Friday, February 26, 2010

Xerox Files Patent Suit Against Google and Yahoo for Various Alleged Search Method Infringements while Congress Twiddles and Bilski Festers at SCOTUS

And now comes Xerox, the xeroxing document company,
who we all know invented "search".
You have to love the absurdity of the U.S. patent system - CHAOS.

Thomas Claburn at InformationWeek, February 23, 2010, reports that Xerox [has filed a] Patent Suit Against Google [and] Yahoo claiming triple damages - of course - and claiming that various elements of Google and Yahoo search violate Xerox patents on methods and apparatus for integrating information and knowledge.

But what else can we rightly expect, given the state of the current patent law?

As Claburn notes at the end of his article in connection with this suit:
"The most recent proposed legislation, the Patent Reform Act of 2009, has been sitting in committee in the Senate for almost a year."
And we ask of the U.S. Supreme Court - will their upcoming now long-festering decision in Bilski put an END to the PATENT MADNESS?

We doubt it.

Take a look at this Federal Circuit decision from February 25, 2010 (yesterday) in which many brilliant human legal minds - perhaps we exaggerate - are involved in supremely important cogitation on the crucial patent invention (?) of "static" prices not found (?) in prior art - that's what the jury determined folks - surely experts on the matter, we presume, but fear not, for the dynamic "re-centering" of "price levels", such as could not be disabled by the user, was declared as a significant "non-static" element of the exculpated non-infringing competition, who were thus dynamically "in motion". That's what the courts found, more or less, broadly described, tongue-in-cheek.

What sane man would believe that the USPTO ever issued a patent for essentially that?
Static prices in any inventive context as an "invention"....?

Not in our world, but perhaps we do not live in the same world as the USPTO?

You see, we view the world like this. Prices can be either static or dynamic in ANY context and any invention or method can USE that non-inventive phenomenon to their advantage or disadvantage, but they can not INVENT that phenomenon in the context of any method. Prices are not a transformed element and can not be used as a material basis for obtaining a patent. Why do legislators and courts not understand the difference?

Progress on Patent Reform in the European Union (EU)

James DeGiulio writes at Patent Docs in Europe Takes Step Closer to Single EU Patent and Patent Court that:
"On December 4, 2009, the European Competitiveness Council unanimously adopted a legislative package designed to create a single EU patent and EU patent court....

The reform proposal still needs to undergo an official review by the European Council and the European Parliament ... [and] the European Court of Justice has yet to deliver an opinion on the compatibility of the patent court and draft agreement with EU treaties. This opinion is expected at the earliest by summer 2010."
Also in the EU, the wheels of patent legislation turn slowly.

US Patent Reform Agreement Allegedly Finally Achieved in the U.S. Congress

Diane Bartz for Reuters reported from Washington on February 25, 2010 at Tentative US patent reform pact reached [acc. to] Sen. Leahy writing that:
"Leading U.S. lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement to reform the nation's patent system, said Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a leader in the effort."
That report was updated by Bartz with more details at UPDATE 2-Tentative US patent reform pact reached-Sen. Leahy where she writes:

"[S]ources working on the issue said that the bill would require judges hearing patent infringement cases to play a gatekeeper role in helping identify appropriate damages.

The measure also gives the patent office the authority to set its own fees, said the sources, who asked to speak privately since they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

One has to be cautious about expecting anything this field since a nearly identical report of Congressional progress was made nearly one year ago, with little result.

The wheels of "comfortable" government and Congress itself sometimes seem to move slower than USPTO patent applications, and THAT is slow.

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