically different views of a fundamental issue in patent law.… Read the full article

Apple v. Samsung Jury Verdict Form. Huh?

by Lee Gesmer on September 3, 2012

Apple v. Samsung Jury Verdict Form.  Huh?

I’ve been meaning to post a link to the jury verdict form in the Apple v. Samsung patent case. Here it is, linked at the bottom of the post. And no, that’s not some weird crossword puzzle on the left, it’s a tiny section of the verdict form.

If this isn’t the most complex jury verdict form in American legal history, I can’t imagine what is. The Verge did a nice job of dissecting the jury verdict form pre-verdict, and concluded that a decision on the approximately 700 decision points would “not go quickly.”

Turns out The Verge was mistaken; the jury was able to wrap things up in just over two days, awarding over $1 billion to Apple. They did this with the help of a jury foreman who had applied for and obtained a patent – the only juror who had even the slightest familiarity with patents before this trial.… Read the full article