Nortel gets $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications

Sunday, 3 July, 2011

I love patents. I love auctions (the strategies and its economic implications, etc). So I will try to spend some time to share my thoughts about the news of Nortel 6,000 patents and patent applications sold for $4.5 billion.

Here is some fun facts but more interestingly some details of the auction process itself. Note that the winning group of companies (see Apple, Microsoft, RIM) are not exactly friends, to put it diplomatically,

“A group of six companies — Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson and Sony — won the auction of 6,000 Nortel patents and patent applications with a $4.5 billion bid.”

Here is EuroNews report of the news.


Microsoft, defeated by Toronto i4i at US Supreme Court, ordered to pay $290 million for patent infringement

Thursday, 9 June, 2011

Microsoft, defeated by Toronto i4i at US Supreme Court, ordered to pay $290 million for patent infringement. See full US Supreme Court decision.

See my previous Microsoft v. i4i articles here (2011), here (2011), and here (2009).


Interesting Articles: Microsoft buys Skype, Ai Weiwei, Internet’s power usage, Larry Page’s Google 3.0

Tuesday, 10 May, 2011

* Techcrunch, “Done Deal! Big Deal. Smart Deal? Microsoft Buys Skype For $8.5 Billion In Cash

* Telegraph, “Ai Weiwei: they silence him, but his voice grows louder and louder

* Guardian, “‘It feels rotten putting the show on in Ai Weiwei’s absence’ – While Ai Weiwei remains interned by the Chinese authorities, Nicholas Logsdail, director of the Lisson Gallery, talks about a forthcoming exhibition of the artist’s work and his growing influence on the global stage

* AFP, “Hong Kong arrests pair over Ai Weiwei graffiti

* CNN Money, “The Internet: One big power suck

* BusinessWeek, “Larry Page’s Google 3.0 – The company co-founder and his star deputies are trying to root out bureaucracy and rediscover the nimble moves of youth”


Summary of Microsoft v. i4i Oral Argument @ US Supreme Court

Monday, 18 April, 2011

Check out Patently O’s “Summary of Microsoft v. i4i Oral Argument“‘ See a rough US Supreme Court transcript of this case. [HT Patently O]

See also National Post, “Chairman of i4i confident Microsoft defeated

““We think it went tremendously well,” he [Loudon Owen, chairman of Toronto based i4i] said in a telephone interview after leaving the Washington courtroom. “I would be very very surprised if it wasn’t a favourable ruling for us.””

Reuters, “Top court hears Microsoft appeal on i4i patent

CNet, “Supreme Court queries Microsoft on patent law

“Just as Microsoft lawyer Thomas Hungar began presenting its arguments, Justices Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Elena Kagen pressed him on the legal precedent in a 1934 case that seemed to mandate using a higher evidentiary standard.

“The language of that opinion is extremely broad,” Kagan said, according to a transcript. “And if you read that opinion, no one would gather from that opinion the kinds of limits that you’re suggesting on it.

Ginsburg, too, seemed to read the earlier ruling as requiring a higher standard of evidence than Microsoft proposes.

“An infringer who assails the validity of a patent…bears a heavy burden of persuasion and fails unless his evidence has more than a dubious preponderance,” Ginsburg said.”


Worth Reading: Securing privacy, Showrunner DIY TV promos, Legal strategies in Charlie Sheen case, High noon in i4i-Microsoft fight

Monday, 18 April, 2011

* Guardian, Cory Doctorow: ‘The most powerful mechanism we have for securing the privacy of individuals is for them to care about that privacy’ – video – “Blogger, writer and activist Cory Doctorow on social networking, revolution and how to avoid haemorrhaging personal information online”

* The Hollywood Reporter, Q&A: ‘Cougar Town’ Boss Bill Lawrence Airs His Frustrations With Disney

THR: So what does work?

Lawrence: There are some shows like Modern Family or American Idol where lightening strikes. Otherwise, you have two options. First, you build word-of-mouth.

THR: And the second?

Lawrence: Keep your loyal fans interested by giving them as much access, content and interaction as possible. That’s what I like as a TV viewer. For me, every show that I’ve felt like, “Wow, they actually care what the fans think” or “they’re actually writing for somebody,” I’m more loyal to. On Scrubs, we gave our fans extra content and access to the cast and writers. And in return, we could count on them to find the show on a network that moved the show about 20 times. Read the rest of this entry »


Toronto’s i4i v. Microsoft at US Supreme Court

Sunday, 17 April, 2011

“The United States Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments Monday for and against changing U.S. patent law to make it easier to invalidate patents – the latest chapter in a historic legal battle between a small Toronto company [i4i] and the largest software firm [Microsoft] on earth.”

For some insightful discussions and “light” readings, see following from Patently O,

* “Microsoft v. i4i: Shifting Weight of Evidence versus Shifting Burden of Proof

* “Briefing Microsoft v. i4i: Amicus Briefs Supporting Easier Invalidation of Patents in Court


Paul Allen: Microsoft’s Odd Couple – VF, Where Microsoft went wrong – FT

Thursday, 31 March, 2011

Paul Allen‘s new book “Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft” will be published in a few weeks. [HT LA Times] It looks interesting coming from Allen. Check out these magazine and newspaper articles.

* From Vanity Fair, a book excerpt adapted from Idea Man, “THE TECH REVOLUTION – Microsoft’s Odd Couple“. Here are some telling quotes (emphasis added),

  • Where I was curious to study everything in sight, Bill would focus on one task at a time with total discipline.
  • Shoehorned into about 3,200 bytes, roughly 2,000 lines of code, it was one tight little BASIC—stripped down, for sure, but robust for its size. No one could have beaten the functionality and speed crammed into that tiny footprint of memory: “The best piece of work we ever did,” as Bill told me recently. And it was a true collaboration.
  • From the time we’d started together in Massachusetts, I’d assumed that our partnership would be a 50-50 proposition. But Bill had another idea. “It’s not right for you to get half,” he said. “You had your salary at MITS while I did almost everything on BASIC without one back in Boston. I should get more. I think it should be 60-40.At first I was taken aback. But as I pondered it, Bill’s position didn’t seem unreasonable. I’d been coding what I could in my spare time, and feeling guilty that I couldn’t do more, but Bill had been instrumental in packing our software with “more features per byte of memory than any other BASIC we know,” as I’d written for Computer Notes. All in all, I thought, a 60-40 split might be fair. Read the rest of this entry »

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