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.
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).
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.”
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“
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 »