April 30, 2007

Supreme Court Patent Action Today [6:50 pm]

  • Obviousness re-established as something that must be carefully considered: KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc.

    We build and create by bringing to the tangible and palpable reality around us new works based on instinct, simple logic, ordinary inferences, extraordinary ideas, and sometimes even genius. These advances, once part of our shared knowledge, define a new threshold from which innovation starts once more. And as progress beginning from higher levels of achievement is expected in the normal course, the results of ordinary innovation are not thesubject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts.

  • Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.

    Because Microsoft does not export from the United States the copies of Windows installed on the foreign-made computers in question, Microsoft does not “suppl[y] . . . from the United States” “components” of those computers, and therefore is not liable under §271(f)as currently written.

Coverage: LATimes - Patent protections tempered by Supreme Court rulings (pdf)

In a pair of decisions, one in a high-profile case that pitted Microsoft Corp. against AT&T Inc., the court limited the legal rights of inventors and gave judges more flexibility in dealing with patent lawsuits.

[...] All of them reflect a concern at the Supreme Court that the patent system has strayed too far to the side of patent owners,” said Philip Swain, a patent attorney with Foley Hoag in Boston. “They’re trying to push the pendulum back toward the middle.”

Also the NYTimes - High Court Puts Limits on Patents

Patent law experts said the ruling created a common sense standard that could have a broad impact.

“Nearly every patent that contains a combination of prior ideas is at risk because the court has dramatically broadened the standard of obviousness,” said Cynthia Kernick, an intellectual property lawyer at Reed Smith in Pittsburgh.

Later: New Patent Trial Sought by Vonage

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