The patent appeals board at the US Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to reconsider 16 patent claims owned by Sportbrain Holdings, LLC. The Patent Office’s decision comes just three days after Sportbrain filed a lawsuit against Apple (PDF). Taking on its highest-profile target yet, Sportbrain claims that the Apple Watch violates US Patent No. 7,454,002, titled “Integrating personal data capturing functionality into a portable computing device and a wireless communication device.”
In dozens of lawsuits, Sportbrain’s lawyers have argued that its patent entitles it to collect royalties on a huge range of devices and software products that gather user fitness information. Beginning in January 2016, Sportbrain unleashed a torrent of lawsuits against companies with connected watches and other wearables, like Garmin, Fitbit, Pebble, and Nike (PDF). It also sued tech companies like Apple, Samsung, and HP, and watchmakers including Timex, Tag Heuer, and Nixon.
In a patent suit targeting Chrome web browsers, Google was hit with a $20 million jury verdict for infringing patents covering malware protection software… Google was hit with a jury verdict for $20 million in damages awarded to one inventor and the family members of a deceased co-inventor for the infringement of three reissue patents covering malware protection software. The infringement suit targeted Google’s Chrome web browsers for laptops and mobile platforms as well as the sale of Google’s hardware products having that software pre-installed. The case was decided in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.).
A jury in the patent hotspot of East Texas found that Apple had infringed US Patent No. 8,055,820, owned by Acacia subsidiary Cellular Communications Equipment LLC. The patent describes a method of how cell phones can use “buffer status reporting” so that phone networks can optimize data usage. The patent originated at Nokia, which sold the patent to Acacia in 2013.
Acacia is in a controversial business that critics refer to as “patent trolling.” The firm buys patents from others, uses those patents to bring litigation, and then splits the proceeds with the original patent owner. The business model has made the company incredibly litigious, as dozens of Acacia-owned LLC’s have filed hundreds of lawsuits over the years.
The Alice/Mayo framework is the decisional approach adopted by the United States Supreme Court for determining whether a patent claim exhibits, such as software patent claims, embody patent eligible subject matter… Over the last six months the Federal Circuit has provided a great deal of clarity, with 9 judges (Judges Moore, Taranto, Hughes, Chen, Newman, O’Malley, Reyna, Stoll, and Plager) signing on to decisions that found software patent claims to be patent eligible. What follows is a a summary of the significant developments over the last six months.
It is that time once again when we look back on the previous year in preparation to close the final chapter on 2016 and to look ahead toward 2017. With patent reform surprisingly stalled, the biggest news stories of the year may have been the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)… As 2016 started and through at least the first half of 2016 it seemed as if the PTAB had become rather all-powerful and completely unsusceptible to judicial restraints. As we close 2016 and look forward to 2017 a decidedly different picture seems like it is emerging… The other big news story of 2016 was with respect to patent eligibility…